POLITICS SPLITS CORONATION MARKET -PNP, JLP vendors sit on opposite sides

February 13, 2016
Political party flags in August Town, St Andrew, in December.

PNP, JLP vendors sit on opposite sides

Two weeks before the Jamaican electorate votes for a new Government, the election fever has forced some vendors in the Coronation Market in downtown Kingston to divide their stalls based on party allegiance.

THE STAR has learnt that vendors in a small section of the market have decided among themselves to go on separate sides because of political tension.

The vendors who spoke with THE STAR said that several arguments had developed because of the upcoming elections.

"More than one time we almost start fight dung yah cause people take this politics serious and nobody nuh want back down," explained 50-year-old June Spencer.

Spencer, a People's National Party supporter, said she sold beside Jamaica Labour Party supporters for years, but in recent times the tension has been high.

"Because me will say a one or two thing bout them leader weh dem nuh like, it cause argument so the split helps to ease certain tension," she added.

temporary one

Based on incidents that occurred in the market in 2015 when persons believed the election date would have been called, fruit vendor, Andell Francis, said the decision was made to sit on separate sides shortly after Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced the date for the General Elections.

"Last year me see people weh a fren fi years a cuss and gwaan bad, so we just decide fi PNP deh one side and JLP one side," he noted.

According to the vendors, the division is a temporary one and order will be restored after the General Elections.

"Once election done and everybody cool off, we a one big family again, but we just no want the argument over here," said Taniece Simpson.

A policeman from Denham Town Police Station told THE STAR that there haven't been any reports of politically-based violence in the market and he hopes that the peace continues.

"I encourage the vendors to keep the peace because the election period will soon come and go," he said.

Jamaicans will go to the polls on February 25 to elect a new Government. The election period has not been incident-free, but both parties have declared that they are encouraging peace during the period.

Members of both major parties also signed the Political Code of Conduct which is commissioned by the Political Ombudsman.

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