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Rosemarie Shaw disappointed, not ready to quit

Published:Wednesday | March 28, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

ROSEMARIE SHAW has said she is in no rush to call curtains on her political career.

The well-decorated political figure was on Monday defeated by Rohan Bryan of the People's National Party (PNP) as she attempted a major political comeback.

Bryan polled 2,236 votes to Shaw's 1,728 in helping the PNP regain the St Thomas Parish Council.

The PNP won seven divisions, while the JLP got three in the 10-seat council.

"The people made a choice and that is it. I thought that my record of performance over the years would have made the difference, but it just did not happen," Shaw told The Gleaner.

Shaw said she has accepted the people's verdict even as she calls attention to what she said is a serious threat to democracy on the island.

"We already have a leadership crisis and good people are not going to want to go into the politics," she said, arguing that potential voters are seeking to profit from their votes.

"Over my 30 years, it has changed dramatically. First time, a Labourite would come out and vote without asking for money. Now, it's different. I am not saying it is everybody, but it is the majority," she said.

A political flip-flopper, Shaw had unsuccessfully challenged James Robertson for the Western St Thomas seat on the PNP ticket in the 2007 general election.

She was Morant Bay's first female mayor. But she suffered the indignity of being ousted from the position by a two-thirds majority on a no-confidence motion in 1995.

Shaw resigned from the JLP that year, after a public falling-out with then party leader Edward Seaga. After joining the PNP and running on its ticket in in 2007, she left in 2008 following Portia Simpson Miller's victory over Dr Peter Phillips in the PNP's presidential election.

When Shaw did not contest the December 2007 local government elections, it was the first time in 26 years that she was absent from the St Thomas Parish Council.

Answering the people's call

She had told The Gleaner that she only returned to the political arena because she was called by the people.

Following her latest defeat, Shaw said, "There are disappointments in life." She recalled the biblical story of Christ triumphal entry into Jerusalem,

"Palm Sunday comes before the crucifixion," she said, an obvious reference to her political career.

She, however, said the defeat may not be because the people no longer believe in her ability to lead.

"I was using my good judgement to think that people would have been very sensible. But look at the national picture, if the situation was in the reverse and I lost then that could be said," Shaw argued.

Among the major casualties in St Thomas was the JLP's Hanif Brown, the mayor of Morant Bay, who lost the White Horse division. He was beaten by Kevin Williams of the PNP. Brown polled 1,067 votes to Williams' 1,433.