Jamaicans will have a new Prime Minister, or will they?

Bye bye Portia, bye bye!

Jamaicans will have a new Prime Minister, or will they?

Andrew Holness (R), leader of the opposition Jamaican Labour Party, speaks to supporters at the party headquarters after they won the general election in Kingston, Jamaica February 25, 2016. REUTERS/Gilbert Bellamy

Jamaica’s opposition (Jamaica Labour Party) won the general elections on Thursday, February 25, 2016. The party’s message of severe tax cuts and promises of job has won over the votes of citizens who are tired of dealing with years of tough IMF-mandated austerity measures.

The Jamaican Labour Party (JLP) led by Andrew Holness had won 33 of the 63 seats and  Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller’s party took 30 seats.

Andrew Holness, (Prime Minister- designate) promises that, “We will grow the Jamaican economy. We will create jobs. We will give you an accountable and responsive government.”

He also asserted that his government would address a long list of devastating socio-economic issues concerning water, housing, and healthcare.

“Our mission is to move Jamaica from poverty to prosperity,” he said as party supporters cheered him on.

Simpson-Miller conceded defeat to a crowd of somber voters.

Will Andrew Holness make a difference?

Andrew Michael Holness (born 22 July 1972) is a Jamaican politician who was Prime Minister of Jamaica from October 2011 to January 2012. He previously served as the Minister of Education from 2007 to 2012.

Jamaicans will have a new Prime Minister, or will they?

Andrew Holness and Audrey Marks, Jamaica’s. Ambassador to U.S. photo Sharon Bennett

Holness was the youngest person to become Prime Minister in Jamaica’s history, as well as the country’s ninth Prime Minister overall. He is also the second shortest serving Prime Minister in Jamaica (Sir Donald Sangster being the shortest) as well as the Caribbean.

How quickly can he solve the problem of Youth Unemployment?

The Unemployment Rate in Jamaica decreased to 13.10 percent in the third quarter of 2015 from 13.20 percent in the second quarter of 2015. Unemployment Rate in Jamaica averaged 13.94 percent from 1991 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 16.50 percent in the fourth quarter of 1997 and a record low of 9.80 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Thousands of educated young people are still unemployed or under-employed; youth unemployment stands at 38%, which more than doubles the national rate.

By Karl A. Haughton

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