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PM: Do not balance the power

Published:Tuesday | March 20, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Simpson Miller


THE PEOPLE of East Portland have been cautioned not to re-elect the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to local government office, amid the party's plea for balance of political power.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, while addressing party supporters at Manchioneal square in East Portland last Wednesday, said the previous administration ran the parish council as a department out of the office of the prime minister, which basically left elected councillors powerless to adequately conduct and carry out the people's business.

Simpson Miller said the JLP did nothing to aid the process of local government reform, noting that it dropped the ball.

Serious matter

She pointed out that she has given back local government a full minister and a minister of state, adding that local government is a serious matter.

The prime minister's visit to Manchioneal was to drum up support for PNP candidate for that division Elaine Osbourne, who is seeking to unseat the incumbent, Alston Hunter of JLP, who is also a former mayor.

In a brief address, Simpson Miller pointed out that PNP's Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) underwent heavy criticism from the JLP.

She said that JEEP not only has a brand new engine, but it also has a brand new spare engine. She added that every member of parliament received letters and allocation to submit their programme for JEEP.

According to the prime minister, local government is critical, and for any real community development to take place, the country must have the local authority as the councillors are critical to the process in that they are closer to the people on the ground in the various divisions.