Wed | Jun 20, 2018

Omar's swansong!

Published:Friday | December 30, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer
Omar Davies
by Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer

Dr Omar Davies, former finance minister and former chairman of the People's National Party (PNP) region three, and the last in the line of three distinguished brothers to have served the public sector, will shortly walk away from the political process after contesting his last election.

Davies, who served for more than a decade as Jamaica's finance minister and member of parliament since late 1993, told The Gleaner yesterday that this was the final time he would be seeking political representation, irrespective of the party's fortune in the general election.

"I think it is generally known that this is my last election. But, I will continue to serve," Davies explained.

"I actually like being an MP; I spend more time there," he said, shortly after casting his ballot at the Mona High School, in St Andrew.

Davies has voted at the same location since the late 1970s when he came to Kingston from Clarendon, having resided in the Mona community.

The former minister, who now shadows the transport and works portfolio, became finance minister under the P.J. Patterson regime, after Patterson secured his mandate at the 1993 general election.

He went on to serve as finance minister and was at the forefront of the financial and economic turbulence of the 1990s sector meltdown.

The country had minimal economic growth during his tenure, and the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has targeted his economic stewardship.

Choose a successor

Davies, who contested the race for the leadership of the PNP in 2006, but lost to current leader Portia Simpson Miller, said he was in the process of helping to choose a successor in the St Andrew South constituency.

"I am going to be embarking on a process to actually identify a successor, to continue on the work that has been done. Although the citizens would make the final decision, I intend to ensure that that person, he or she, will share my vision and not just take the seat for, but rather build the educational structures which we have used to start to help get rid of this stigma of garrisons," he said.