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Four eye PNP leadership in Kingston Central

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AT least four people have indicated an intention to enter the race to replace Ronald Thwaites as the People’s National Party (PNP) standard bearer in Kingston Central when delegates vote on Saturday, June 22.

The PNP’s Executive Committee yesterday gave individuals interested in the seat until Friday to formally announce their interest to the party’s general secretary. A draft voters’ list is to be presented to the candidates next Monday.

But before that the aspirants will have to face the party’s Integrity Commission and must be cleared before they are allowed to enter the race.

Thwaites has not formally announced his intention not to contest the next general election. However, the PNP has confirmed that he will not.

Last year the PNP’s former representative for St Andrew West Rural, Paul Buchanan, indicated his desire to replace Thwaites in the constituency.

At that time Buchanan said he had no plan to challenge Thwaites, who has held the seat for the party since 2007 but argued that the constituency was desperately in need of renewal and he was the man for the job.

Months ago reports also emerged that former MP for St Elizabeth North Eastern Raymond Pryce had indicated an interest in the constituency in which his high school — St George’s College — sits and where he has family roots.

“Raymond has started meetings in the constituency, sending out letters to businesses and trying to sell his ideas to Comrades who have so far been very receptive,” one senior PNP member told the Jamaica Observer.

But just as it seemed it would be a two-man race, they were joined at the starting line by Imani Duncan-Price, who sent a letter to Thwaites and members of the PNP’s Central Kingston Constituency Executive last week, indicating that she wants to serve as its next representative.

“Following my discussions with MP Comrade Ronnie Thwaites, I would now like to share with you that if, and when, a vacancy exists for the position of PNP candidate for Central Kingston, I intend to offer myself,” said Duncan-Price.

“My experience at all levels of party work, together with my service in the Senate, along with my training in finance, business development, advocacy for change, as well as community development, will enable me to offer the kind of leadership that will take Central Kingston further along the path of progress and development,” added Duncan-Price.

She said Thwaites has accepted her offer to work with the constituency organisation and to play her part in re-energising the PNP’s base in the constituency, “which will require a special effort to prepare the next generation for their future role in the leadership of the party”.

The race became more crowded this Monday when businessman Patrick Sterling also indicated that he intends to offer himself for the seat.

“After 17 years of working with my people in central Kingston with kindness, humility, compassion, and caring, I’ve been asked by the MP, and friend, Ronald Thwaites to represent the community that I grew [up] in, went to school (Holy Family), cultivated lifelong friends in, cried in, and laughed in,” said Sterling in a lengthy Facebook post.

“I have no political pedigree, or party hierarchical network. But with love, compassion, and hard work, and the support of the hundreds of people I have personally connected with, I will prevail,” added Sterling.

He argued that the Jamaican political ecosystem has undergone a seismic shift in the past four years and neither of the two major political parties can afford to conduct business in the same old way, with the same people.

“Political parties must be of the people, by the people, for the people. Each community should be represented by people within those communities. We should no longer support the old elitist British system of ‘sending’ representatives who know best for our community.

“Central Kingston is quite capable of selecting our own grass-roots leader. We need persons who have worked in our communities for several years [and] who were raised there,” said Sterling.

The long-time Comrade added: “I’ve been helping my people all these years simply out of my understanding for their needs and concerns, and subsequently have committed many, many hours working in the community.”

Sterling said in the next few days he will officially present a letter of intent to Thwaites, the party’s delegates, group members, and workers.

Thwaites, who first won the Kingston Central constituency for the PNP in 1997, took a sabbatical from representational politics after he was linked to a controversial deal and did not contest the 2002 general elections. But the PNP still retained the seat with Victor Cummings.

In 2007 Thwaites returned and retained the seat with a 15 per cent victory margin. This increased to 21 per cent in his 2011 victory but declined to 13 per cent in the last general election in 2016.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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UK’s Johnson ‘very worried’ about trade tensions, tariff hikes

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UK’s Johnson ‘very worried’ about trade tensions, tariff hikes

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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BIARRITZ, France (AFP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday that he was “very concerned” about the trade tensions between the US and China, saying their tit-for-tat tariff hikes were harmful for the global economy.

“I’m very worried about the way it’s going, the growth of protectionism, of tariffs that we’re seeing,” Johnson said as he arrived at the G7 summit in the French resort of Biarritz, where he was to make his full international debut as Britain’s premier.

“Those who support tariffs are at risk of incurring the blame for the downturn in the global economy,” he said. “This is not the way to proceed.”

The question of tariffs is of particular concern for Johnson as he prepares to lead Britain out of the EU with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit on October 31 looking increasingly likely — which experts warn would cost both sides dearly.

His remarks echoed earlier warnings from the European Union, which warned that the escalating trade spat between Washington and Beijing could drive economies around the world into recession.

“Trade wars will lead to recession, while trade deals will boost the economy,” EU President Donald Tusk as G7 leaders descended on Biarritz for a three-day summit.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who is hosting the summit, also weighed in, saying trade tensions were “bad for everyone”.

“We have to achieve some form of de-escalation, stabilise things, and avoid this trade war that is taking place all over,” he said, just hours after Trump threatened to impose heavy punitive tariffs on France over its tax on US tech giants.

Trade disputes appear set to dominate the agenda of this year’s G7 summit, with Tusk and Macron warning that an ambitious deal between the EU and Latin America’s Mercosur bloc was at risk over Brazil’s response to wildfires in the Amazon.

But Tusk also said the EU would respond in kind if the US imposed tariffs on French wine.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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Trump names Jamaica among illicit drug producing nations

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Trump names Jamaica among illicit drug producing nations

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — The United States has named four Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries as major drug transit or illicit drug producing countries.

President Donald Trump in his “Presidential Determination on Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2020,” named The Bahamas, Belize, Haiti and Jamaica.

The other countries named by Trump are Afghanistan, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

In his statement, Trump noted that a country’s presence on the foregoing list is not necessarily a reflection of its government’s counter narcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States.

“The reason countries are placed on the list is the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced, even if a government has engaged in robust and diligent narcotics control measures.”

Trump said his administration has devoted unprecedented resources to combating the scourge of illicit drugs in the United States.

He said this includes strengthening the US borders and expanding programmes to prevent illicit drug use and aid the recovery and treatment of those who need it.

“We are making steady progress to turn the tide of our country’s drug epidemic, but more needs to be accomplished. This includes further efforts beyond our nation’s borders, by governments of countries where dangerous illegal drugs originate,” he said.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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India 14-0 at lunch, lead Windies by 89 runs

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India 14-0 at lunch, lead Windies by 89 runs

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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NORTH SOUND, Antigua and Barbuda (AFP) — India were 14 without loss in their second innings, a lead of 89 runs, at lunch on the third day of the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Saturday.

Brief scores

India 297 (A Rahane 81, R Jadeja 58, K L Rahul 44; K Roach 4-66) and 14-0 v West Indies 222 (R Chase 48; I Sharma 5-43)

Toss: West Indies


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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