PNP Region Two chairman says Ferguson has done enough to get sixth term
Dr Morais Guy, the chairman for the People's National Party (PNP's) Region Two says the embattled East St Thomas MP Dr Fenton Ferguson has done enough for his East St Thomas constituency and the parish to be re-elected to serve a sixth term.
The PNP's Region Two covers the parishes of St Thomas, Portland and St Mary.
At a PNP mass meeting in Morant Bay Square, St Thomas Sunday, Guy, the MP for Central St Mary, pointed to road repairs, sugar barracks housing and health care development, which he said were championed by Ferguson.
Ferguson, who is to be challenged by the Jamaica Labour Party's Delano Seiveright, arrived at the mass meeting to the music of Sister Scully's 'Hurry Up'.
The MP told Comrades that he is ready for the election and that he is not a "fly by night man".
Arguing that all politics is local, Ferguson said he came to St Thomas 37 years ago and toiled in the field of health for 11 years as the lone dental surgeon in the parish.
His opponent has no ties to St Thomas.
Ferguson also said he has committed himself to education, arguing that in addition to building schools, the number of professionals such as lawyers and doctors in the parish has grown under his watch.
"When I hear this little man start to talk it pull me out ... But I am not getting into gutter politics," the MP said referring to Seiveright.
However, Ferguson acknowledged that there are some challenges with infrastructure primarily because of maintenance inconsistencies.
"We have a poor maintenance culture," he said, while announcing that several roadways are going to be repaired.
Ferguson's national profile has taken a battering since it was revealed last month that 19 babies died after being infected with the bacteria Klebsiella and Serratia at the University Hospital of the West Indies and the Cornwall Regional Hospital.
The issue was compounded by claims that Ferguson was not truthful about when he became aware about the infections.
It also reignited concerns over Ferguson's handling of the chikungunya virus, a mosquito-borne disease.
The dental surgeon has since been shuffled out of the Health Ministry to the Labour and Social Security Ministry by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.
Earlier today, Seiveright was seen leaving the constituency, stopping in Yallahs, Western St Thomas to great PNP supporters.
Guy said that Seiveright, by leaving the parish, was running because the heat in "the kitchen" was too hot.
"You have sent the signal to 'Chattyboo' that the time for running up and down is over," Cardinal Beckford, a PNP organiser said.
First elected in 1993 when he beat Pearnel Charles and ended the JLP's 45-year dominance in the constituency, Ferguson got home by 473 votes, less than half the 938-vote margin he had in 2007.
"We want nobody to come and draw sheet in the bed that the People's National Party, through Portia Simpson Miller has made up," Jennifer Edwards, President of the PNP's Women's Movement said.
VOTING IN EASTERN ST THOMAS SINCE 1993
(Voters’ List: 17,855)
(Voters’ List: 19,995
(Voters’ List: 22,295)
(Voters’ List: 23,661)
(Voters' List: 28,364)