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St James Parish Council - Parties in high gear for Local
Sanford, Staff Reporter
BUREAU: THE JAMAICA Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National
Party (PNP) are both gearing up for control of the critical
St. James Parish Council in the upcoming Local Government
the last Local Govern-ment elections, the PNP won 15 of the
17 divisions in St. James, but during the general election,
when the JLP grabbed three of its four constituencies. All
four constituencies were formerly held by the PNP.
JLP says it plans to hold the upper hand it gained October,
while the PNP swears to gain the ground it lost.
part of its strategy, the PNP last week sent two of its high
profile members, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and vice -president
of the party, Dr. Peter Philips, to the parish in order to
drum up support.
doubt, we suffered a set back in October," Dr. Philips
told The Gleaner during a tour of several divisions in the
parish. "But we are confident that with the candidates
we now have, we have a very good chance (of winning) and we
are very optimistic."
Mr. Patterson was more straightforward as he appealed to voters
on the weekend. "For God's sake, don't give me another
shock like the one you gave me on the 16th of October,"
he told supporters. "If I did not have a strong heart
on election night, St James people would have killed me."
the other hand, Deputy Leader of the JLP, Ed Bartlett, said
his party is banking on the momentum gained during the general
election to gain the upper hand in St. James. "The results
of the last general election indicate the potential exists
for the party to win (in St. James)," he told The Gleaner.
"So we are very optimistic."
Bartlett said the party plans to bank on the lack of representation
that he claims is being presently displayed by PNP councillors
and house to house campaigning to win the parish. "The
main concern here is the issue of local parochial representation,"
he noted. "Communities are being neglected so we plan
to go house to house and do personal interaction with the
Phillips also said that the PNP has the organisational capability
to win in the parish. "We believe we have the right candidates
and the organisational basis to be successful in this parish,"