PNP’s Stewart looking to increase margin of victory

PNP’s Stewart looking to increase margin of victory

JLP’s Chin blasts PNP for woefully lacking representation

Staff reporter

Monday, August 17, 2020

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NEWPORT, Manchester – Incumbent for Manchester Southern Michael Stewart of the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is defending his stewardship of the constituency over the last four years and has promised to give the ruling Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) candidate Robert Chin a ‘backsiding’ at the polls.

Chin is a late replacement for businessman Junior Robinson who withdrew from the race. The general election is set for September 3. Tomorrow is Nomination Day.

Stewart suggested that the JLP’s strategy in Manchester Southern was fundamentally flawed.

“Each time somebody runs in South Manchester from the JLP, they do not stay. They keep replacing them. I have heard about two persons who were on the ground doing some work. We did not feel them at all in the constituency,” Stewart told the Jamaica Observer during an interview last Monday.

“… Nobody knows of him [Chin]. Nobody knows him. I don’t know if he has any roots in South Manchester, so bring him on. He will get his biggest political backsiding when he comes [here]. We intend to increase our margin of support. He can come. We don’t know him,” Stewart said.

However, Chin has blasted the PNP for woefully lacking representation for over 30 years in the constituency.

“When I look at the representation that the people of Southern Manchester got for the past 30 years unbroken, I see that the representation is woefully lacking. There is still a cry for water, roads and employment opportunities,” Chin insisted.

“There is a sense of hopelessness among the people, especially young people. They don’t see a development based on what has happened over the past 30 years,” he added.

Stewart is, however, confident in increasing his margin of victory on September 3 and pointed to a long history of political work in Manchester Southern in support of former Member of Parliament Michael Peart.

“I do intend to increase my margin of victory. I was Michael Peart’s campaign manager in 1997 when we won by the largest majority of over 3,000 votes. I was somewhat disappointed when I was only able to achieve only 1,200 [approximately] in 2016 but having gone around, a lot of the citizens in the constituency said that they didn’t vote and that they are fully on board now,” Stewart said.

“We have recruited, we have enumerated, and many persons are all enthused and are ready for the election,” he added.

Chin, who was the JLP candidate in Kingston Central for the 2016 General Election lost to the PNP’s Ronald Thwaites by 1,229 votes. Thwaites had got 5,190 votes to Chin’s 3,961.

Chin told the Observer that he is riding high on the JLP’s favourability and that of party leader Andrew Holness.

“In Central Kingston there were always the naysayers and doubtful persons. However, I am looking at the general wave and the favourability of the party and especially our leader. It has changed the dynamics of the way that people are thinking that every seat that is now occupied by the PNP for many years cannot be won. We are here to change that mindset and I want to start it right here in Southern Manchester,” Chin said.

Manchester Southern is made up of four divisions: Alligator Pond, Grove Town, Newport, and Porus, with just over 32,000 electors.


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