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I’m going nowhere - Mandeville mayor plans to retain seat after local gov’t elections

Published:Wednesday | October 14, 2020 | 12:06 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Back from home quarantine following his COVID positive test in September, mayor of Mandeville and Peoples National Party (PNP) councillor for the Royal Flat Division, Donovan Mitchell, as his first point of order at the Manchester Municipal Corporation (MMC) meeting on Thursday, declared his plans to return to his seat post-local government elections.

Mitchell sought to quickly dispel the localised rumours that he had intentions of crossing the floor and resigning as mayor after the PNP suffered a shattering defeat in the general election.

“I want to assure you all that Donovan Mitchell is not going anywhere. I intend to work hard with all of my councillors, but also to keep my friends on the right hand side and increase the majority on the right hand side.”

The MMC, that at one point had a 13:2 ratio in favour of the PNP, is now experiencing a 8:7 ratio after councillor of the John’s Hall Division Faith Sampson Nickel crossed the floor earlier this year and became a member of the Jamaica Labour Party.

Things could change drastically for the MMC if the local government elections mirror the results of the general election.

The PNP held three of the four constituencies in the parish for years, but the script flipped in 2020 and now only one constituency remains loyal to the party.

One of the biggest defeats for the PNP was in the Manchester Central constituency, where former MP Peter Bunting was unseated by newcomer Rhoda Crawford.

Areas such as Bellefield and Royal Flat that bore strong allegiance to the PNP, changed their allegiance. However, Mitchell is confident that he will retain his seat in the Royal Flat division.

“We have all worked hard and I wish everyone the best. I don’t know when elections will be called, but I am just saying to the nation and to the parish that we have done well.” Mitchell said.