Opposition wins control in Jamaica, ousts prime minister

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The opposition narrowly won parliamentary elections Thursday in Jamaica, the largest English-speaking country in the Caribbean.

Preliminary results from the Electoral Commission showed the Jamaica Labor Party capturing 33 spots in the 63-seat Parliament, enough to form a government.

See Full Article

Turnout was around 47 per cent.

The leader of the Jamaica Labor Party, Andrew Holness, was greeted by cheering supporters as he arrived at party headquarters in the capital following the announcement of the results in a hard-fought fight with the People's National Party of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

Simpson Miller became the country's first female leader in 2006. That first term ended in 2007, but she returned as prime minister in 2011 amid a shrinking economy and one of the highest levels of debt relative to GDP in the world. Her government negotiated a $930 million aid package with the IMF.

The Jamaican dollar has declined, the cost of living has gone up and wages have been stagnant. The IMF, however, has praised the government for cutting debt and making other reforms to its economy and the country's stock market was rated among the best performing in the world last year.

"It makes no sense we stop the progress now," said voter Herbert Hall. "We've made a lot of progress with the economy and development. It would be chaos if we change now."

But Holness' campaign pledge to make the economy more dynamic with cuts to the income tax and other measures resonates with many in a country with widespread poverty and a youth unemployment rate above 30 per cent.

"I'm voting for change," Velma Johnson said as she waited to cast her ballot. "Wages are frozen and there's a lot of arrogance about this government."

Many Jamaicans are also fed up with one of the highest homicide rates in the world, mostly blamed on gangs. The country had at least 1,192 slayings in 2015, a roughly 20 per cent increase from the previous year. By comparison, Chicago, which has roughly the same population as Jamaica at 2.7 million, had 468 killings in the same period.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Parents, students speak out against Nova Scotia school closures

    Canada News CBC News
    In the dispute between Nova Scotia educators and the government, parents and students in the province are taking sides — with most opting to stand firmly with teachers. On Saturday, Education Minister Karen Casey announced public schools across the province would be closed to students Monday, deeming the teachers' planned work-to-rule job action "unsafe" for students. Source
  • Death toll of Oakland, Calif., fire rises to 33 [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    OAKLAND, Calif. — At least nine people died in a blaze that broke out during a party in a warehouse late Friday night in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to fire officials. Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloche-Reed says at least another 13 people are unaccounted for as of Saturday morning. Source
  • Physician killed, neurosurgeon husband charged with murder: 'How could this all happen?'

    Canada News CBC News
    The last time Mike Sullivan saw his friends Elana Fric-Shamji and Mohammed Shamji for dinner, the Toronto couple — both respected physicians — filled the room with laughter and finished each other's sentences. It was their typical loving, supportive persona, both in life and online. Source
  • Dakota Access Pipeline construction halted near Standing Rock reservation

    World News CBC News
    Standing Rock protesters celebrated Sunday as news broke that construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline near their territory has been halted. Moria Kelley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a federal agency, said in a news release Sunday that the administration will not allow the four-state, $3.8-billion pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Source
  • Standing Rock protesters celebrate 'big victory' as pipeline construction halted

    World News CBC News
    Standing Rock protesters celebrated Sunday as news broke that construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline near their territory has been halted. Moria Kelley, a spokeswoman for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a federal agency, said in a news release Sunday that the administration will not allow the four-state, $3.8-billion pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Source
  • Solving the legacy of indigenous sexual abuse: think globally, act nationally

    Canada News CTV News
    Fred Kejick Thomas remembers the exact day -- April 14, 2005 -- when he confronted the uncle who had sexually molested him out on a trap line when he was four years old. After years of being haunted by flashbacks and rage, Kejick Thomas asked police to accompany him on a visit to see his uncle, where he read a letter in Ojibwa to speak his truth. Source
  • Rebels in Aleppo must leave city or face 'inevitable death,' warns Syrian army

    World News CBC News
    The Syrian army on Sunday ordered rebels in Aleppo to leave the city or face "inevitable death," as a series of airstrikes on the neighbouring Idlib province killed at least 50 people, including several children. Aleppo shook from the sound of explosions throughout the day as pro-government forces, including foreign fighters dispatched from Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran, pounded the city's opposition neighbourhoods in the east. Source
  • Trump expands list of candidates to head State Department

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- President-elect Donald Trump is expanding his pool of candidates for secretary of state, raising a question about whether former CIA Director David Petraeus' guilty plea for leaking classified information disqualifies him to serve as the nation's top diplomat. Source
  • Miniature therapy horse on the mend after cougar mauling

    Canada News CTV News
    Six-year-old miniature horse, Rio, is finally healing after a vicious cougar mauling. Rio, a therapy horse, was attacked back in November at a farm in Maple Ride, B.C. The attack by a rare black cougar left him in critical condition, with deep puncture wounds to his face, head and throat. Source
  • Thousands protest corruption, support judiciary in Brazil

    World News CTV News
    RIO DE JANEIRO -- Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities across Brazil on Sunday to express disgust with public corruption and outrage at what they say are lawmakers' attempts to muzzle the judges and prosecutors pursuing those crimes. Source