JLP, PNP supporters vote in peace


February 26, 2016
Paul Buchanan
Cuthbert Flynn

It was a picture of unity at the the Stony Hill Primary and Junior High School in West Rural St Andrew, where both People's National Party (PNP) and Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters were cheering for their respective parties in close proximity of each other.

Clad in their green and orange and armed with vuvuzelas, the supporters don't seem to mind the presence of their rivals as they sang their party jingles.

However, 47-year-old Eron Burke remembers years gone by when things were very different.

"Bwoy, me a tell you, this politics thing really come a far way because one time it was very different. You think back in the days PNP and JLP coulda stand up together like so? No sah! As you cast you vote, you run gone a yuh yaad," he said.

Burke said that in previous years, something as simple as wearing party paraphernalia could get one in serious trouble.

"All dah simple, little armband you see on me hand, you think me coulda wear it back in the days? A problem it woulda cause. Man all get shot fi less than that," he said.

mass meeting

Burke said that, in his estimation, this has been a very peaceful election when compared with the past.

"Dem two likkle shoot-up you see gwaan the other day is nothing compared to the kind of violence wah used to gwaan. It look like dem a try bring back the violence, but it no vile like the past," he said.

On Tuesday, shots rang out during the PNP's final mass meeting in Portia Simpson Miller Square, St Andrew; however, no one was shot.

Nearly three weeks prior, three persons were shot and killed at the JLP's mass meeting in Sam Sharpe Square, St James.

The police have said their investigations thus far revealed that gang feuds, and not partisan violence, led to both shooting incidents.

Burke, who says he's quite pleased with the peaceful nature of the day's proceedings, is a resident of West Rural St Andrew, where former Olympian Juliet Cuthbert Flynn of the JLP won the seat over the incumbent Paul Buchanan of the PNP.

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