St Mary told to stick with PNP
With two of the three St Mary constituencies having victory margins of under 500 votes, the People's National Party (PNP) is appealing to its supporters to stick with the party if they want Jamaica to progress.
Retired politician Terry Gillette argued that while Central St Mary was a sure victory for the PNP in the next general election, the neighbouring South East and Western constituencies were in need of support.
Dr Morais Guy, the sitting MP, won Central St Mary for the PNP by 2,785 votes in the last general election.
"Central is so strong," said Gillette, who was the member of parliament for East Central and Western St Mary between 1976 and 2002.
He was speaking to party supporters at the Central St Mary constituency conference in Highgate on Sunday.
"The other two constituencies are not as strong as you are, so we need your help in the East and we need your help in the West to boost up the victory for the People's National Party," Gillette said.
Jolyan Silvera, the member of parliament for Western St Mary, said the Comrades need to unite and work to ensure the defeat of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
"The timing is of importance. We haffi mek sure we get we house in order ... . The reality is that if the Jamaica Labour Party comes back to power, dog nyam we supper," Silvera said.
In 2011, the PNP's Dr Winston Green won South East St Mary by 420 votes, overturning a 34-vote margin held by the JLP's Tarn Peralto in the 2007 general election.
Before that, Harry Douglas won the seat for the PNP in 2002 by 385 votes.
Green is to face Dr Norman Dunn of the JLP in the next general election, due by December 2016.
West St Mary, like South East, voted for JLP in the 2007 general election. But in 2011, Silvera overturned Robert Montague's 767-vote margin and won the seat, once considered safe for the PNP, by 227 votes.
But Guy, who is chairman for the PNP's Region Two, which covers constituencies in St Thomas, St Mary and Portland, appears to be confident that the PNP will not lose ground to the JLP in St Mary.
"We have no doubt in Central St Mary, as we have no doubt in south east and western, that when the trumpet shall have sounded, these three constituencies will be in the column of the People's National Party," Guy said.
He, however, pointed to a comment from Gillette, who said that Jamaica has more PNP supporters. "The reason why sometimes we lose elections as the People's National Party is for the very said reason," Guy said.
"We bicker, we complain about this and we complain about that," Guy said, adding, "we do not recognise that the reason we have reached so far in the development of this country is a consequence of the People's National Party."
He told comrades that hardships now being faced throughout the country as a result of limited government spending is directly related to the need to reform Jamaica's ailing economy.
"Let us not see a temporary arrest of that progress as an indictment on this government but see it as an opportunity to which we are going to work to get out of this little rut, and to build a stable social and economic foundation so that this constituency, this parish and this country can prosper," Guy said.