PNP, JLP ready to battle for KSAC - Parties express confidence ahead of nomination exercise
The country's two main political parties, the People's National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), say that they are ready for today's nomination activities.
Today also marks the official start of their campaigning period and they are expressing confidence that they will reap success at the polls with the prized trophy being the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC).
Sitting mayor, the PNP's Angela Brown Burke, yesterday told The Gleaner that all plans were in place and that the party would be nominating 40 candidates, 44 per cent of whom are said to be women.
"The candidates, along with their team, have met and ironed out their nomination plans. Some of them are going to come together and do a little celebration at the constituency level," she disclosed.
Brown Burke argues that based on the quality of candidates that will be nominated and the work that they have done leading up to today, she expects that the PNP will retain the KSAC.
She said the candidates on the PNP's tickets would bring bold and innovative advocacy, which, she argued, is required, "so that the people of Kingston and St Andrew can enjoy an improved standard of living.
"I hear some people say they are bringing prosperity, and I know some people today who are suffering more and are far worse off than last year," she said, taking a jab at the JLP campaign theme of the general election.
As for the JLP, Winston Ennis, leader of the minority caucus in the KSAC and chairman for the party's Area Council One, said 40 candidates would be nominated today to run on the party's tickets. Ennis said, like the PNP, 44 per cent of those seeking to be elected are females.
RETURNED TO THE JLP
He told The Gleaner that he was confident that the KSAC would be returned to the JLP come election day, having lost it in 2012.
He argued that the party has done enough political work to secure the victory.
"Of the 40 divisions, we are in a position to take around 25 of them. In the general election, we have won 21 of the divisions, however, we are in the field doing our work and our information is showing that we are maintaining our 21, and there are four up for grabs, and we are going after them," Ennis said.
Nomination centres across the Kingston and St Andrew Metropolitan Area will be opened at 10 a.m.
In the meantime, Brown Burke disclosed to The Gleaner that there are six councillors who will not be seeking re-election in the KSAC.
Among those not seeking re-election are Carl Little, who represented the Mona division in Eastern St Andrew; Desmond Bailey, from the Allman Town division in Central Kingston; Kevin Taylor, from the Duhaney Park division in St Andrew Western; and Trevor Bernard, from the Maxfield Park division in St Andrew East Central.
It was gleaned from Ennis that the JLP has decided against having a mass rally at Jamaica College on Sunday, instead opting to do a bus tour in the Corporate Area, commencing in West Kingston, one of the party's stronghold.