BASSETERRE, St. Kitts & Nevis: This country’s Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas was among the first regional leaders to congratulate the new Prime Minister-designate of Jamaica, Portia Simpson-Miller, following her People’s National Party (PNP) victory over the incumbent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) on Thursday.
“I just spoke a moment ago to the Comrade Leader of the victorious PNP and newly elected PM of Jamaica, the Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller,” Dr. Douglas said on Thursday night. “I congratulated her on behalf of the Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM and more so on behalf of the Government and People of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Douglas who is the current Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) also conveyed congratulations of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) of which he is the national political leader.
Simpson-Miller’s PNP won 42 of the 63 seats at stake.
“Our comrades here of the SKNLP are proud of the decisive victory of our sister-party, the PNP, and look forward to closer collaboration and partnership in the future as you take on the mantle of leadership of your country at a time when the region and the world are beset by so many social economic and financial challenges,” said Douglas.
Simpson-Miller on Thursday night urged nationals to put aside their political differences and join her People’s National Party (PNP) administration in building a new Jamaica.
“This leader with her team will be working with all Jamaicans as one Jamaican family as we shape the future of Jamaica together,” she told supporters celebrating the party’s return to power after it was defeated in the 2007 general election.
“I am humbled by the support of the Jamaican people and I ask you to ensure that you greet Jamaica Labour Party supporters with love,” she said.
“I want to thank all the voters of Jamaica,” she said, adding that they ‘kept our democracy alive and well today”.
Simpson-Miller, affectionately referred to as “Sista P” and “Comrade Leader”, faces deep problems as she takes over the government, with debt running at approximately 130 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and unemployment at more than 12 per cent.
The prime minister-designate has already said that her administration will be seeking to renegotiate the multi-billion dollar Standby Agreement (SBA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“We have plenty of work ahead of us…you will hear from us soon as we move to put our team in place,” she told supporters, urging all Jamaicans “to work with us as we move this country forward together.
“We will tell you as it is, we will hide nothing from you, when it is tough and rough we will let you know, when it is easy we will let you know,” she said, informing all investors and businesses that “you have a government you can trust”.
She said her administration would also be working with Jamaicans in the Diaspora to “move Jamaica forward.
“We are going to unite and move Jamaica as it has never seen before,” she said.
With files from Erasmus Williams