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#JaVotes2016: Comrades, Labourites show unity in Portland

Published:Tuesday | February 9, 2016 | 5:28 PM
Derron Wood JLP candidate for Portland Eastern hugs the PNP's Dexter Rowland, councillor for the Port Antonio division.

Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer

Supporters of Derron Wood, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate for Portland Eastern were in  for a pleasant surprise after veteran councillor Dexter Rowland of the People's National Party (PNP), clad in orange clothing, made his way through the crowd at Folly Oval to hug and shake hands.

The show of unity, which took place shortly after Wood's nomination and just before that of the PNP's standard bearer Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, captivated the JLP crowd, who hailed the councillor for the friendly gesture.

"The candidate and I are good friends," said Rowland.

"As a matter of fact, we sit in the same council chamber each month. In East Portland, we stand united and we only hope that other constituencies will follow suit and keep this election campaign as peaceful as ever. We all have our own political choices and loyalty, and therefore we must diffuse all tensions, malice, and hate. As a result of this unity, I will ensure that my candidate (Bloomfield) does not hand him (Wood) too heavy of a defeat."

Wood agreed that friendly rivalry will be the order of the day, although his intention is to stop the PNP's dominance in East Portland, which has been running since 1989.

"I am encouraged by the turnout of party supporters, "said Wood.

"As a mater of fact I am surprised that so many persons have turned out for Nomination Day. I am particularly impressed with the turnout of the youth, which to me, is a clear indication that they are requesting a change of the guard in this constituency. I am that man and I represent that change, " he added.