KINGSTON — The opposition Jamaica Labour Party has regained control of the Cassia Park Division of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation after its candidate Beverley Prince defeated the People’s National Party’s Sheryn Bromfield by more than 400 votes in yesterday’s by-election.
Prince — who previously served as councillor for the division for three consecutive terms between 1998 and 2012 before leaving to run unsuccessfully in the Hagley Park Division in the 2012 local government polls — secured 1,586 votes to Bromfield’s 1,176 when counting of the 41 boxes ended at 6:30 p.m. yesterday.
This has increased the number of JLP councillors in the KSAC to 15 compared to the PNP’s 25. It has also shifted power from the PNP in the division, which was won in 2012 by Bromfield’s mother, Cynthia Burrell, who died earlier this year, thus creating the vacancy.
Bromfield was seeking to capitalise on the “goodwill” her late mother was said to have left in the division.
But yesterday’s margin of victory, according to Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, is indicative of the message that voters want to send to the PNP government.
He said Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s recent comment that a vote in the election would be a vote for her and Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips — in whose East Central constituency the division falls — was because the PNP was confident of the party’s victory.
“This area is a microcosm of Jamaica on a whole and the people have sent a powerful message that they are not endorsing the prime minister and the finance minister,” Holness said.
This, despite the Electoral Office of Jamaica reporting that only about 26 per cent of the 10,575 eligible voters actually cast their ballots. (Observer)