Wed | Aug 17, 2022

‘Westmoreland still remains PNP territory’

Opposition party makes bold claim at Frome conference despite bruising election loss

Published:Saturday | July 2, 2022 | 12:07 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Julian Robinson, former general secretary of the opposition People’s National Party addressing party supporters and workers in the Frome Divisional conference of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation on Thursday.
Julian Robinson, former general secretary of the opposition People’s National Party addressing party supporters and workers in the Frome Divisional conference of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation on Thursday.

WESTERN BUREAU:

THE OPPOSITION People’s National Party (PNP) claims that the parish of Westmoreland remains PNP territory, despite its bruising defeat in the 2022 general election.

Since 1989, the party has had parliamentary control of all three constituencies in the parish. However, on September 3, 2020, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) made inroads into the parish by winning all the seats, in a landslide defeat to the PNP.

“We must send a message to the green (JLP) people who believe that them have Westmoreland lock. Westmoreland still remains PNP territory and we send that message by starting in the local government (elections),” said Julian Robinson, a former PNP general secretary.

He was speaking Thursday night at the Frome division conference in Central Westmoreland, held at the Georges Plain Primary School, where Liddon Lewis was formally presented as the PNP’s candidate caretaker. Rudolph Uter is the sitting councillor, representing the JLP.

There are 14 parish council divisions in the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation and, in the last local government elections held in 2016, the PNP won nine and the JLP won five.

“There was a time when it used to be 14-0 and then we give up one, then two, until it reached five. Now let us go back. It’s 14-0 we want, so we must do the work to ensure Comrade Lewis is counted, whenever that date is,” Robinson charged.

“We can’t sit down, we have to be ready for when the elections are called. Jamaica needs a PNP government,” he said to cheering PNP supporters.

Party President Mark Golding, who gave the main address at the conference, said this country is depending largely on his political party for leadership.

“We must organise ourselves to ensure that when the right time comes Comrade Lewis becomes your next councillor,” he urged.

Golding noted that there is need for the party to reach out to every one in the Frome division who has voted for the PNP in the past to help regain the seat, and, by extension, the municipal corporation and parliamentary seats.

“I am relying on you, every single one of them, we want them back in our fold to put the Xs beside the head for Comrade Lewis. And we want the whole of Westmoreland to feel the vibes and the power of Frome so that we can take back the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation,” Golding said.

“When that happens and Jamaica sees the power of the west again with the People’s National Party, the whole of Jamaica, they will know its PNP time again,” he added.

albert.ferguson@gleanerjm.com