MoBay chamber calls for proper COVID protocols, peaceful polls

MoBay chamber calls for proper COVID protocols, peaceful polls

Thursday, August 13, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Janet Silvera says the organisation is hoping that adequate measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of citizens during the election campaign and on election day.

“What we would like to see happen is for the safety and security of the people who will have to go to vote in a pandemic. So we are hoping that the measures will be put in place by the Electoral Office of Jamaica, particularly for the elderly who are the most susceptible. Maybe they should have specific lines for people who are older, and should be obviously practising more social distancing than anybody else,” said the chamber president.

Silvera was reacting to Prime Minister Andrew Holness’s announcement in Parliament Tuesday night that Jamaicans will go to the polls on Thursday, September 3, to choose a new government.

Nomination day, the prime minister said, is Tuesday, August 18.

Silvera, who said the chamber has no problem with the date set for the election, joined the prime minister in his call for a peaceful one.

“The prime minister has asked for people to be peaceful and we want to join him in that call. But so far, the campaign has been very peaceful and we believe that it will continue that way,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

“Over the weekend when the prime minister was on the campaign trail [in sections of western Jamaica], it was relatively peaceful. I was shocked to see the camaraderie between JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) and PNP (People’s National Party) supporters; I can’t recall seeing anything that would suggest that there was going to be a flare-up, I saw friendly bantering, and that is encouraging. If they can continue to do that through this period going up to the election, then Jamaica will be the winner.”

— Mark Cummings

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