Archive for July, 2007

Daily Gleaner election news, Saturday July 28

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

28july2007frt.jpgNo mood to talk - Portia says JLP has failed to control supporters
Claiming the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has failed to control its supporters, People’s National Party (PNP) president Portia Simpson Miller has declared that she is no longer willing to have peace talks with the Opposition, unless those discussions are mediated by either the Church or the Political Ombudsman.

PNP’s Peart crashes Labourite party as bus ‘changes course’
A bus transporting Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters “changed course” suddenly on Highway 2000, in the vicinity of Old Harbour, just before midnight on Thursday, colliding with a Toyota Prado Land Cruiser, driven by Local Government Minister Dean Peart.

Bruce proposes to roll back PMs’ pension benefits
Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Bruce Golding vowed Thursday night to reverse a legislative decision which brought the pension of former prime ministers in line with the salary of the current head of government.

JLP demands answers to Solutrea affair
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), yesterday demanded that Cabinet break its silence on the Solutrea cellular licence affair.

Campaign in full gear
Both the People’s National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) had their election machinery travelling throughout the island over the past week.

Red Hills painted green and orange

Friday, July 27th, 2007


Photos by Jermaine Evans and Kerry-Ann Bercher: political graffiti in the constituency of North Central St. Andrew, along Red Hills Road.

The ‘Silly Season’ is most definitely upon us, now that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has set August 27 as Election Day. Political graffiti, daubed on public and private property, is increasing as the big day approaches. This week Gleaner Online chanced upon a glaring example in the constituency of North Central St. Andrew, along the busy Red Hills Road.

‘CASSIE TO THE END, ‘JLP SAMMO RULE CASSIE’ and ‘CASSIE NUH PRE NUH CHAT!’ are some of the slogans you will see spray painted on walls, homes, and businesses in support of the People’s National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) along the road. Flags and banners in the green of the JLP and the orange of the PNP are also being used to clearly define the ‘political turf’.

Such graffiti, besides being illegal also contravenes the Political Code of Conduct, which has been agreed to by both the main parties.


When contacted incumbent Member of Parliament, Karl Samuda expressed surprise that the Avenue bearing his name, had received enthusiastic amounts of green paint from supporters. Mr. Samuda - or ‘Sammo’ as he is referred to in the graffiti - said he would take steps to have it buffed out.

At the time of writing PNP caretaker Christopher Munroe could not be reached on the issue.

Separating the rival political zones is a bus stop, located a feet away from the Sunrise Supermarket, which provides a border marker. On and around the bus stop party signs were overwritten by supporters of the other party.

But with less than five weeks to go before the election, residents shrugged off the inconvenience of the graffiti. It was ‘politics as usual’.

Power 106 FM election news, Friday July 27

Friday, July 27th, 2007

powerlogo23.jpgClick here to listen to Power 106 FM online


PNP office defaced
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has taken steps to remove graffiti which was painted on the walls of the office of Fitz Jackson, Peoples’ National Party (PNP) candidate for the South St. Catherine constituency.

Mr. Jackson told Gleaner Power 106 News that when he visited the office this morning JLP slogans were painted over the walls of the building located on Newland Road near Naggo Head.

Mr. Jackson says he was assured by the JLP that the matter would be dealt with.

In addition Mr. Jackson says the PNP is not daunted by this morning’s incident.

JLP raises more concerns about Solutrea
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is raising more concerns about the controversial cellular company, Solutrea Jamaica Limited.

JLP spokesman on Telecommunication, Clive Mullings says Solutrea, formerly WIISCOM technologies had a poor record in Barbados.

According to Mr. Mullings, the company failed to pay over its licensing fee in Barbados.

He says it also failed to honour a sponsorship commitment in that country.

Solutrea, which was granted a license to operate in Jamaica on June 1, still owes money for its license.

As a result Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell has suspended the license.

Just over two weeks ago, the company wrote a personal cheque amounting to 15 million Barbadian dollars as part payment for the 510 million Jamaica dollar license.

But Mr. Mullings has raised concerns about the validity of the cheque, which is yet to be handed over to the Spectrum Management Authority by the technology minister.

Mr. Mullings also says he is disappointed that the principals of Solutrea have expressed reservation about any further payments, claiming they were uncertain what may happened if the JLP forms the next government.

