Local gov’t polls: Bartlett predicts JLP ‘clean sweep’ in Westmoreland Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Member of Parliament for St James East Central Edmund Bartlett is predicting “a clean sweep” for the Jamaica Labour Party’s Westmoreland-based councillor aspirants in the pending local government election, constitutionally due to by the end of February.

Bartlett, who is also tourism minister, said in relation to his home parish of Westmoreland, he will assume his political party’s oversight responsibility for the elections there.  

“I did Westmoreland in the last local government election and won the five divisions that we have now. We had zero at the time, and we now have five, and five is two short of becoming the mayor, so now there are some defections and those two divisions, we feel very comfortable that we will take,” he told LoopNews yesterday in an interview at his ministerial offices in New Kingston. 

The five JLP victories in Westmoreland in the 2016 local government election were George Wright, who took the Petersfield division; Rudolph Uter, Frome; Milton Miles, Savanna-la-Mar; Kevin Murray, Friendship; and Dawnette Foster, Cornwall Mountain. 

The People’s National Party councillors won the western parish’s other nine divisions. The sitting Mayor Bertel Moore won Negril; Ian Myles, Little London; Lawton McKenzie, Grange Hill; Garfield James, Sheffield; Valdence Gifford, Whitehouse; Jermone Bacchas, Darliston; Cebert McFarlane, Leamington; Danree Delancy, Bethel Town; and Devon Thomas, Savanna-La-Mar North. 

In 2020, Wright contested the 2020 general election and won the Westmoreland Central constituency for a spot in Parliament, and leaving a vacancy in the Petersfield Division. He then became an independent representative after resigning from the JLP in June 2021.

Also, last September, former PNP councillors-turned independent representatives Myles and James crossed the political floor to join the ruling JLP.

Bartlett projected to Loop News that the recent defections should prove a boon for electoral victory.

“Those two along with the five [previously won] is a shoo-in for the mayorality, and there are two others that I’m looking at, so I’m seeing the possibility of as much as nine seats, in Westmoreland, so it could be a clean sweep. That’s where my head is, a clean sweep,” Bartlett said.

At the national level, Bartlett, who has been a serving Member of Parliament since 1980, predicted even more wins for the JLP.

“I think we could make 10, possibly 11, I am seeing St Catherine, Hanover, I am seeing Manchester, and I am seeing Westmoreland,” he predicted.

By Omar Tomlinson