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'My leader must be capable'

Published:Wednesday | March 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THEY HAD walked in West St Thomas, side by side like sisters, urging voters not to change course.

Rosemarie Shaw was the candidate and Portia Simpson Miller, prime minister and president of the People's National Party (PNP).

But like other people in the PNP, Shaw, who had switched from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), had little confidence in Simpson Miller's ability to lead.

She supported Dr Peter Phillips' bid to replace Simpson Miller as PNP president and, when that failed, she left the party.

"I am a leader-centred person and every party that I join it is always the case. Nobody can choose a leader for me. I will have to be sure that that leader has the capacity and the capability to run this country," she told The Gleaner yesterday.

Now back in the JLP, Shaw says she has not yet done an assessment of the party. She, however, has no doubt about the competence of the party leader.

"I think that Andrew Holness is a young person and I think that he will do well. He has a grasp of the issues and I would rate him any time over Portia Simpson Miller, and it's not hard. I have nothing personal against her; I think she is a wonderful woman. It's just the capacity to manage in this global recession," Shaw said.

Shaw was Morant Bay's first and, so far, only female mayor. She, however, suffered the indignity of being ousted from the position by a two-thirds majority on a no-confidence motion in 1995.

She resigned from the JLP that year, after a public falling out with then party leader Edward Seaga.