Sun | Aug 20, 2017

First-time MPs greeted with insults

Published:Thursday | March 10, 2016 | 3:01 PMJovan Johnson

THREE first-time members of parliament were yesterday greeted by insults hurled at them by supporters of the People's National (PNP), who had gathered on Duke Street in Kingston to watch the opening of the new parliament.

The MPs-Fayval Williams, Alando Terrelonge, Marlene Malahoo Forte -all won seats that were previously held by PNP representatives.

Apparently embittered by the losses which helped to catapult the Jamaica Labour Party into government, the supporters spewed abuses in the Jamaican vernacular at each of the MPs as they made their way inside Gordon House. Some senior PNP officials were standing among the irate Comrades.

Robert Pickersgill, PNP chairman, who later arrived, told reporters on the steps of Gordon House that the behaviour of his supporters was "unacceptable".

"I didn't hear but I can't condone that sort of thing. We have been saying to our supporters to be cool!" Pickersgill said.

Meanwhile, the police were forced to resort to alternative plans as PNP supporters broke through two of three security barriers. Supporters ended up converging on the final barrier at the intersection of Beeston Street and Duke Street.

Michael Scott, the Superintendent in charge of the Kingston Central Police Division, said it was a challenge managing the process.

"We had a problem because all the parliamentarians gathered up here (the intersection). We had problems moving them (supporters) back. We had to avoid the confrontation because everybody's temper was up," Scott told The Gleaner.

Meanwhile, Daryl Vaz, JLP MP for Portland Western, had to command his party supporters to return to their designated location on Duke Street after they broke through barriers in an attempt to get close to party leader and Prime Minister, Andrew Holness.

jovan.johnson@gleanerjm.com