Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader, Andrew Holness is expected to come under fire for his leadership of the opposition party at a JLP caucus to be held today. Holness’ leadership is viewed as stagnant by some members of the party, as evidenced by the latest Don Anderson poll.
In the poll, published on July 22, when asked who would you vote for if an election is held now, 26% said JLP while 25% said PNP (statistical dead heat). In November 2014, when the same question was asked, 25% said they would vote for the JLP, while only 17% then said they would vote for the PNP. Critics point to this little or no gain in support for the opposition leader compared to the 8% jump for the governing People’s National Party (PNP).
Many JLP insiders say that the JLP had better find a new leader or forget about winning the next general elections, due in 2016. Holness supporters are saying that as long as ‘labourites’ unite, then they can unseat the ruling party.
From The Gleaner:
The parliamentary group of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is scheduled to go into caucus today, a session in which the future of the party and the leadership of Andrew Holness are expected to be examined.
Once again, the youthful leader of four years is expected to be in the firing line.
Derrick Smith, Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives, has confirmed that he is the man, who is, again, entrusted to preside over the caucus being seen by some as a showdown.
“I will be chairing the caucus of members of Parliament, but that is all I can say as the meeting has not yet been held,” said Smith, when contacted by The Gleaner yesterday.
Scheduled for the JLP’s Belmont Road headquarters, this morning, Holness’ stewardship is again, coming under intense scrutiny from within the party. In fact, all of the caucuses that the JLP has had over the last year have been to question Holness on his management of the party, which could be the reason one of his supporters was dismissive about today’s grouping.
Just “another round of sniping by some,” the supporter said.
While acknowledging that the caucus is on schedule, veteran politician Karl Samuda, who is expected to feature prominently in the talks, would not venture a comment when approached.
“I can’t say anything at this time; it’s just a love fest,” quipped a laughing Samuda, when pressed for a comment.
Delroy Chuck, another vocal veteran, was just as coy when asked if he would be in attendance. “Which caucus is that?” he chuckled. “What you know about caucus?”
Daryl Vaz told The Gleaner that he would be in attendance but was also sparing with his comments. “It’s another of several that we have had in the past and whatever emerges, you will be briefed on afterwards.”
During his four-year tenure, Holness has been successful in repeatedly repelling attempts at his political booting.
Holness prevailed in 2013 when he was challenged by veteran politician Audley Shaw, one of the then deputy leaders of the JLP.
But Holness supporters have accused detractors of rejecting the leader’s repeated extension of the olive branch and overtures, and in so doing, sabotaging the JLP’s election-winning efforts.
Those expected to be in attendance are Holness, Shaw, Chang, Smith, Samuda, Chuck, Vaz, Olivia Grange, Pearnel Charles, Ruddy Spencer, Edmund Bartlett, James Robertson, Desmond McKenzie, J.C. Hutchinson, Mike Henry, Everald Warmington, Andrew Wheatley, Shahini Robinson, Gregory Mair, Dr Kenneth Baugh, and Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert.
Curated from The Gleaner