Portia, Omar resign from politics this month

June 13, 2017
Simpson Miller

After 35 years as a member of parliament, Portia Simpson Miller will resign as the parliamentary representative for South West St Andrew on June 29.

Simpson Miller, who twice served as prime minister, will bow out at the same time as her parliamentary colleague, Dr Omar Davies.

Davies has been the South St Andrew member of parliament since 1994.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is expected to announce the date for by-elections to take place in the neighbouring constituencies after the resignations take effect. 

Simpson Miller's departure from active politics comes just over a year after she led the People's National Party into defeat during the 2016 general elections. Despite holding 42 of the 63 seats going into the elections, Simpson Miller's PNP suffered a spectacular loss to Andrew Holness' Jamaica Labour Party.

On election day in 2016, Donovan Bryan, a South West St Andrew voter, said a JLP win nationally could force Simpson Miller out of the constituency.

"If the Jamaica Labour Party wins this election we know she will step down and if we have somebody good we can put up we can gain back the seat," Bryan reasoned.

The JLP polled its highest number of votes since 1980 — 702 — in 2016 but still finished miles behind Simpson Miller who polled 10,792 votes. Image result for portia simpson mIller, election, south west st andrew, jamaica gleaner

The last time the JLP polled more than 1,000 votes in South West St Andrew was 1980 when Tom Tavares Finson got 4,524 votes to Simpson Miller's 17,192. 

In her first election, Simpson Miller polled 13,584 votes, beating the JLP's Joseph McPherson, who got 4,376. With the win, Simpson Miller set about building a PNP dynasty in a seat which was then one of the strongest JLP areas in Jamaica.

 

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