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Holness to ‘call it’ Wednesday


sherieholder, [email protected]

Holness to ‘call it’ Wednesday

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IT NOW appears certain that Prime Minister Andrew Holness will announce the date for the country’s next general election at a mass meeting in Mandeville, Manchester, on Wednesday.
Thousands of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters from across the island have been summoned to the central Jamaica parish for the meeting which is slated to begin late in the afternoon.
“This could be as big as conference. We are going all out for this one,” a senior JLP member told The Sunday Gleaner, even as he refused to confirm or deny that Holness will announce the election date come Wednesday.
“What I will tell you is that, this is a meeting that you can’t miss because Labourite ready fi the next term,” added the JLP insider who argued that the party decided to stage its meeting in Mandeville because it believes it can take three if not all four constituencies in Manchester.
In particular, the JLP is targeting Central Manchester where former commissioner of customs, Danville Walker, will be trying to unseat one-term member of parliament and General Secretary of the People’s National Party (PNP) Peter Bunting.
The JLP has also set its sight on South Manchester where the 28-year-old Collin Virgo is challenging the veteran Michael Peart, while it expects to easily retain the North East Manchester held by Audley Shaw.
Holness had used the party’s annual conference one week ago to signal that he was close to announcing that date for the general election, which he made clear would be held before the end of this year.
With his supporters hanging on to his every word, Holness declared that he would not announce the date on the conference stage despite repeated requests to “call it, Andrew, call it”.
“You are now on your marks, the next time you see me at a mass meeting it will be get set … . And yuh notice I start to get fit like Usain Bolt, because it is going to be a sprint to the finish line,” Holness told his supporters.
“I am not keeping too much suspense on the election … . I don’t want anybody to say that we caught them by surprise,” Holness said in a clear message to his political opponents.
In the meantime, today’s scheduled meeting of the JLP’s Central Executive Committee has been cancelled.
The party’s central executive usually meets on the first Sunday after its annual conference for the election of officers including chairman, general secretary, and treasurer.
“We don’t have time for that now. The party is busy planning for the 40-odd seats that we going to win,” said another JLP insider.
“The secretariat and officers will have to see us through this victory, then after we win, anybody who wants to challenge for positions can do so,” the JLP source said in response to reports that Robert Montague will be taking on Mike Henry for the post of chairman whenever the elections are held.
 

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