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All about strategy

Published:Monday | September 30, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Andrew Holness

Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter

JAMAICA LABOUR Party (JLP) leader Andrew Holness last evening stridently defended his stewardship at the helm of the party.

Noting that he has been nothing but a good leader, Holness said those criticising him of being a laissez-faire leader were always privy to his plans for the party.

The party leader told a gathering at yesterday's JLP Area Council One meeting that he had outlined a clear strategy for the 70-year-old political movement to take back the Government after its massive defeat at the polls in 2011.

He said he refused to engage in what he described as the "rae-rae politics" and decided to work on the party's fundamental issues.

"I took a different strategy as leader of the party, instead of making a whole heap a noise, we took the time, and we organised," he said.

Holness said this was an attempt to appeal to the independent members of the electorate.

Appealing to the JLP delegates, Holness implored them to question, between him and his challenger, Audley Shaw, who would be better at attracting that section of the population that usually stays away from the polls.

"Ask yourselves who would be best at getting the uncommitted votes in this country. If you really want to win, then you need to ask yourselves who really can bring uncommitted voters to the Jamaica Labour Party ... who really represents the transformation that the entire Jamaica is looking for," Holness noted.

Meanwhile, speaking at the meeting at the Girl's Guide Headquarters in Kingston, JLP treasurer Karl Samuda said he broke ranks as an executive member of the party to attend the area council meeting to endorse Holness.

best candidate

Samuda said he was compelled to do this, as he believes that Holness is the best candidate to lead the party at this time.

Dismissing criticisms that Holness does not have 'win-ability', he noted that history has proven that Holness has what it takes to stave off any challenge, and he was shocked by news of a leadership race.

"When I heard the rumours that there were thoughts to contesting the leader, challenging the leader, I said 'this cannot be true' because collectively at the leadership of the party, at the level of the shadow Cabinet, we ah agreed on a strategy going forward," he said.

Samuda said the current challenge has derailed this strategy, which was to accelerate the party's attack on the People's National Party when they were at their weakest.