Moneque Brown will represent the People’s National Party (PNP) in the next Local Government Election in the Lluidas Vale Division, St. Catherine North-West.
Chairman of the constituency Hugh Graham, during an interview with The Beacon last evening (June 22), confirmed the selection.
He said Brown is one of two persons who applied for the post; the other being Kayon Page, who was the first to submit his application.
Page is a chef and businessman.
Brown has been working for years at the PNP constituency office – a job that brings her in close contact with Graham, and with retiring Member of Parliament for the constituency Robert Pickersgill.
Both aspirants, who are natives of Lluidas Vale, were expected to square off during an election conference.
However, Graham stated that the PNP opted not to host election conferences, considering the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
He said: “The executive of the party, on the 1st of June, mandated that all Local Government representatives should be in place by the 30th of June. Due to the COVID conditions, part of the request is that there is no election conference.”
Graham indicated that the constituency executive thinks Brown is more qualified than Page for the position.
“The constituency executive has recommended her on the basis of her work in the constituency and the Lluidas Vale Division from the time of former councillor Glenmore McLean. Also, she applied to the Constituency, and the application was looked on favourably,” he said.
Some of Page’s supporters are not pleased with the selection process, which they claim was neither transparent nor fair.
When asked about the integrity of the said process, Graham told The Beacon: “We are following the directives of the party’s executive, which is the highest body of the party.”
He urged both camps to unite.
The PNP installed a new candidate in the Lluidas Vale Division because Graham, who is the current Councillor, is not seeking re-election at the Local Government level.
He is now the party’s General Election candidate in the St. Catherine North-West constituency, which covers Lluidas Vale, Ewarton, Linstead, and Treadways Divisions.
Graham succeeded Pickersgill as the PNP constituency candidate because Pickersgill is retiring from representational politics.
The Lluidas Vale Division, in the meantime, traditionally votes for the PNP.
According to the Electoral Office of Jamaica, this is how people in the division voted in the last Local Government Election, which was held on 28 November 2016:
Hugh Graham (PNP) – 1,212
Shanlee O’connor Samaroo (JLP) – 660
There were 7,305 people on the official voters’ list in the division in the last Local Government election. Of that total, 25.83 percent voted.
In the next election, the Jamaica Labour Party will have a new candidate, Joel Williams, in the division.
By Horace Mills – Journalist, B.A degree in Media and Communications; CARIMAC, University of the West Indies
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