... JLP very con­fi­dent, PNP look­ing un­set­tled

Jamaica Gleaner - - WESTERN FOCUS - Adrian Frater News Ed­i­tor

WESTERN BU­REAU: WITH THE rum­blings on the ground sug­gest­ing that lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions are im­mi­nent, the five parishes in the county of Corn­wall are poised to fall squarely in the crosshairs of both the gov­ern­ing Ja­maica Labour Party (JLP) and the op­po­si­tion Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party (JLP) as they in­ten­sify their prepa­ra­tions.

At present, the PNP is the dom­i­nant party in the re­gion, hav­ing won four of the five parish coun­cils – West­more­land (14-0), St El­iz­a­beth (9-6), Hanover (6-1), and St James (13-4); and ty­ing the other – Sup­port­ers of the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party and the Ja­maica Labour Party in a show of unity out­side a polling sta­tion in Mount Salem, St James, in this 2007 file photo.

Trelawny (4-4). One seat in South Trelawny, the Lorimers di­vi­sion, went to busi­ness­man Paul Pat­more, who ran as an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date.

Sub­se­quent to the elec­tions, the Trelawny Parish Coun­cil also went over to the PNP as Lloyd Gillings, who won the Al­bert Town di­vi­sion on the JLP’s ticket, crossed the floor, giv­ing the PNP a clean sweep of all the parish coun­cils across the is­land.

How­ever, buoyed by the JLP’s suc­cess in the Fe­bru­ary 25, 2016 gen­eral elec­tion, which saw the party wrest­ing away St El­iz­a­beth (3-1), St James (4-1); and ty­ing Trelawny and Hanover (1-1), Se­na­tor Charles Sin­clair, the chair­man of the JLP’s Area Coun­cil Four, is con­fi­dent of much suc­cess, even in West­more­land, where his party was swept 14-0.

“We are very con­fi­dent ... . Our can­di­dates are in place and we are mak­ing sure that they are in a state of readi­ness to serve,” said Sin­clair, “Based on the feed­back we are get­ting, I be­lieve you are go­ing to see some sur­prises – even in some ar­eas where peo­ple would not ex­pect us to do well.

“If I could take a term from the PNP, what we are look­ing at is creat­ing a ‘join-up Gov­ern­ment’, where we have con­trol of both cen­tral gov­ern­ment and lo­cal gov­ern­ment,” added Sin­clair.

While the JLP is bub­bling with con­fi­dence, it would ap­pear that the PNP is be­ing un­der­mined by dis­sen­sion within its ranks, es­pe­cially in Hanover, where some prom­i­nent young Com­rades are un­com­fort­able with the

lead­er­ship style of the party’s Re­gion Six Chair­man Ian Hayles.

“Ian is out of touch with the re­al­ity on the ground and many peo­ple see him as a fail­ure,” said busi­ness­man Craig Oates, the eastern Hanover rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the PNP’s Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil. “Some of the young peo­ple are un­happy and are break­ing away as in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates.”

RUN­NING AS IN­DE­PEN­DENT

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