Mon | Jan 21, 2019

An open letter to the JLP

Published:Monday | January 29, 2018 | 1:14 AM


I've heard reports that Minister of Education Ruel Reid will be the man to replace Othneil Lawrence in North West St Ann. Is the party really serious about winning this People's National Party (PNP) seat? Maybe because they've won four councils in a parish council election, they believe it’s going to be an easy win in a general election. Or maybe because between 1989-1997 that seat was held by an education minister, Burchell Whiteman?

Seats like North West St Ann is a people-person seat. The people in this constituency need a candidate who's down to earth. This seat is an expensive seat. Seats like North West and South East St Elizabeth fit personalities like Ruel Reid and Alexander Williams.

The North West St Ann seat was created in 1959 and realigned in 2007. The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) won this seat three times, compared to the PNP’s 10. All PNP candidates have been males and a majority of the JLP candidates have also been males.


Only two women have ever contested this seat, and they have been victorious – Princess Lawes in the 1976 and 1980 elections, and Verna Parchment in the 2002 election. It therefore stands to reason that a female candidate for the JLP stands a better chance of beating a PNP candidate.

The hierarchy should look at the following female candidates who are natives of St Ann: Councillor Kim Brown Lawrence, Senator Kerensia Morrison, businesswoman Karen Chuck.

In terms of ‘outsiders’, they should look at attorney- at-law and philanthropist Paula Kerr-Jarrett, and Ambassador Audrey Marks.

The hierarchy of the JLP should put in their forecast that Dr Dayton Campbell may not be the PNP candidate. It could be popular persons like Damion Crawford or Imani Duncan-Price.

I'm urging the general secretary of the party, Horace Chang – please consult before you parachute candidates.

Teddylee Gray

Ocho Rios, St Ann