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Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s Prime Minister-elect.

By NAN Contributor

News Americas, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Fri. Feb. 26, 2016: Jamaica’s People’s National Party and its first female Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller were last night handed a stunning defeat in Thursday’s general elections.

Despite predictions in many quarters that the PNP and Simpson-Miller were headed for another term, the opposition Jamaica Labour Party managed to take the win, claiming 33 of the 63 seats in the elections. The PNP only managed to secure win 30 seats, following a trend across the Caribbean that has only been bucked in recent elections in Belize.

The announcement that came after a day of slow voting and even fire in one polling station, saw JLP supporters taking to the streets outside the party’s headquarters in Kingston to celebrate.

JLP leader Andrew Holness is set to take the reins from take over from Simpson-Miller as the next prime minister. Holness has promised deep tax cuts and increase in employment.

“We will grow the Jamaican economy. We will create jobs. We will give you an accountable and responsive government,” he said, promising that the JLP government would also look into housing and healthcare issues.

Last night he added: “We don’t take it that we have won a prize. The cost of victory is to keep the commitments we have made.”

OAS election observers in Jamaica.

Simpson-Miller had called the election early, confident her Party would have been returned to office. But only 47.5 percent of the over 1.8 million registered voters went to the polls, the lowest ever in the history of parliamentary voting in the country, despite the addition of nearly 200,000 new voters to voter lists.


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