Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate for St Catherine North West, Newton Amos, said he had no intention to politicize or claim ownership of a road project be publicized on Labour Day, May 23, through social media and The Beacon.
He made the declaration after the Mount Rosser Community Association (MRCA) accused him of wrongfully giving the impression that he is either the sole sponsor or main sponsor of the project, which comprises rehabilitation of the Mount Rosser/Ivy main road.
The Association noted that Amos did not, in his Labour Day posts, mention the major sponsors of the project, including the main one – Rio Tinto Alcan, which contributed more than $500,000.
Amos’ contribution, on the other hand, went towards lunch on Labour Day.
Amos, in response to the accusations, noted that he has spoken with members of the MRCA who do not support the view that he stole the project spotlight from the main sponsor or was trying to politicize the community project.
He further told The Beacon that his accusers are being mischievous.
“I, at no time, claimed that the project is mine. I, at no time, claimed that it was a JLP project. It’s a Labour Day project which I am a part of [and] the Association is not denying that… I am saying to you again that mischief is in the making, and some people are doing so to try to take away from what happened on Labour Day,” he continued.
“I have not politicized the project. The only politicizing they can speak about is that I was present as a JLP; I wasn’t even wearing green. I didn’t go there wearing green to indicate my political preference; I went there to support the community like the seven other projects I visited.”
Amos further stated that he could not have claimed the project when he knew, from it started, that the main sponsor is Rio Tinto Alcan – a wastewater treatment plant in Mount Rosser district.
“It would have been grossly disingenuous for me to have put a claim on a project that I know from the planning stage there were multiple stakeholders involved in it,” he added.
Amos said he does not think his failure to mention the main sponsors in his Labour Day post could offend such sponsors, or affect the relationship between the main sponsor and the MRCA.
“The project is incomplete. We have to complete the project and we don’t want any dislocation in the support given by these people,” Amos continued.
“There is no secret that I have openly spoken about Rio Tinto, spoken about the Jamaica Bauxite Institute, [and] congratulate them and state publicly that they are the major sponsor, so I have nothing to hide.”
Amos, in the meantime, noted that Mount Rosser is his native community and the school that will benefit from the project is his alma mater, adding that he had no need to dishonestly try to score political points there.
He further stated that, of the three polling divisions in Mount Rosser, he won two of them in the last general election. He said all three are usually won by the People’s National Party.
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