EOJ on Election results

The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) is promising that voting results should be ready by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Director of Elections Danville Walker told journalists this morning that the results are to be transferred from counting centers islandwide to an election centre to be set up at the Towers in New Kingston.

Mr. Walker says he expects that counting of ballots in most polling stations will be completed just over an hour after the close of voting at 5 p.m.

Just over one point three million persons are eligible to cast their ballots in the August 27 general election at the more than six thousand polling stations islandwide.

Election day workers and members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) will go to the polls on August 21.

Daily Gleaner election news, Friday July 27

Friday, July 27th, 2007

previewe01p001v01.jpegWithout warning! - Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) lashes Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) for not advising customers of its hurricane recovery charge
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is demanding that the Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd. (JPS) provide a full explanation to its customers as to why they were not given prior notification of the company’s decision to apply the hurricane recovery charge to their July bills.

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) clarifies position on workweek for cops
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has reaffirmed its commitment to fully support a reduction of the working week to 40 hours for policemen and women, and says it will honour the existing agreement between the Police Federation and the Government for such a reduction.

‘Do not play politics with justice reform’
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer, is urging the two main political parties to treat the reform of the justice system as a national issue and not to politicise it.

‘We won’t sever ties with Venezuela’
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) general secretary Karl Samuda says the country would continue to promote cordial relations with the people of oil-rich South American nation, Venezuela, under a JLP government.

Montego Bay Chamber, politicians at odds
The last-minute postponement of yesterday’s St. James Electoral Forum has taken on a controversial overtone with conflicting reasons being advanced for the non-staging of the event.

GLEANER EDITORS’ FORUM - Cut interest rates, say business leaders
If there is one point of consensus among various business organisations in Jamaica, it is on the need to reduce the cost of loans to the productive sector. This was reiterated during a recent Gleaner Editors’ Forum at the newspaper’s North Street office in Kingston.

St Ann candidates sign political code
Candidates from the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in the parish of St. Ann have signed the Political Code of Conduct, reaffirming their commitment to a peaceful election campaign.

It was good and it was bad …
The People’s National Party (PNP) administration of 1972-1976 was a dynamic period in the history of Jamaica. These were crucial times to the development of Jamaica as a sovereign nation. Manley’s doctrine of democratic socialism changed the way the Government would regard the instance of leading a nation. It was, essentially, the first Jamaican political rhetoric to have ever been developed.

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) launches manifesto Monday
Speaking at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum on Wednesday, senior party members said the manifesto was ready and would be launched publicly at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on Monday afternoon.

Power 106 FM election news, Thursday July 26

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

powerlogo23.jpgClick here to listen to Power 106 FM online

PNP dispute JLP shooting claim
The People’s National Party (PNP) councillor/caretaker for the Lauriston Division in St. Catherine says she is surprised at the report that a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate was shot at in the community last night.

Keisha Lewis says the incident is frightening because East Central St. Catherine, the constituency in which the incident was reported to have happened, is usually peaceful.

PNP councillor/caretaker for the Lauriston Division, Keisha Lewis.

Leslie Campbell who is running for the JLP to be Member of Parliament for East Central St. Catherine says that at about 7:30 p.m., he was shot at near Tredegar Park Primary School.

Mr. Campbell who was doing house-to-house visits says he was returning to his car when the shots were fired.

Spanish Town Police say they have received a complaint on the matter.

Lamey latest
The Peoples National Party (PNP) says it will be carrying out consultations in the Mount Salem Division of St. James today after councillor/caretaker, Errol Lamey was forced to withdraw his representation.

Mr. Lamey, who is a contractor, was arrested by narcotics police on Monday and charged with possession of, dealing in and taking steps to export ganja.

The ganja weighing close to 60 pounds was reportedly found hidden in a cargo of lumber which was destined for the United Kingdom.

He is scheduled to appear in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrates court today.

PNP General Secretary Donald Buchanan says today’s consultations are geared towards ensuring that the Party’s work in the constituency will continue during Mr. Lamey’s absence.

Daily Gleaner election news, Thursday July 26

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

26jul2007frt1.jpgGleaner Editors’ Forum - Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to reform health - Promises to dismantle the Regional Health Authorities
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) will dismantle Regional Health Authorities (RHA) and reform the structure of the health service If it forms the next government, says JLP General Secretary Karl Samuda.

