Vaz ‘100 per cent’ confident of victory
The Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Portland Eastern incumbent Ann-Marie Vaz is “100 per cent confident” that she will retain the seat in her first general election.
Following her nomination yesterday, the candidate declared that her work can be seen from Hector’s River to Snow Hill and she is focused on ensuring that the prosperity and the progress that have been felt by the constituents continue.
“The last 15 months have been one of the most fruitful and productive time of my life. One of my greatest achievements since becoming member of parliament on April 14, 2019 is the sense of hope that has been restored in the minds and hearts of the people, my people here in East Portland,” Vaz said.
Subsequent to the death of Lynvale Bloomfield, Vaz won the April 2019 by-election against the PNP’s Damion Crawford by 319 votes, breaking the 30-year PNP dominance over the seat.
Since Independence in 1962, there have been 12 contested parliamentary elections. The PNP has won the Portland East seat 10 times while the JLP took home Portland East in 1962 and 1980.
In 1983, the PNP did not contest the parliamentary election, which saw Gerald Tucker of the JLP being elected unopposed.
“The people of East Portland have seen that for 32 years, beautiful speaking did not get them good roads or water or opportunities to make their dreams come true,” Vaz said.
She will be contesting first time PNP candidate, Purcell Jackson.
Vaz explained that campaigning amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely difficult, but she has been doing so in small groups and in alignment with COVID protocols.
“Election is a vibe and it (COVID) has severely hampered me, especially with my style of campaigning. People come up to me not to ask for anything – they just want a hug and a little word of encouragement,” she said.
IMPACT OF PANDEMIC
She added that the pandemic has also slowed the process of projects that were planned for the constituency, such as free Wi-Fi for the town of Port Antonio.
The candidate said she is least concerned about the vote margin and will hit the ground running once she wins the seat.
As Vaz revs up her election campaign machinery to do battle on September 3, supporters were high on confidence that she will be victorious.
“I am a Labourite from the womb to di tomb,” said 88-year-old Hermeny Byfield, who sported an embroidered hat which read ‘Action Ann’.
Hazel Chung told The Gleaner that Vaz is poised for victory.
“Miss Ann muss win! And she a win whole heap too,” shouted an animated Chung.