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Redman wants to save North East St Bess

Published:Friday | September 11, 2015 | 4:13 PM

SIXTY-THREE year old Evon Redman says North East St Elizabeth could fall into the hands of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) if Raymond Pryce continues as Member of Parliament and argues that his move to wrest the constituency from his clutches is a necessary rearguard action.

Pryce, 40, was placed in North East St Elizabeth six weeks before the 2011 general election. He replaced Basil Waite as the party's candidate on the recommendation from the executive of the People's National Party (PNP).

"It is not age that the people are looking at it is performance," said Redman who described himself as the "cornerstone" of the constituency.

According to Redman, the tenure of Pryce has been a disappointment. He said that the first campaign meeting for Pryce was held at his house as he was the chairman of the constituency and he worked tirelessly to secure his election.

"I campaigned with him, I did every single thing to ensure that he won. The fact of the matter is that he has failed the people, and as a PNP, and one who has worked for the party for most of my life, I could not sit back and allow this seat to fall into the hands of the Jamaica Labour Party because of the non performance of a young man," Redman said.

Pryce won the seat by 4,068 votes increasing the margin from 2,138 votes in 2007.

But while North East St Elizabeth is considered one of the strongest PNP seats on the island, Redman said that this could change.

"North East St Ann was also considered a strong PNP seat, no one thought it would fall to the Jamaica Labour party (JLP) and it happened, so never rule it out. All it takes is for voters to stay home and not vote," Redman said.

Shahine Robinson upset the PNP's apple cart in 2001 when she defeated Carol Jackson by 473 votes in a by-election. Since then, the once strong PNP seat has voted consistently for the JLP, returning Robinson to Parliament in 2002, 2007 and 2011 with margins of more than 1,000 votes on all occasions.