Even as political watchers zero in on August dates for the next general election, Prime Minister Andrew Holness kept his cards close to his chest as he spoke with The Sunday Gleaner a week ago, giving no hint as to when he will summon Jamaicans to the polls.
Weighing in on the matter last week, political commentator Dr Paul Ashley said that with the world’s governments, including Jamaica’s, dealt a terrible hand by COVID-19, the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) would be foolhardy not to name the election date soon.
The island had previously had one general election under a state of emergency – the 1976 polls in the Michael Manley (People’s National Party – PNP) era of 1972-1980.
While he is aware of the increased political tempo in recent weeks, Prime Minister Andrew Holness told The Sunday Gleaner that his administration’s main priority right now is to get the country on a path to economic recovery following the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as he remained coy about the looming general and municipal elections.
They are St Ann North East, which was represented by the late Shahine Robinson; St Andrew East Central, now represented by PNP President and Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips; St Andrew South East, represented by PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson; and St Thomas Eastern, represented by the PNP’s Dr Fenton Ferguson, who will be seeking his seventh-straight term.