Fri | Oct 23, 2020

Bullseye on Julian - PM pitches urban renewal as Kari Douglas eyes upset

Published:Thursday | August 20, 2020 | 12:13 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Kari Douglas, JLP candidate, greets a PNP supporter during a tour of Woodford Park in St Andrew South Eastern on Wednesday.
Kari Douglas, JLP candidate, greets a PNP supporter during a tour of Woodford Park in St Andrew South Eastern on Wednesday.

Inner-city communities such as Jacques Road and Woodford Park in St Andrew South Eastern have been promised that they will return to their former glory under a new Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration.

Party leader Andrew Holness gave that assurance during a tour of the constituency on Wednesday to shore up the chances of candidate Kari Douglas, who is attempting to wrest control from the People’s National Party’s (PNP).

Victory for the JLP in St Andrew South Eastern would be a poke in the eye for PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson, who is now facing the turncoat councillor for the Trafalgar division.

Prime Minister Holness told a gathering of mask-free residents that he was displeased by the signs of urban decay. He vowed “to regenerate communities like Jacques Road”.

“We will renew your communities. We have already started,” Holness said on Wednesday, citing a contract to replace a damaged water main along Spanish Town Road as evidence of his commitment to infrastructure restoration.

Holness said that like all other constituencies in PNP hands, St Andrew South Eastern is being targeted by JLP candidates.

“This constituency, we believe, is also one of those we are looking to pick up. We are on this tour, which we believe is important, to show residents that we understand their plight and are providing a good candidate to make that happen,” Holness told The Gleaner.

Further, he said that the mission of his generation is to rebuild deteriorated infrastructure.

Robinson tallied 5,811 votes in the 2016 general election, defeating the JLP’s Charlton Collie, who received 3,835.

Douglas, meanwhile, said that she was not daunted by the challenge ahead despite claims by PNP supporters in Swallowfield last week that her run for office would end in embarrassment.

She drew on memories of her late father, Easton Douglas, a Cabinet minister in PNP administrations.

“Labourites, Julian Robinson has not built one house in the constituency in the past 20 years. The last time this constituency benefited from any constructive work was when my father, Easton Douglas, was the MP,” said Kari, who, earlier this year, stunned JLP supporters by announcing her switch of political allegiance.

“I promise you and I commit to you that I will carry on my father’s legacy, but this time in green as a Labourite,” she said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com