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#JaVotes2016: No ban on rallies just yet … people should be free to assemble, says Chang

Published:Tuesday | February 9, 2016 | 1:54 PM
Member of Parliament for North West St James, Dr Horace Chang march to the nomination centre.
A PNP supporter wipes sweat from the face of North West St James candidate Anthony 'Shuka' Henry.

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer

Confident his party will return Montego Bay, St James to ‘Green City’ status, Member of Parliament for North West St. James, Dr Horace Chang says he would not support a ban in political rallies as a result of Sunday’s shooting in Sam Sharpe Square.

After the Jamaica Labour Party candidate was nominated this morning at the St. Paul’s United Church in Montego Bay, he stated that although the second city has history of a high level of criminal violence, citizens should not allow it to cause a cessation of their activities.

“We would be submitting ourselves to that type of criminal element, which is a small number of people,” he told The Gleaner, adding that political meetings, street dances, church congregations were all part of the rich Jamaican culture.

He added that people should be free to assemble, whether it is religious, entertainment or political, “it helps to protect our democracy and keep us a bit more dynamic, despite the challenges”.

In order not to create too much excitement, generating any type of tension, the Member of Parliament, who trounced the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Henry McCurdy in the last general election, said he will be operating in a more sedate manner, engaging in house to house visits and one on one contacts.

In the meantime, he is confident that the JLP will paint the tourism capital green on Election Day, February 25.

“It is not whether we will win the election in this region, it’s a matter of when we win the election,” he stated.

Dr Chang goes up against newcomer PNP’s, Anthony ‘Shuka’ Henry.