Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Chairman Robert Montague has said the political organisation is going after all the parochial divisions islandwide in the February 26 Local Government Elections.
“Two hundred and twenty-eight (divisions), and one mayorality in Portmore – that’s what we going for full blast,” declared Montague as he spoke to reporters following the announcement of the highly anticipated local polls at the Montego Bay Convention in St James on Thursday.
He said the 2020 General Elections in which the JLP grabbed 49 seats to the People’s National Party (PNP) 14 seats, has taught the party that “there is no constituency that cannot be won”.
The West St Mary Member of Parliament (MP) said labourites are enthusiastic, energised, motivated, and “the political wind of change and motivation is with… the JLP”.
Using western Jamaica, where the JLP won all 16 constituencies in the 2020 national polls, as a catalyst, Montague said the party is heading into the municipal elections with confidence, especially in that region.
“There is a political saying in Jamaica that Jamaica goes where the west goes,” he pointed out.
In terms of the party’s campaigning strategy for the local polls, Montague said: “The plan is to reach every nook and cranny, from lanes to gully sides, town squares to every doorstep.”
He added that, “We will not walk pass any (yard).We are not recognising a JLP yard and a PNP yard; we are acknowledging the yard of Jamaicans, and will go there with our positive message.”
Montague, a former councillor for the Carron Hall Division in the then St Mary Parish Council (now Municipal Corporation), said the party will not be neglecting its grassroot supporters in rural areas, as every constituency and local division is important to attaining victory.
“We are going full force, deploying people, allocating resources, channelling energy, and building momentum in all 228 divisions, alongside the mayor of Portmore,” Montague indicated.
In the 2016 Local Government Elections, the JLP won eight of the municipal corporations, while the PNP won four.
There was a tie in St Thomas, with both parties taking five divisions.
The corporations won by the JLP included Kingston and St Andrew (KSAC), Portland, St Mary, St Ann, Trelawny, St James, St Elizabeth, and Clarendon.
Those won by the PNP included the parishes of St Catherine, Hanover, Westmoreland and Manchester.
The PNP also won the Portmore mayoral race, with Leon Thomas defeating the JLP’s Keith Blake.