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Local politicians hail Hillary Clinton's nomination in US

Published:Wednesday | June 8, 2016 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets supporters during a presidential primary election night rally on Tuesday in New York.

Hillary Clinton claimed the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday night after decisive victories in the California, New Jersey, and New Mexico primaries. If elected president, Clinton would become the first woman to lead the United States.

With the 14-month Democratic race nearing a close, Clinton savoured the biggest night of her extraordinary journey from lawyer, wife, and First Lady to senator, secretary of state, and, now, the first woman to win a major party's nomination.

Government officials in Jamaica have weighed in on Clinton's nomination, calling it a historic occasion for her to be the presidential nominee for one of the two major political parties in that country.


Portia congratulates Clinton


Portia Simpson Miller, leader of the opposition, president of the People's National Party (PNP), and Jamaica's first female prime minister, has congratulated Clinton on smashing the glass ceiling in American politics.

"I am even more proud because the Democratic Party in the USA is the fraternal party of the PNP. Like the PNP did 10 years ago, the Democratic Party has chosen a woman ... ," Simpson Miller said.

"Her campaign and nomination to represent her party sends a powerful message to women and girls in Jamaica and around the world. Her Twitter message to girls last night said it all: 'You can be anything you want - even president'," Simpson Miller said.

Simpson Miller became Jamaica's seventh prime minister in March 2006. Her ascension to Jamaica's highest political office came after having served for 17 years as a Cabinet minister, managing different portfolio's during that time.

The opposition leader is expecting that should Clinton become president, some of the issues that face women and families, including violence against women and girls, poverty, health care, and climate change, would be addressed by her administration.

"This would mean that support and bilateral relations with countries such as ours would focus on those issues which Clinton has championed," Simpson Miller said.


New dimension to governance


Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said that should Clinton become president, it would perhaps invite an exciting and new dimension to governance.

"The United States has never had a female as president of what is the largest and most significant economy in the world, and that certainly will create a new era of political leadership in the region," Bartlett said.

The implications for Jamaica, he said, would not necessarily be significantly different, although a fresh and new perspective on regionalism might very well ensue.

"A female president of the United States would be historical but not unprecedented in terms of world politics in that you had Margaret Thatcher (United Kingdom) and Angela Merkel (Germany). Certainly, it is an anticipated move because it promises a new and different perspective in leadership," Bartlett said.