It was fanfare out west

Published in the Jamaica Gleaner: Thursday | August 9, 2007

Adrian Frater, News Editor
Western Bureau:

It was generally a festive atmosphere across western Jamaica Tuesday as 38 candidates submitted nomination papers for the region's 15 constituencies.

From the resort town of Falmouth, going south into the farming parish of St. Elizabeth, there were wild scenes of dancing as 'Comrades' and 'Labourites', led by 'pom-pom' girls nattily attired in the greenand white of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the orange and black of the People's National Party (PNP), gyrated excitedly to the music of marching bands and sound systems.

Confident team

"The west is green and ready to change course," said a confident JLP deputy leader Horace Chang, who is the chairman of the party's Region Four and candidate for North West St. James. "We are a confident team going into the general election and we are more prepared than ever."

The PNP, which matched the JLP evenly in terms of their presence on the street, was oozing with confidence as, according to veteran politician Francis Tulloch, who is contesting the West Central seat, the signs are suggesting a fifth term for the PNP.

"The signs are pointing to another PNP victory and we are very confident," said Tulloch, a party stalwart dating back to the 1970s. "The party has its record of achievement over the years as our evidence of goodwill to the Jamaican people."

However, while it was smooth sailing for the PNP and JLP candidates, there was at least one anxious moment for the National Democratic Movement (NDM) candidate for West Central St. James, Appollone Reid, who initially had her nomination papers rejected by the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) officials. She subsequently made the modification and was duly nominated.


"She submitted her nomination on the 2002 nomination form instead of the up-to-date one and, in addition, it was done on a fax copy that was not entirely legible," said Hugh Miller, the returning officer for St. James. "We have advised her what to do so hopefully she will be able to do what is required and get the papers in on time."

While it was much fanfare for most of the other candidates, it was quite a lonely exercise for Ras Astor Black of the Jamaica Alliance Movement. The burly red, green and gold clad Black turned up alone at the North Trelawny nomination centre in Falmouth and left alone after handing in his papers and paying his nomination fee.




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