JLP-PNP sour re­la­tion­ship threat­ens work in Rae Town

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOCIAL - Jo­van John­son Staff Re­porter jo­van.john­son@glean­erjm.com syranno.baine@glean­erjm.com

SHE HAS not yet been sworn in to do the peo­ple’s work, but al­ready, res­i­dents of the Rae Town di­vi­sion in Kingston are be­ing told by their Ja­maica Labour Party (JLP) coun­cil­lor-des­ig­nate, Ros­alie Hamil­ton, that she will not “mend” her re­la­tion­ship with Ron­ald Th­waites, the mem­ber of par­lia­ment for Kingston Cen­tral.

Rae Town falls in the con­stituency.

Hamil­ton, who ap­pears to have thrown out the charge by JLP Leader An­drew Hol­ness to work for the ben­e­fit of res­i­dents, made her dec­la­ra­tion af­ter she was con­firmed the win­ner of the di­vi­sion yes­ter­day, en­sur­ing the JLP’s con­trol of the Kingston and St An­drew Cor­po­ra­tion (KSAC).

“Me and him (Th­waites) don’t have a good re­la­tion­ship, and I don’t plan to mend the re­la­tion­ship ei­ther. I know that I will have to work in­de­pen­dently. He hardly recog­nises peo­ple for the po­si­tion they have, es­pe­cially if they are not po­lit­i­cally like­minded.”

UN­CLEAR EX­PLA­NA­TION

Hamil­ton did not ex­plain what caused the rea­son for their ‘poor’ re­la­tion­ship.

“Ms Hamil­ton hasn’t been in po­lit­i­cal life for sev­eral years, and so I haven’t had the op­por­tu­nity to see her. When she was in of­fice, I treated her with re­spect,” said Th­waites, a Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party (PNP) rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

“That’s un­true,” Th­waites added when ques­tioned about her claim that he treats peo­ple dif­fer­ently based on their po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tions.

He de­clined to com­ment on the claims of par­ti­san treat­ment, say­ing only that Hamil­ton can Ros­alie Hamil­ton (cen­tre), coun­cil­lor-des­ig­nate for the Rae Town di­vi­sion in Cen­tral Kingston, is con­grat­u­lated by sup­port­ers on Gold Street af­ter yes­ter­day’s of­fi­cial count showed her win­ning the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tion.

ex­plain the is­sues she has faced with him.

From Hamil­ton’s own ad­mis­sion of how Rae Town’s is­sues could be ad­dressed, the two may have to in­ter­act closely.

“The di­vi­sion needs good rep­re­sen­ta­tion. It needs a lot of de­vel­op­ment. Most of the things that the di­vi­sion needs are cen­tral­go­v­ern­ment-based. We will just have to con­tinue to ask for help from the MP and the Gov­ern­ment,” said the in­com­ing coun­cil­lor, who pre­vi­ously served for two terms up to 2012 when she lost.

Fol­low­ing Mon­day’s elec­tions, Hamil­ton ended with 1,870 votes to 1,846 for Shawn McGre­gor, who was hop­ing to re­tain the di­vi­sion for the PNP. Ann Marie Mor­ri­son, who de­feated Hamil­ton

in the 2012 polls, did not seek re­elec­tion.

The pre­lim­i­nary re­sults gave the JLP a 21-19 con­trol of the cor­po­ra­tion that was not cer­tain un­til the fi­nal count of the di­vi­sion, which ended yes­ter­day. The seat count re­mains the same, with Hamil­ton pick­ing up six more votes to beat McGre­gor by 21 and re­turn to the KSAC.

If she had lost, the cor­po­ra­tion would have been tied at 20-20 and the mayor elected based on the pop­u­lar vote, which the JLP won.

“It’s the hard­est elec­tion I’ve ever seen,” she told The Gleaner. “What I ex­pected from this elec­tion is the peo­ple’s true feel­ings of lo­cal gov­er­nance and what it rep­re­sents. My cam­paign was based around ed­u­cat­ing the peo­ple about the role of a coun­cil­lor. Go­ing around, talk­ing

to the peo­ple, I re­alised they don’t un­der­stand the role of a coun­cil­lor from the role of a mem­ber of par­lia­ment.”

She added: “I didn’t ex­pect an elec­tion that would be so tribal and force­ful be­cause I re­ally thought we had passed that stage. If I had known that the pol­i­tics was still tribal, I would have treated it dif­fer­ently.” FLY JA­MAICA Air­lines (FJA) ex­pects to be back on sched­ule to­day af­ter Tues­day’s in­ci­dent which left its sta­tion­ary Boe­ing 767-300 air­craft dam­aged at the Cheddi Ja­gan In­ter­na­tional Air­port (CJIA) in Guyana.

Kayla Reece, in­terim di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing at FJA, in re­spond­ing to The Gleaner reaf­firmed that the ves­sel was “parked in an as­signed po­si­tion within the apron at CJIA” when an aero­plane be­long­ing to Caribbean Air­lines hit its tail cone, knock­ing it off.

FJA cur­rently owns and op­er­ates two air­craft.

The sec­ond ves­sel is a Boe­ing 757-200, which is air­wor­thy and is be­ing op­er­ated on the nec­es­sary routes in the in­terim, Reece con­firmed.

Pas­sen­gers af­fected by the in­ci­dent have all been reac­com­mo­dated.

As it re­lates to the ex­tent of the dam­age, Reece stated: “A Boe­ing air­craft on-the-ground team will be ar­riv­ing at CJIA to­day (yes­ter­day) to do a sur­vey of the dam­age.”

She fur­ther added: “Any up­dated flight sched­ules will be pub­lished on www.fly­ja­maica.com.”

The ex­pected length of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mat­ter has not been made known.

NOR­MAN GRINDLEY/CHIEF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

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