Andrew Holness, is he the difference Jamaica needs?

Andrew Holness

Jamaica PM Andrew Holness and Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s. Ambassador to U.S. last Thursday in Manhatta. – photo Sharon Bennett

The next Jamaican general election is constitutionally due between 29 December 2016 (the day of the previous election in 2011) and 16 April 2017 (within three months of the date of the first sitting of the new Parliament on 17 January 2012). There is no fixed election date in effect in Jamaica at this time and so the exact election date is the prerogative of the Prime Minister.

The election is expected to be contested mainly between the two major political parties of Jamaica, the governing People’s National Party led by Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller and the Jamaica Labour Party led by Leader of the Opposition Andrew Holness.

The dissatisfaction of the state of Jamaica’s economy and its social environment has caused Jamaicans at home and abroad to express sentiments that a new Prime Minister is needed.

 Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson Miller

Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson Miller – photo Jamaica Observer

The current Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller has been unheralded by many. Most of her political party supporters admire her and think that she is doing a good job.  However, almost all supporters of the opposition party—JLP— think that her leadership is disgraceful to say the least.

He comes Andrew Holness once again

Andrew Michael Holness (born 22 July 1972) is a Jamaican politician who was Prime Minister of Jamaica from October 2011 to January 2012. He previously served as the Minister of Education from 2007 to 2012.

Holness was the youngest person to become Prime Minister in Jamaica’s history, as well as the country’s ninth Prime Minister overall. He is also the second shortest serving Prime Minister in Jamaica (Sir Donald Sangster being the shortest) as well as the Caribbean.

Prime Minister 2011

Andrew Holness succeeded Bruce Golding as both leader of the Jamaica Labour Party and Prime Minister on 23 October 2011. As Prime Minister, he chose to retain the education portfolio.

On 5 December 2011, Holness called the next election for 29 December 2011. The JLP campaigned in their strongholds and Holness highlighted the four years of JLP government with accomplishments, such as economic growth and crime reduction that the JLP says that the PNP failed to do in their eighteen years of rule. But on 29 December 2011, the JLP lost at the polls to the People’s National Party, which gained a large majority of 42 to the JLP’s 21 parliamentary seats.

A recent NY Times article states, “Holness is “something completely different” — a positive and realistic business-minded people-person, and that’s quite unusual. He spoke last Thursday at the gathering, of business executives, diplomats and VIPs, presented by the Positive Jamaica Foundation.” Read complete article here

By Karl A. Haughton

What are your views on Andrew Holness?

Do you think that he can lead Jamaica out of its social and economic wilderness?

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