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Hay-Webster renews interest in North East St Catherine seat

Published:Monday | September 7, 2015 | 12:00 AMDaraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Hay-Webster: This renewed interest is registered in light of the response to my initial application, submitted earlier this year ...

Former parliamentarian Sharon Hay Webster has expressed a renewed interest in serving as the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP's) candidate for North East St Catherine.

Hay Webster, a two-term MP for the old South Central St Catherine constituency for the People’s National Party (PNP) was chased out of North East St Catherine by the JLP’s hierarchy following protests by sitting MP Gregory Mair that he was being undermined.

Just over a month later, Mair last week indicated that he would be leaving representational politics.

In a letter to JLP general secretary Dr Horace Chang, party chairman Robert Montague and JLP Area Leaders Everald Warmington and Dr Andrew Wheatley, Hay Webster said she still has an “interest in responding to the cry of constituents”.

“This renewed interest is also registered in light of the response to my initial application, submitted earlier this year, wherein I received correspondence from your office which stated that my application was ‘not favourably considered at this time’ by the selection committee,” hay Webster said.

With a rich family history in the constituency, Hay Webster has urged the JLP leadership to consider her favourably arguing that she has an “ease of knowledge of the constituency; wide acceptance across constituency by community leadership and institutions” and has a willingness to build a winning team.

Last week, Omar Francis, a member of the Constituency Executive of North Eastern, St Catherine, in an emailed statement to the media, said the a “suitable prospective candidate for the next election,” has been identified, and will be recommended to the JLP leadership following a very short period of consultation with Party workers.

Francis' e-mail said that the prospective candidate had not sought to represent the constituency before now and is yet to submit a formal application to the JLP secretariat to represent the seat.

Francis has been responsible for the dissemination of press releases on behalf of Dr Christopher Tufton who is seeking the JLP’s nod to become the candidate in West Central St Catherine.

However, Francis, said that the person who has been identified is not Tufton or Hay Webster.

In 2011, the JLP's Gregory Mair won the North East St Catherine by 618 votes, way below the 959-vote margin he recorded in 2007.

PNP insiders feel that one-time MP Phyllis Mitchell can win it in the next election expected this year.