THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
CARICOM TO OBSERVE AND MONITOR JAMAICA’S GENERAL ELECTION—02/22/15
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will send an electoral observer mission to monitor the general election process in Jamaica on February 25, 2016. Josephine Tamai, the chief elections officers of the Elections and Boundaries Department in Belize, will lead the mission. Other experts in electoral management and administration will accompany her from Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, and Dominica. On Election Day, the mission delegates will observe Jamaica’s electoral processes, including the opening and closing of the polls, actual voting, and vote counting. Both a preliminary statement and a Report of the General Elections will be submitted at the end of the voting.
DEFAMATION SUIT FILED AGAINST PETER PHILLIPS BY JULIET HOLNESS—02/23/15
Juliet Holness, wife of Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) Opposition leader Andrew Holness, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Dr. Peter Phillips of the People’s National Party (PNP) in regard to statements allegedly made by Phillips, who is the current Minister of Finance and Planning, and his associates between the 13th and 16th of February 2016. Attorneys for Holness are requesting the court to rule on whether Phillips was in breach of the rights of Jamaicans to a free and fair election by launching a media campaign based on false statements with the intent to mislead the voters. In question is whether Phillips abused his ministerial position by making these statements in an attempt to influence the general election’s outcome.
VICTORY FOR THE JAMAICA LABOR PARTY (JLP)—02/25/15
The Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) defeated the People’s National Party (PNP) and won the 2016 General Election. JLP leader Andrew Holness defeated Patrick Roberts of the PNP and retained his seat as representative of St. Andrew West Central. Joining Holness in Jamaica’s Parliament will be his wife Juliet who defeated Imani Duncan-Price for the St. Andrew East Rural seat. Acknowledging the PNP defeat, the party’s deputy general secretary Julian Robinson said the party had expected to lose some seats, but as the overall results remain close, the PNP will await the final tallies to make definitive analyses of the results.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICANS IN U.S. WANT NEW GOVERNMENT TO FOCUS ON JOB OPPORTUNITIES—02/24/15
Two of the major issues cited by Jamaicans in the United States for the general elections on the home island were increased job opportunities for young people and greater investment opportunities in general. According to Ray Nugent, head of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations, whichever party wins the elections should keep the focus on programs that will end the unemployment cycle among young people. Nugent is calling for joint public-private partnerships to provide more job training as a way to achieve this goal. Wayne Golding, chair of the Diaspora Advisory Board for the Southern United States, also asked that programs proven to be effective and beneficial for job growth be continued by the new government.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
JAMAICAN STOCKS TUMBLE ON ELECTION DAY—02/25/15
Jamaica’s stock market experienced a fairly strong day of trading on the day of the general election, but the mood of the market caused the value of stocks to drop. The Jamaica Stock Exchange’s Combined Index lost 842 points on Election Day, 0.5 percent of its value, to close at 166,544.40 points. Of the 33 stocks traded during the day, 17 lost value, 15 appreciated, and one held steady. The three chief movers in the market represented 46.5 percent of all the trading activity, and all three saw losses: National Commercial Bank was down two cents at $41; Lasco Manufacturing ended 12 cents lower at $3.70; and Jamaica Broilers Group lost six cents, closing at $14.45.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
STRANGER COLE RECOGNIZED BY JaRIA—02/25/15
Veteran singer Stranger Cole has been recognized by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA). Cole, whose real name is Wilburn Theodore Cole, is set to receive an Icon Award at the association’s honors ceremony in New Kingston on February 28, 2016. Cole said he was very honored to receive the award for his work, and especially that he is receiving it “while I am still alive.” He noted that many veteran artistes, sadly, are not recognized for their contributions until after their passing. Cole continues to perform and tour, recently returning from Australia and Germany, with plans for shows in Japan and England for March 2016. Cole got his start in the 1960s, auditioning for producer Duke Reid, a connection linked to Sir Lord Cuttings who played on Reid’s sound system. His first audition song “In and Out the Window” was given to Monty Morris by Reid, and it topped the charts.
tells them to protect themselves and their children from the virus as well. Abrahams said he was advised by Jamaica’s minister with the responsibility for health Horace Dalley to do the song.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
JOHN AZAR CLEARS THE AIR ON TENNIS JAMAICA ELECTION—02/25/15
Controversy continues to surround the aborted election at Tennis Jamaica (TJ), which occurred in November 2015, but John Azar, presidential candidate, is trying to provide some clarity in his dispute of the organization’s position on the election. Azar has rejected TJ’s report about what happened at the election, noting that his supporters called for an immediate re-vote. TJ’s decision to declare the 2015 election null and void has prompted Azar to make his objections heard. The matter is currently pending in the courts. The controversy stems from a vote count at the election of officers in which Azar received 40 votes and his rival John Bailey received 43; the total was six more than the number of people who were eligible to vote. TJ has rescheduled its officer election to April 12, 2016.