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JLP must address poor image among supporters - political analysts

Published:Sunday | November 3, 2013 | 12:47 PM

Two political commentators say the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) must urgently address the negative perception surrounding whose interest it represents if it intends to maintain relevance with grass-root supporters and win the next general election.

Reacting to The Sunday Gleaner's report on the contents of a JLP-commissioned probe into the reasons for its loss at the 2011 polls, political commentator Kevin Obrien Chang has said arrogance among party officials was instrumental in its trouncing by the People's National Party in 2011.

The JLP report said many of its candidates and officials had lost touch with the grass-roots; had become increasingly managerial and represented less of the class of organised labour and had instead become fronted by the "brown man".

Richard Crawford, similarly criticised the JLP for its arrogance, but says the current leadership election presents an opportunity to deal with the problems presented in the report.

Meanwhile, Crawford says the timing of the report is likely to impact next Sunday's leadership election between incumbent leader Andrew Holness and deputy leader, Audley Shaw.

The report blames Holness' "soft" approach, in part, for the party's demise, noting that he was gullible and easily manipulated by persons within the party who were not necessarily considered by many to be trustworthy.

Some of those criticisms have been central to Shaw's campaign for leadership against Holness.

Chang, while noting that the timing of the report is strange, says there is nothing new in the report that should affect Holness or give Shaw an advantage.


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