Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Desmond McKenzie, is exuding confident that the electorate will reward the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) for its performance in Government by ensuring the party wins most of the municipal corporation seats in the upcoming parochial elections.
“This Local Government Election is going to be an election where the people of Jamaica will reward the Jamaica Labour Party for performance in this country,” declared an enthusiastic McKenzie at the party’s Area Council One meeting at Papine High School on Sunday.
The municipal polls are due by February 28, 2024, and McKenzie holds the key to unlock and announce the date for the long-delayed elections.
While he did not give any hint at when the election date will be announced, McKenzie took a swipe at his opponents in the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP).
“Let me ask dem sumting. Who over there can test (Dr) Nigel Clarke as the Minister of Finance in this country?… Who over there can talk to Dr Chris (Christopher) Tufton when it comes on to health?” McKenzie asked, with wild cheers erupting from labourites at the meeting.
He also questioned who inside the PNP could “test” himself as Local Government Minister, or Floyd Green as Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining Minister.
Following his tours of Hanover and Westmoreland last week, McKenzie said he has been gaging the responses of citizens on various issues.
“We been listening to the concerns of the people, and one ting the people dem say is, ‘Mek sure, mek sure’,” McKenzie stated.
Over the past two weeks, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has also been busy touring and attending several events in various parishes, including Hanover, St James, St Catherine, St Elizabeth and Manchester, all of which have fuelled speculations that the local polls will not be further delayed.
Holness, in addressing stakeholders at Cleveland Stanhope Market in Lucea, Hanover on Friday, said his tour of the country had nothing to do with any “upcoming event” locally.
According to him, he was on a “listening tour”, which was geared towards hearing from citizens as the Government embarks on crafting and implementing several development initiatives island-wide.
“I am here because the Government is doing a plan to address urban townships in rural areas and parish capitals. A critical part of that plan is to deal with markets,” Holness told stakeholders at the time.