Dave Lindo, Gleaner Writer
THE PEOPLE'S National Party (PNP) has said it intends to 'take home' Region Five in the upcoming local government elections.
Chairman of Region Five, which consists of the parishes of Manchester and St Elizabeth, Wentworth Skeffrey, told The Gleaner that: "Our objective is to retain the Manchester Parish Council with a larger majority, but also in my capacity of regional chairman, we are going for the St Elizabeth Parish Council also."
He added: "In the last (general) election in St Elizabeth, we reversed the order, it was 1-3 in their favour, but as of December 29 it became 3-1 in our favour. And we want to wrestle St Elizabeth from them also to have both parishes in Region Five under the leadership of the PNP on the local level, and we are very confident that that objective will be achieved," Skeffrey told The Gleaner during nomination-day activities in the parish yesterday.
However, the JLP camp is showing as much confidence in being victorious, especially for the Manchester Parish Council.
"I am upbeat, the Labourites are upbeat, we have been working hard on the ground, done a lot of house-to-house campaign and we expect to be victorious come March 26," candidate for the Mandeville division, Simon Sangster said.
He added, "We expect that the Jamaica Labour Party will remain in control of the local government."
Both parties had good crowd support on nomination day in Mandeville. The PNP candidates for the divisions in Central Manchester were the first to be nominated on the day.
Led by PNP Member of Parliament for Central Manchester, Peter Bunting, candidates nominated on the PNP ticket were Brenda Ramsey from the Bellefield division; Donovan Mitchell for the Royal Flat division, Goyfield Harrison from the Knockpatrick division, and Jones Oliphant from the Mandeville division.
Encouraged to vote
They will be going up against the JLP's Sangster (Mandeville division), Cleon Francis, Knockpatrick division; Ian Hibbert, Bellefield division, and Lincoln Holloway representative for the Royal Flat division.
Sangster encouraged Labourites to vote on election day. "We want the Labourites who didn't vote the last election to come out and vote for the candidates representing their respective divisions," he said.
Both parties marched through the town of Mandeville after their candidates were nominated, which drew resounding cheers from their respective supporters.
Of note, no senior or high-ranked Jamaica Labour Party representative was present in the camp of the Jamaica Labour Party in Central Manchester for nomination day.
Danville Walker recently resigned as JLP caretaker for the Central Manchester constituency.