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New Charles, same treatment, Ferguson promises

Published:Wednesday | August 19, 2020 | 12:27 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer

The 2020 general election will be Dr Fenton Ferguson’s last.

Ferguson said that he will dedicate what he believes will be his seventh and final term as member of parliament for St Thomas Eastern to completing the work he has started in the parish over 27 years ago. But he has one more assignment: beating a third in a dynasty of Charleses at the polls.

The disclosure was made following his nomination at the National Heritage Trust building in Morant Bay, St Thomas, on Tuesday.

Ferguson, who shared that he is also grooming his potential successors, said that he wants to see the completion of the long-touted Southern Coastal Highway and the Rudolph Elder Park. He also wants a St Thomas version of Kingston’s Emancipation Park.

Land reform is also top of mind.

“I also look forward to taking on some issues that I’ve started as it relates to land for the landless, especially in this post-sugar industry period when much of the lands are now available and I’ve been fighting for the small farmers as it relates to agriculture and for residents as it relates to lands owned by SCJ Holdings,” Ferguson told The Gleaner.

Responding to his challenger, Dr Michelle Charles’, vows to oust him, Ferguson said that he would defeat her as he did her father.

“I dethroned her father and he was considered a giant at the time. However, I don’t underestimate my opponent. I believe that whether you are a giant or otherwise, I treat them the same way,” Ferguson said.

Despite Ferguson’s victory over her father and then her sister, Dr Patrece Charles-Freeman, when he polled 8,018 votes to her 7,545 in 2012, the JLP candidate is confident that this is the Charles that will uproot the PNP kingpin.

Michelle Charles said that there has been “27 years of darkness under Fenton Ferguson”, affirming that it was her time to shine.

“... We are fed up of Fenton, we tired of him foolishness, and we ready to vote him out,” she told The Gleaner.

“This is an end of his era. ... Seven is my lucky number and he’s not getting it.”

Sharing that her sister, Patrece, had to leave the parish because of other professional demands, Michelle, who initially met with opposition by JLP delegates, pledged that she was there to stay – win or lose.