Sun | Nov 29, 2020

Labourites start working on 2nd term - Women, young people targeted by the JLP as it heads to 75th annual conference

Published:Friday | November 9, 2018 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue

As the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) plots is way to a second political term, its leader, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and his top lieutenants, have been busy crafting a plan to attract more women and young people to the political process.

The party, which will host the public session of its 75th annual conference next Sunday at the National Arena, has been ramping up activities at the constituency and regional levels during islandwide engagements to attract the women, and young people and to move them from their traditional organising roles to more representative roles.

With seven women among its parliamentary majority, four of whom are part of the executive, JLP chairman Robert Montague last week told The Sunday Gleaner that the party has a deliberate plan for a wider reach of women and the young.

"Members of parliament, constituency secretaries and councillors/caretakers all gathered in Montego Bay last week. We have had a series of training workshops where we, among other things, discuss the state of the party and we crafted a plan of action," said Montague.

"We plan to expose more young persons and females, as we are starting to lay the foundation for a second term. We are well aware that governments don't win elections, parties do," added Montague.

He said that despite the major infrastructural work currently under way, the low unemployment figures and improvement in the ease of doing business, the JLP is taking not ignoring the political work.

Montague added that nominations have been held at all the party's area councils and all leaders have been nominated unopposed, and will be confirmed during the annual conference where Holness will deliver the keynote address.

The JLP chairman spoke to The Sunday Gleaner last Friday after a senior Labourite had declared that "the party is not taking any chances, and cannot afford to. All things being equal, the PNP (People's National Party) was doing reasonable, especially with the economic improvement when they were voted out. This is politics, so we are not playing."

The senior JLP member, who asked not to be named, said the PNP will have some ammunition such as the issues surrounding Petrojam and other entities under the former Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology and the police used car purchases going into the next general election, so the governing party will have to present a better face if it wants to win a second term.