August 9, 2020

New JLP leader and PM one-step closer

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Andrew Holness and Audley Shaw clasp hands at JLP Press conference to announce full endorsement of Member of Parliament Andrew Holness, as leader of the party and as prime minister of Jamaica.

Education Minister, Andrew Holness, is set to become Jamaica’s ninth Prime Minister after his parliamentary colleagues put aside their own ambitions to endorse his candidacy to become leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

The powerful endorsements brought to 12 the number of Government MPs who have publicly declared their support for Holness, who is likely to be the only candidate when nominations for the post of JLP leader close on October 20.

The governing JLP has 32 members in the 60-seat legislature, but it is unlikely that a challenger will emerge to take on the popular education minister following yesterday’s show of support.

The announcement that the party leaders had reached a consensus on selecting Holness was made at a press conference Wednesday morning.

However, the decision will have to be ratified by the JLP secretariat and delegates.

Holness accepted the endorsement and thanked his colleagues for putting their personal ambitions aside.

Holness had emerged as the front-runner of six contenders to replace Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who told the JLP’s Central Executive on September 25 that he would be stepping down as leader and prime minister at the party’s annual conference in November.

He noted that he has been preparing for this day for years, and stated that one of the important themes of his leadership would be unity.

The education minister also said he would lead a government of equity and efficiency.

Continuity was also a major theme of the speech delivered by Holness, as he promised to continue the policies, programmes and anti-corruption stance on which the party was elected in 2007.

The party’s ratification will pave the way for Holness to become Jamaica’s ninth prime minister.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has already indicated he will soon step down from that position.

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