JLP Builds Solid Majority in General Election

Holness was very effective in using social media in bringing the JLP’s message of economic growth and fiscal restraint during challenging times.

Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness led his Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to a landslide victory during the general election held on Thursday, September 3rd.  The JLP went from having only a one seat majority in the previous election four years ago to having overwhelming control of government. As the day came to a close, the JPL was leading in 49 of 63 seats.

The result gives the JLP a clear mandate moving forward. It’s the first time that the JLP has won two consecutive elections since the 1980s, when the late Edward Seaga led the party.

Peter Phillips, leader of the opposition People’s National Party (PNP), pledged to step down if his party failed to win the election.  He faced a significant challenge to hold onto his St. Andrew East Central seat by Jodian Myrie, a JLP newcomer and daughter of dancehall artist Buju Banton. Phillips did however, manage to  carry his seat with 56 percent of the vote.

Holness, born in 1972, is the first prime minister to be born after Jamaican independence in 1962.

He took a huge gamble, when he called the general election six months early. Given the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak, traditional campaigning was severely limited. However, Holness was very effective in using social media in bringing the JLP’s message of economic growth and fiscal restraint during challenging times.

Acknowledging that many people did not vote due to the coronavirus pandemic, Holness pledged that “it must never be that the government that emerges from this victory take the people for granted.”

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