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

  • Weak or non-existent El Nino to contribute to above-normal hurricane season

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Warm water temperatures and a weak or non-existent El Nino will contribute to an above-normal hurricane season this year, the Canadian Hurricane Centre said Thursday. Bob Robichaud, a meteorologist at the Halifax-based centre, said figures released by the U.S. Source
  • Monstrous cyclones discovered over Jupiter's poles [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. - Monstrous cyclones are churning over Jupiter’s poles, until now a largely unexplored region that is more turbulent than scientists expected. NASA’s Juno spacecraft spotted the chaotic weather at the top and bottom of Jupiter once it began skimming the cloud tops last year, surprising researchers who assumed the giant gas planet would be relatively boring and uniform down low. Source
  • U.S. appeals court deals blow to Trump administration travel ban [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination,” a federal appeals court said Thursday in ruling against the executive order targeting six Muslim-majority countries. Source
  • Boston airport massage therapist charged with raping customer inside Logan Airport Be Relax studio

    World News Toronto Sun
    BOSTON — A massage therapist has been arrested on charges he raped a customer inside a massage studio at Boston’s Logan Airport. Police say 29-year-old Darnell Williams, of Boston, was arraigned Thursday on a count of rape. Source
  • Mom accused of smothering baby while high, drunk

    World News Toronto Sun
    MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Authorities say a Pennsylvania woman under the influence of alcohol and marijuana rolled over on her 2-month-old son and passed out, smothering him to death. Arissa Ward, of Middletown, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child in the Dec. Source
  • Man arrested in case of dog found buried alive near Montreal that later died

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec provincial police say a man has been arrested for animal cruelty in the case of a dog that died after being found buried alive south of Montreal this week. Sgt. Ingrid Asselin says the man in his 40s came to investigators himself, was questioned and released with a promise to appear at a later date. Source
  • Quebec resort in town of Charlevoix to host 2018 G7 meetings

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Canada will play host to next year's meeting of G7 leaders at a remote luxury resort in the Charlevoix region of Quebec, The Canadian Press has learned. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to make the announcement at some point during this year's G7 meetings, which get underway Friday in Sicily. Source
  • Brooklyn prison guards charged with sexually abusing female inmates

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — A federal prison guard supervisor charged with repeatedly raping a female inmate who he knew spoke little English and would be turned over to immigration authorities was among three guards arrested Thursday in a prison sexual abuse scandal, authorities said. Source
  • NATO, the world's biggest military alliance, explained

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- It sounds strange to characterize the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a huge gun club, but the comparison can be useful in understanding the world's biggest military alliance. Like many gun clubs, NATO actually has no weapons of its own. Source
  • Police investigating after 200 frozen turkey pot pies missing in Ontario

    Canada News CTV News
    INGERSOLL, Ont. -- Police are trying to find whoever stole 200 frozen pies from a church in an Ontario community. Investigators say the individual portion size turkey pot pies were taken from a church in Ingersoll, Ont. Source