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COVID quarantine may claim JLP candidate

Published:Friday | August 14, 2020 | 12:28 AM

Dr Ryan Simpson, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate to contest the St Ann South East constituency against the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Lisa Hanna, has allegedly been withdrawn by the party, according to party sources in St Ann.

Efforts to get a comment from the JLP hierarchy were unsuccessful Thursday night. When contacted, Matthew Samuda, head of the JLP’s public relations machinery, referred The Gleaner to the party’s general secretary, Dr Horace Chang, who, in turn, indicated he was busy and could not speak at the moment.

But reports coming out of St Ann South East suggest that the JLP may have had no choice but to pull the candidate, given the Government’s strict anti-COVID-19 measures.

One source said that the candidate had travelled overseas and recently returned the island. It is unclear whether he would be allowed to be nominated on Tuesday, August 18, because of a 14-day quarantine rule.

“He travelled overseas and didn’t know that election would have been called so early, so now he’s back, he will have to quarantine,” The Gleaner was told.

Ivan Anderson, the prospective JLP candidate who unsuccessfully challenged Hanna for the seat in 2016, told The Gleaner last night that if called upon, he would be willing to run once again.

“They would have to finance everything because I wasn’t prepared, but I would be available,” Anderson said.

In 2016, Anderson polled 4,919 votes to Hanna’s 8,056.