JAMAICANS head to the polls today in the country’s 17th general election since universal adult suffrage when citizens won the right to vote for the first time in 1944 while the country was still under colonial rule.
Political pundits, using recent opinion polls, believe the election will go down to the wire in the race for the 63 parliamentary seats. However, the two major political parties — the People’s National Party (PNP), which has campaigned under the slogan ‘Step Up the Progress’, and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), which has promising voters to move them from ‘Poverty to Prosperity’ — were, up to last night, brimming with confidence that they will take home the election.
While people will go out to vote for their respective candidates, several say their vote will be for the leader of the parties, the PNP’s 70-year-old Portia Simpson Miller and Andrew Holness, the 43-year-old leader of the JLP.
Yesterday, there was a frenzy of activity at PNP headquarters on Old Hope Road and the JLP headquarters on Belmont Road, both in Kingston, as the parties made final preparations for today’s vote.