LINSTEAD: Independent candidate says he won’t win – he is advocating for land

Independent candidate in St. Catherine North West, Gene Guthrie, said he does not have any realistic chance of winning the seat in the General Election, but he is using the platform to amplify his advocacy mainly for the re-distribution of land as well as reparations for slavery.

Guthrie, who suffered three straight defeats at previous polls in the constituency, was nominated at a cost of $15,000 yesterday to compete in the September 3 General Election.

The other two candidates, who also were nominated at Linstead Courthouse, are Hugh Graham of the People’s National Party (PNP) and Newton Amos of the Jamaica Labour Party.

The PNP’s Robert Pickersgill, who served the constituency as Member of Parliament up to recently, retired from representational politics.

Guthrie told The Beacon that he selected St. Catherine North West because he has been living there for some two decades.

He added: “I don’t expect to win. To say I would win; that would not be realistic, but I expect to do well.”

Asked why he is competing if he thinks his chances of winning are not realistic, Guthrie chuckled and replied:

“You want me to say I would beat up the other parties? I don’t think that would be a realistic view, but I am just trusting that the undecided [electors] – when they realize that there is an alternative, they will vote for me – and you may be surprised.”

Meanwhile, the independent candidate, who said he is a general engineer by profession and not by training, thinks Jamaica’s problems are all based on land possession.

“I believe that every problem that we have in Jamaica stem from the fact that we have land hunger, because the British – when they left us, deprived us of all the lands. That problem has never been solved. What I am proposing is that we demand a Commission of Enquiry or truth and reconciliation commission for the long-term,” Guthrie said.

He also noted that, for the short-term, advocacy is needed. That’s what he is trying to provide.


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