OFF TO THE RACES!

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Christo­pher Serju Gleaner Writer christo­pher.serju@glean­erjm.com

Por­tia Simp­son Miller, pres­i­dent of the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party (PNP), shows her coun­cil­lors and prospec­tive lo­cal govern­ment elec­tion can­di­dates that she is fit and ready for the polls dur­ing a PNP na­tional can­di­date coun­cil­lors meet­ing held yes­ter­day at the Ja­maica Con­fer­ence Cen­tre in down­town Kingston.

Simp­son Miller ral­lies PNP lo­cal gov’t as­pi­rants for vic­tory

PEO­PLE’S NA­TIONAL Party (PNP) Pres­i­dent Por­tia Simp­son Miller has di­rected her can­di­dates con­test­ing the Novem­ber 28 lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions to “leave noth­ing to chance”.

Simp­son Miller, who is also the op­po­si­tion leader, was ad­dress­ing can­di­dates dur­ing a party meet­ing yes­ter­day at the Ja­maica Con­fer­ence Cen­tre in down­town Kingston.

“I want to re­mind you that you are to meet with your re­turn­ing of­fi­cer to en­sure that ev­ery­thing will be okay. Leave noth­ing to chance,” she de­clared, not­ing that nom­i­na­tion day, set for Fri­day, was only days away.

Simp­son Miller stressed the im­por­tance of ev­ery mem­ber of the PNP hi­er­ar­chy go­ing out into the field and con­nect­ing with vot­ers if the party, which con­trols all 13 parish coun­cils and the Port­more mu­nic­i­pal­ity, is to re­tain its stran­gle­hold on lo­cal govern­ment.

LEAD BY EX­AM­PLE

The party pres­i­dent also made it clear that she would con­tinue to lead by ex­am­ple.

“Com­rades, we have to go out there and vig­or­ously de­fend the stew­ard­ship of the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party in this elec­tion. We missed a grand op­por­tu­nity in the gen­eral elec­tion in Fe­bru­ary and we must make sure we speak to our achieve­ment on be­half of the Ja­maican peo­ple.

“For the lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions, they over­work me, but I will have to be out there and I am go­ing to be out there giv­ing sup­port to our lo­cal govern­ment can­di­dates. It is im­por­tant that we give them all the sup­port we can to en­sure that the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party will re­take this coun­try by way of the lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions. Let us put on our walk­ing shoes and in­ten­sify the walks. Let me say to all mem­bers of par­lia­ment, coun­cil­lors, and coun­cil­lor can­di­dates, I said it be­fore, I’m gonna re­peat it, if you do not get on the ground among the peo­ple, do not cry when you do not win.”

Re­gard­less of how safe their seats are, the party pres­i­dent in­sisted that coun­cil­lors and prospec­tive can­di­dates should take noth­ing for granted and, there­fore, con­tinue work to keep alive the party’s “track record of ac­com­plish­ments” since tak­ing over the reins of lo­cal govern­ment in April 2012.

Simp­son Miller is bank­ing on the PNP’s “en­vi­able track record in ad­vanc­ing the lo­cal govern­ment agenda” to help it buck this trend in the coun­try’s elec­toral his­tory.

“While it is usual for the po­lit­i­cal party which wins the gen­eral elec­tion to also take lo­cal govern­ment, we are go­ing to vig­or­ously de­fend all parish coun­cils. All PNP MPs, coun­cil­lors, and coun­cil­lor can­di­dates, cam­paign man­agers, clus­ter man­agers, polling di­vi­sion cap­tains, out­door agents, in­door agents, and run­ners must go out and tell the peo­ple about the work of the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party and its his­tory with lo­cal govern­ment,” said Simp­son Miller.

She re­it­er­ated the claim by cam­paign di­rec­tor Dr Peter Phillips that the Ja­maica Labour Party had not only failed to de­liver on its prom­ise of curb­ing crime but that this had risen to in­tol­er­a­ble lev­els since the party took power in Fe­bru­ary.

“The peo­ple have seen higher taxes, higher elec­tric­ity bills, higher food bills, higher gas prices, and higher crime rates, which now have af­fected our chil­dren in lev­els that must con­cern all of us. The PNP has al­ways been with the peo­ple and for the peo­ple. Our strong and com­mit­ted team will travel across Ja­maica speak­ing to the peo­ple about our track record in lo­cal govern­ment.”

RU­DOLPH BROWN/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

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