PM Douglas congratulates Jamaica’s Prime Minister-designate Simpson-Miller on election victory

File Photo of St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas (left) and Prime Minister-designate of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller. (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, DECEMBER 30TH 2011 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and current Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas has congratulated the new Prime Minister-designate of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson following her People’s National Party (PNP) victory over the incumbent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) on Thursday.

“I just spoke a moment ago to the Cde Leader of the victorious PNP and newly elected PM of Jamaica, the Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller. I congratulated her on behalf of the Conference of the Heads of Government of CARICOM and more so on behalf of the Government and People of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Prime Minister Douglas said.

Dr. Douglas, who placed the call from the Sugar Mill – venue of Digicel Miss Caribbean Teen Pageant at the Warner Park Cricket Stadium as part of the 40th Anniversary on National Carnival celebrations also conveyed congratulations of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) of which he is the National Political Leader.

Simpson-Miller’s PNP won 42 of the 63 seats at stake.

“Our Comrades here of the SKNLP are proud of the decisive victory of our Sister-Party, the PNP, and look forward to closer collaboration and partnership in the future as you take on the mantle of leadership of your country at a time when the region and the world are beset by so many social economic and financial challenges,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

Dr. Douglas also spoke to Cde. Horace Daley who won North Clarendon easily and greeted all the comradres at Campaign Headquarters.

Both the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and the People’s National Party are fraternal parties.

Prime Minister designate, Portia Simpson-Miller, Thursday night urged nationals to put aside their political difference and joined her People’s National Party (PNP) administration in a building a new Jamaica.

Simpson-Miller, the first ever woman to head of a government in this country, led the PNP to a 42-21 thrashing of the incumbent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in Thursday general election that was called one year ahead of the constitutional deadline, according to the preliminary results.

“This leader with her team will be working with all Jamaicans as one Jamaican family as we shape the future of Jamaica together,” she told supporters celebrating the party’s return to power after it was defeated in the 2007 general election.

CMC reported that in a victory speech interspersed with music, Simpson-Miller said that she had already received congratulatory messages from outgoing prime minister Andrew Holness and some leaders within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping.

Holness, 39, the youngest ever head of government here, now has the dubious record of being the only prime minister to serve one term in office since the island attained political independence from Britain in 1962.

“Starting tomorrow we will be rebuilding. Our campaign for the next government starts tomorrow. We are determined to serve the people of the country in the best way possible.

It is clear to us however that the people of the country still have certain concerns apparently about the Jamaica Labour Party and we will be reflecting on those,” Holiness said in his statement conceding defeat.

Simpson-Miller 66, who served as prime minister from 2006-2007 when then prime minister PJ Patterson resigned from active politics, thanked “everybody who played a role in ensuring the PNP’s victory.”

“I am humbled by the support of the Jamaican people and I ask you to ensure that you greet Jamaica labour Party supporters with love,” she added.

“I want to thank all the voters of Jamaica,” she said, adding that they had ‘kept our democracy alive and well today”.

Simpson -Miller, affectionally referred to as “Sista P” and “Comrade Leader” faces deep problems as she takes over the government, with debt running at approximately 130 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and unemployment at more than 12 per cent.

The prime minister designate has already said that her administration will be seeking to renegotiate the multi-billion dollar Standby Agreement (SBA) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“We have plenty of work ahead of us…you will hear from us soon as we move to put our team in place,” she told supporters, urging all Jamaicans “to work with us as we move this country forward together.

“We will tell you as it is, we will hide nothing from you, when it is tough and rough we will let you know, when it is easy we will let you know,” she said, informing all investors and businesses “that you have a government you can trust”.

She said her administration would be working with Jamaicans in the Diaspora to “move Jamaica forward.

“We are going to unite and move Jamaica as it has never seen before,” she added.

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