‘The west is ours’

ANCHOVY, St James — General secretary of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Dr Horace Chang is so confident the party will take home all the seats in western Jamaica in both the local and general elections that he has told his party leader he can “relax” and focus his attention elsewhere.

“Do the work that you have to do. We are going to ensure that we deliver the west to the Jamaica Labour Party. Local or national, anytime there is a roll call, the west is ours,” Dr Chang assured Andrew Holness, JLP leader and Prime Minister of Jamaica.

Local government elections are constitutionally due by next February and the general election by 2025.

Chang’s comments came during the St James Southern Constituency Conference held at Anchovy High School in the parish on Sunday.

All five constituencies in St James are held by JLP Members of Parliament (MP), four of whom are government ministers. The St James Municipal Corporation has 17 seats, 14 of which are held by the JLP.

“We don’t want to see any little orange flags flying nowhere… again. All of them [in the St James Municipal Corporation], we are taking. All of the difficult ones,” vowed Chang.

He wants this trend to continue across the rest of the west.

“We are not leaving anybody out; St James is a big strong family. We are generous and we are loving; we love the people beside us in green and we are going to ensure that the weight of St James reaches Trelawny, Hanover, St Elizabeth and Westmoreland,” stated Chang.

For his part, JLP chairman and MP for St Elizabeth South Western Floyd Green pointed to the importance of being in control of both local and central governments.

“We are not joking with the next election. I want you to treat the local government election like a general election because what I realised [is that] it is too difficult when you have an MP on one side and a councillor on the other side. We need to ensure that the picture is aligned and that we are singing the same hymn from the same songbook,” he stated.

In the September 2020 General Election the JLP won all the seats in Area Council Four, which encompasses Trelawny, St James, Hanover, Westmoreland and St Elizabeth.

Green wants to see the same results in the upcoming local government election. Of the five parishes, two are held by the Opposition People’s National (Party PNP).

“After the next local government election we are taking home Hanover and Westmoreland because we must have peace and one accord,” he told Labourites.