PNP 'fresh and ready' to run local gov't
PRESIDENT OF the People's National Party (PNP) Portia Simpson Miller has urged newly elected councillors to be faithful to the mission to which they have been called.
"We will be holding all councillors, all mayors and councillors (accountable). There must be accountability and they must operate in a responsible way," Simpson Miller, who is also the country's prime minister, said.
She was speaking Monday night at a victory rally at the PNP headquarters, Old Hope Road, St Andrew.
The PNP, based on preliminary results, swept the country in the local government elections. The party won all local authorities except for Trelawny, which was shared 4-4 with the Jamaica Labour Party.
Independent candidate and expelled JLP member Paul Patmore won the other division.
Of the 228 parish council seats, the PNP won 150, the JLP 75, two seats were won by independents and there was one tie.
Simpson Miller has urged the newly elected representatives to stay close to the people and to work hard to address the problems facing communities.
"Local government is critical to the development of Jamaica. Local government is critical to community renewal and community development," Simpson Miller said.
"If we can find the answer for the community, we will find the answer for the country. Strong communities will lead to strong parishes, and if we have strong parishes, what a strong Jamaica we will have," she added.
The local government win adds to the general election success of the PNP in December 2011, in which the party won 42 of 63 seats to return to power after a four-year absence.
The local government win also ended the party's nine-year drought, which started in 2003 when it lost all but the Westmoreland parish council.
"Dem think wi did done, but wi just a come," Simpson Miller quipped Monday night.
K.D. Knight, who organised St Elizabeth on behalf of the PNP, was equally ecstatic.
"A we run things now, central government, local government, on your behalf," Knight said.
He told Comrades that: "The work has just begun, but everybody from central government to local government feel fresh and ready."