Ernest Smith Officially Resigns
Falmouth News revealed 5 days ago, that JLP Caretaker Ernest Smith had resigned from his position. Smith has now officially resigned, citing conflicts within the constituency as the reason for his resignation. In his exit, he has recommended two persons to replace him as North Trelawny JLP Caretaker. These are former caretaker Dennis Meadows, and former Mayor Jonathan Bartley, Councillor for the Wakefield Division. The party will now consider his request.
What About Dwight Lewis?
It was felt that Smith would have been replaced by Dwight Lewis, who has been trying to represent the JLP in parliamentary elections since 2002. Lewis was defeated by Smith in June 2014. However, our souces inside the JLP say that Lewis is not being considered. If so, this will be another blow for Lewis, who has been campaigning for weeks in the constituency, even before it was vacated.
Our sources say that at the request of the party, Dennis Meadows has decided to accept the challenge and he applied for the position over the weekend. He has lost on two successive occasions in the constituency (2007 and 2011). He had interest in representing West Central St James, but stepped aside when Malahoo-Forte expressed interest. Meadows began his career in Trelawny as an ‘alien,’ having grown up in Kingston and lived (at the time) in Montego Bay. Now he is married to a Falmouthian and lives in Falmouth.
Jonathan ‘Fred’ Bartley
Jonathan ‘Fred’ Bartley, is a son of the Trelawny soil. He is from Wakefield and attended Muschette High School. ‘Fred’ was Mayor of Falmouth from 2003 to 2007, but was denied another term as Mayor in 2007, when his JLP compatriots chose Colin Gager instead for the post. Now the Wakefield councillor has the opportunity to go one step higher and venture into new, uncharted territory as JLP Caretaker.
Decision To be Made Today
Sources say that the decision between Meadows and Bartley will be made today and it will be communicated at a JLP workers executive meeting at the Falmouth All-Age School tomorrow, Tuesday, October 27, 2015.
From The Jamaica Observer
FALMOUTH, Trelawny — The Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is searching for a new standard-bearer for the constituency of Trelawny Northern, following the resignation of prominent attorney-at-law Ernest Smith last weekend.
Smith’s resignation letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Jamaica Observer, comes weeks after Labourites in the constituency called on the party’s hierarchy to find a replacement for the former South West St Ann Member of Parliament, whom they claimed was doing little or no political work in the seat.
“I deeply regret having to take this most drastic action on the possible eve of the announcement of National Elections,” Smith said in a letter to JLP Chairman Robert Montaque last Friday, which was copied to Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang and the chairman of the party’s Area Council Four.
“My decision is as a result of a conflict of interest that has been revealed. Unfortunately, this conflict cannot be resolved in the constituency and in the interest of victory for the Jamaica Labour Party, I am resigning as candidate to ensure that the party’s unity is not fractured,” the letter stated.
Smith, who was installed as the JLP representative in the constituency last year June after he defeated consultant engineer Dwight Lewis in a selection exercise at the Hague Primary School, emphasised, however, that he remains fully committed to the party, as he expressed confidence that the JLP will be victorious at the polls in the upcoming general election.
He added that he will be joining the party’s national campaign team and will be making himself available as a speaker during the campaign.
Smith also expressed a willingness to serve the JLP through the Senate, and urged the party to consider former JLP candidate for Trelawny Northern Dennis Meadows and Councillor for the Wakefield Division Jonathan Bartley, as his replacement.
Considered a safe People’s National Party (PNP) seat, the Opposition JLP last held the constituency of Trelawny Northern between 1980 and 1989.
Since then, the party has lost all of the five elections there contested for the parliamentary seat.
The most recent was in December 2011, when the PNP’s Patrick Atkinson, who represented the JLP and lost in two previous general elections, defeated the JLP’s Meadows by over 2,300 votes. Meadows, a former senator, later resigned as the party’s caretaker for the constituency, having suffered two consecutive defeats in the constituency.
Interestingly, the PNP and the JLP have won the parliamentary seat eight times each in the 16 times that it has been contested.
Veteran politician and leader of the JLP Area Council Four JC Hutchinson told the Observer yesterday that party intends to find a replacement for Smith by the end of this week, after a series of consultations in the constituency.
“We are going to have discussions all around the constituency and do our soundings as to what the people think. So far, I have heard the people mentioning the names of Mr Lewis, Mr Meadows and Mr Bartley,” said Hutchinson.
Smith served as member of Parliament for South West St Ann from 2002 to 2011 before losing to the PNP’s Keith Walford in 2011.
Curated from: The Jamaica Observer