Fri | Apr 20, 2018

2013 political year in review

Published:Sunday | January 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Holness, Phillips WIN BIG

Tufton, Azan, Bunting see stocks fall

Gary Spaulding & Arthur Hall, Senior Gleaner Writers

In a year with fascinating drama, dynamic interludes and unpredictable outcomes on the political scene, two personalities who, at the start of 2013, appeared as very unlikely candidates to star in any lead role, turned the wheels of fortune in their favour to emerge major winners when the curtain descended.

It was a year when Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Peter Phillips and leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Andrew Holness strenuously resisted detractors and silenced doubters.

Phillips received high marks for his management of the economy, while Holness, against all odds, staved off a challenge from the colourfully robust and more experienced Audley Shaw to cement his position as the undisputed leader of the JLP.

The newly energised leader was unable to get the party's Central Executive to give him the team he wanted, but flexed his muscle with undated resignation letters to rid the Senate of those persons - Dr Christopher Tufton and Arthur Williams - he had lost confidence in.

But it was hard to imagine any such political drama at the start of the year.

With the People's National Party marking its 75th anniversary and the JLP its 70th, the year was expected to be a celebratory one for the big political players in Jamaica.

That notion was quickly and effectively debunked by the gamut of distractions that would transform 2013 into one of the most frenetically unpredictable political periods in recent memory.