Opposition will put an end to corruption
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) plans to launch a full-scale assault against corruption, should it form the next government. The party’s general secretary, Karl Samuda, says a zero-tolerance approach against public sector delinquency will be part of its constitutional reform thrust.

Gleaner Editors’ Forum - No 40-hr work week under JLP
A Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) government would not support the institution of a 40-hour work week for the police if it forms the next government, party officials say.

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has winning ads
The opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) seems to be winning the advertising battle with the governing People’s National Party (PNP), a Gleaner-commissioned poll by Bill Johnson has found.

Hottest topics on the cocktail circuits
Political gossip … Some high-profile JLP supporters are currently out on the circuit voicing their displeasure at recent comments attributed to their former leader, Edward Seaga. Their contention is that Mr. Seaga’s recent comments, in which he publicly disagreed with his successor’s position on the need for fixed election dates, is being seen as interfering in the political campaign now under way, and in a manner benefits the PNP.

POLITICAL AD WATCH - From the horse’s mouth
The People’s National Party (PNP), which has been slow off the mark in its advertising campaign for the August 27 General Election, is beginning to have media presence on television, with their latest ad targeting Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader Bruce Golding.

Newsmaker: Bishop Herro Blair - Preaching political peace

Bishop Herro Blair can point to hundreds of lost souls he has helped save during his four decades as a clergyman. But even the 59-year-old preacher will admit that his tenure as Political Ombudsman has not been as successful.

People’s National Party (PNP) caretaker charged
Businessman Errol Lamey, the People’s National Party (PNP) caretaker/ councillor, who was detained in connection with a drug bust earlier this week, was yesterday slapped with drug charges and is to face the Half-Way Tree Criminal Court today.

Power 106 FM election news, Wednesday July 25

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

powerlogo23.jpgClick here to listen to Power 106 FM online

PNP President Portia Simpson Miller appeals for calm
St. Mary police are yet to arrest anyone in connection with a house which was set on fire in Farquharson Lane, Port Maria last night.

The house was set on fire while its occupants were attending a People’s National Party (PNP) rally in Central St. Mary.

PNP President Portia Simpson Miller meanwhile appealed for her supporters in central St. Mary to remain calm. According to Mrs. Simpson Miller, the incident was aimed at intimidating her supporters - who she said should not be deterred.

Sitting Member of Parliament Dr. Morias Guy will be challenging the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Lennon Richardson for the seat in the August 27 election. In the 2002 election, Dr. Guy polled 7,562 votes to the 4,728 received by the JLP’s Sutcliffe Haughton-James.

Questioning of PNP councillor continues
Narcotics investigators are yet to charge the PNP councillor/caretaker from St. James who was arrested on Monday in connection with a ganja find in the parish last month.

A source from the Narcotics police told the Gleaner Power 106 FM News that investigators are trying to determine whether other shipments are linked to the drug find.

Investigators are seeking other persons who may be linked to the case. Already they have sought the help of detectives from the United Kingdom to locate a Jamaican man whom they believe is connected to the find.

The PNP councillor/caretaker was reportedly picked up at a construction site in Montego Bay following a joint operation between St. James Police and the Kingston Narcotics Division. His name is currently being withheld by investigators.

It is reported that on June 13, a police team found 59 and a half pounds of compressed ganja hidden among assorted lumber in a container which was destined for London.

Minister hails Safe School Programme as successful
Education Minister Maxine Henry-Wilson is hailing the placement of school resource officers (SROs), in schools as a success.

Mrs. Henry-Wilson says based on information received, the resource officers have provided effective communication between schools and members of the security forces.

In addition Mrs. Henry-Wilson says while the presence of school resource officers has not prevented violent activities, in cases where they suspect violence among students the school authorities are informed.

The placement of Resource Officers in schools is part of the Safe Schools Programme, which was implemented almost three years ago following concerns about increasing violence among students.

Daily Gleaner election news, Wednesday July 25

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

25jul2007frt1.jpgRatings improve for parties
The favourability rating of candidates representing both the People’s National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has shown improvement, according to the latest Gleaner-commissioned poll.

Pollster Bill Johnson’s survey results, which has an error margin of plus or minus three per cent, found the rating for PNP candidates increased by eight percentage points between June and July. During the same period, the favourability rating of JLP candidates increased by six percentage points. However, only four points - one outside the error margin - separate the favourability rating of each party candidate in Johnson’s July poll findings.

