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Yallahs councillor facing heat from fellow Labourites

Published:Thursday | September 10, 2020 | 12:12 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer

Despite the passing of the general election, the political atmosphere remains charged in St Thomas with Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) delegates voicing their dissatisfaction with the councillor for the Yallahs division, John Lee.

Scores of placard-bearing Labourites gathered in the Yallahs Square on Tuesday to protest what they refer to as the lack of progress in the division under the guidance of the current councillor.

They are calling for Lee to resign and for the return of Dean Jones, who was disqualified as the Yallahs councillor after Justice Bryan Sykes found that he was a civil servant at the time of the November 2016 local government elections in which he defeated the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Constantine Bogle.

Jones later resigned as the chairman of the division after which Lee was brought in on the JLP ticket to contest the seat, which he won.

“I was a part of Dean Jones’ team along with John Lee when Jones was the councillor. Both of us used to assist him,” said David Ramocan, who was among the protesters. “Now since John Lee became the councillor, he has ignored everything that was said. What he has done is to complete projects that were started by Dean Jones and claim that he’s done things for the division. This is not true. I live so close to him and I am yet to see what he has done in this division.”

Ramocan said that the JLP delegates will not vote for Lee in the next local government elections, which are due by the end of November.

The angry protesters shared that in addition to the stagnation of the division under Lee, the sitting councillor has been unreachable to his electors.

According to one, “All now the Yallahs Market lock up and the people dem selling on the sidewalk. The man fi go weh, man. Bring back Dean Jones. From the man win, we nuh see dem man deh. Him just drive through. Me deh here suh every day and not seeing him.”

And Ramocan added: “He’s not working and I’d like you to even call him, but you’re not going to get him on his phone because when you call his number, he doesn’t answer. So even if you try to call him to find out what he has done, you’re not going to get him, but you could try.”

Lee couldn’t be reached for comment as calls to his phone went unanswered.