JLP and PNP unite in East Portland
Supporters of Derron Wood, the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) candidate for Eastern Portland, were shocked when veteran People's National Party (PNP) councillor Dexter Rowland, clad in orange clothing, made his way through the crowd at Folly Oval to hug and shake hands.
The show of respect, 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. 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 defuse 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 a defeat," Rowland said.
For his part, Wood agreed that friendly rivalry would be the order of the day, although his intention is to bring an end to the PNP's dominance in Eastern Portland, where it has won every election since 1989.
"I am encouraged by the turnout of party supporters," said Wood. "As a matter of fact, I am surprised that so many persons have turned out. 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.