Politics not going uptown
Billboards, posters, party paraphernalia, graffiti slogans and flags have become a feature of Jamaican politics over the years.

But have you ever noticed that these items are mostly seen in lower-income communities - those below Cross Roads? The Gleaner decided to take a tour of the more affluent communities in upper St. Andrew to see if the same situation existed.

People’s National Party councillor faces likely drug charges

The People’s National Party (PNP) councillor/caretaker who has been detained in connection with a major drug bust is likely to be charged in connection with the find.

Education the key issue, Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) tells politicians
The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) is demanding priority attention be given to education during the general election campaign.

Families in politics - As far back as the 1750s

In Jamaica’s parliamentary history, the first father and son to sit in the Legislature were Phillip Redwood, who was a member of the House of Assembly from 1756 to 1781, and his son Stephen, who served in the House from 1790 to 1803.

45 MILESTONES: 1995 - Nation loses Michael Manley

Former Prime Minister of Jamaica (1972 to 1980 and 1989 to 1992) and former president of the People’s National Party (1969 to 1992) Michael Manley died in his 73rd year at his home. He had been ailing with prostate cancer for some time and in the latter stage was confined to his bed. Members of his family and close friends - including former Prime Minister Hugh Shearer - visited him regularly, some playing bridge with him.

Parliament to be dissolved

Governor-General Professor Kenneth Hall issued a proclamation dissolving Parliament today, bringing an end to the tenure of the 60 Members of Parliament and 21 Senators.

Power 106 FM election news, Tuesday July 24

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

powerlogo23.jpgClick here to listen to Power 106 FM online

PNP Councillor under questioning
Narcotics investigators are seeking the help of Scotland Yard detectives to locate a Jamaican man who they believe is linked to a ganja find in St. James last month.

A People’s National Party (PNP) councillor from the parish who was arrested yesterday in connection with the find is still being questioned by detectives.

He was reportedly picked up at a construction site in Montego Bay.

The politician whose name is being withheld by investigators was escorted by narcotic detectives to Kingston from Montego Bay last evening.

Its reported that police personnel intercepted a 24-foot container with assorted lumber in Montego Bay on June 13.

The cargo which was destined for London contained 59 and a half pounds of compressed ganja hidden among the lumber.

Investigators believe the shipment was one of several from Jamaica to the UK.

Meanwhile PNP General Secretary Donald Buchanan says the party will withhold comment pending the outcome of the police investigation.

Daily Gleaner election coverage, Tuesday July 24

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

24july2007frt.jpgJamaicans support one-week campaign break - poll
The public has resoundingly approved the announcement by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller that political campaigning should take a one-week break during the celebration of Emancipation Day and Independence Day on August 1 and 6 respectively.

A Gleaner-commissioned Bill Johnson poll, conducted among 1,008 persons islandwide a week after the announcement, found that 74 per cent of respondents believed the idea was a good one. A mere 17 per cent said it was not, while nine per cent offered no view. The poll has an error margin of plus or minus three per cent.

Golding raps Government for declining agri sector in Jamaica
Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Bruce Golding, shifted the political debate on Sunday to the agricultural sector, decrying what he said was a dramatic decline in agricultural output over the last 10 years. He was addressing thousands of supporters in the strong farming community of Spaldings Clarendon.

WOMEN IN POLITICS - Paving the way to Parliament
The first woman to be elected to a Municipal Council was Mary Morrison Knibb. She won a seat on the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation Council in 1939 through the support of and campaigning of a group of some of the most formidable women in Jamaica.

It was a historic first. The men who fought against her election were flabbergasted; the women celebrated. One man even said he would prefer if women remained at what they were good at - managing households and rearing babies.

ST ELIZABETH NORTH WESTERN - Community development must accompany new MP
Bad roads, water, unemployment and community development are the main issues of concern residents of North West St. Elizabeth want the next Member of Parliament to focus on in their constituency.

People’s National Party (PNP) councillor held in drug find

There is trouble brewing for the People’s National Party (PNP), as one of its councillors was taken into custody by narcotics police yesterday in connection with a major drug bust.

The candidate, whose name is being withheld pending the outcome of an investigation, is said to be a PNP councillor/caretaker from western Jamaica.