Mon | Nov 30, 2020

#JaVotes2020 | Holness accuses PNP of pursuing confrontational campaign

Published:Tuesday | August 18, 2020 | 3:45 PM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who is the Jamaica Labour Party candidate for St Andrew West Central, addressing supporters after being nominated at the Waltham Park New Testament Church of God on August 18, 2020 – Rudolph Brown photo.

Jovan Johnson, Senior Staff Reporter

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has accused the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) of deliberately trying to cause problems in the ongoing general election campaign. 

"I'm worried that there is a strategy by the Opposition of confrontation," said Holness this afternoon after being nominated to seek his sixth term as the member of parliament for St Andrew West Central. 

"That is the old-style we're evolving from and I'm really, really hoping that is not something that will be a feature of their campaign," he added. 

The leader of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) said General Secretary Dr Horace Chang has been tasked with writing to the political ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown outlining the party's concerns.

Holness was reacting to the news overnight that a JLP worker in the battleground Clarendon South East constituency was shot dead outside his gate after putting up a billboard.

Holness said there have been several other incidents including one in Trelawny last week where his motorcade was blocked by people wearing the orange party colour of the PNP. 

At the time, the JLP leader admonished the hecklers saying Jamaica had past the period of antagonistic politics. 

And just over the weekend, JLP candidate for Clarendon North Central Robert Nesta Morgan wrote to the ombudsman seeking her intervention after his PNP opponent Dr Desmond Brennan told supporters at a spot meeting that he going to "tek it by force."

Holness said his party's candidate in the Clarendon seat Pearnel Charles Jr messaged him last night suggesting that the killing of Paul Henry in Rocky Settlement was politically motivated. 

Police investigations are ongoing. 

The PNP's candidate Patricia Duncan Sutherland has also condemned the killing. 

Holness was nominated shortly after 1 p.m. at the Waltham Park New Testament Church of God. 

He arrived at the church in a motorcade, a different approach to his PNP opponent Patrick Roberts who led a march. 

Dozens of JLP supporters had converged at the church's entrance. 

Both candidates urged supporters to obey COVID-19 protocols but many followers on both sides were observed in breach of the guidelines including wearing masks. 

Holness, who was first elected in 1997, won the seat in 2016 by 2,064 votes, his largest margin. 

Following his nomination, the JLP leader resumed his motorcade tour of the constituency. 

The PNP and its president Dr Peter Phillips are struggling based on recent poll results.

The polls suggest that the JLP, led by a popular leader, may be on course for a second term in office following the September 3 elections. 

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