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Portia commends JLP on victory but ready for recounts

Published:Thursday | February 25, 2016 | 12:00 AMDaraine Luton
Dr Peter Phillips, People's National Party campaign director, speaks with party president Portia Simpson Miller and chairman Robert Pickersgill on stage at the PNP's Old Hope Road, St Andrew headquarters last night.

People's National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson was the picture of dejection as she conceded Thursday's general election to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

"The other side won, and I am going to be very big. I commend them on their victory," she said.

Showing a brave face to the few dozen party supporters who gathered in front of the PNP's Old Hope Road headquarters in St Andrew, she, however, served notice that the PNP has not ruled out winning the election through the court.

She said that strong persons must be sent to constituency recounts and that they should pay attention to every detail on every ballot.

"Leave nothing to chance," she said.

"We are down, but we are not out," Simpson Miller said.

She told Comrades: "I know you are hurting, and we feel it, too."

The PNP appears to have lost the election 30-33 in the 63-seat House of Representatives.

"I have given all I could in this campaign. In one day, I toured eight constituencies," she said.

"We have done our best," she said of the party.

"If anything, I am stronger than yesterday. This is not a time for crying or moping," she said.

Simpson Miller also served noticed that "we are not going to allow them to wreck the economy of this country that Comrade Dr Peter Phillips built up and put in position for take-off".

She said that the PNP would be watching the new Government to ensure that the decisions taken are done in the best interest of the people.

She expressed the hope that "those who succeed us will not throw away the gains made by the People's National Party".

Simpson Miller said, too, that it was her hope that the gains made while in power "will not be ruined or thrown away".


Merely a setback


Meanwhile, PNP General Secretary Paul Burke said that the loss was merely a setback.

"We will go forward again as a strong, united party," Burke said.

Phillips, the campaign director, said that the party engaged in a good fight.

He said that the PNP conducted a campaign "free of any shred of malice to anyone".

He said, too, that the party engaged in an honest and responsible campaign.

"We respect the judgement of the electorate ... . We commit to work with anyone who will work for the advancement of Jamaica."

He said that Simpson Miller gave everything she had in the interest of the country and party.