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JLP still has time to gain momentum ahead of general elections -Crawford

Published:Sunday | February 14, 2016 | 2:13 PM
Richard Crawford

Political commentator Richard Crawford says there is still time for the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to gain momentum ahead of the general elections.

His comments come against the background of the latest Bill Johnson polls which show the ruling People's National Party (PNP) leading the JLP by four percentage points. The polls were conducted between February 4 and 7.

According to Crawford, 11 days is a long time in politics and issues could emerge in the days ahead that could decide the elections in favour of either party. However, he says although the JLP's 10-point plan has some credibility and may have swayed some voters, it may not be enough.

On the controversy surrounding the national debates, Crawford suggests the PNP's wavering on whether it will participate in the national debates may be a move on its part to avoid a "mistake" that could be costly to them at the polls.

The party had indicated last Thursday that it would not participate in the debates because of what it described as rude and disrespectful comments made by JLP Leader Andrew Holness about PNP President Portia Simpson Miller. It also noted that it wanted a change to the format of the debates, similar to the town hall format in the United States of America.

The Jamaica Debates Commission says the PNP general secretary gave an undertaking late Friday that it would indicate by tomorrow whether the party will participate in the three proposed leadership debates.