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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » ANDREW ANTHONY HOLNESS TO BE SWORN IN TODAY AS PRIME MINISTER OF JAMAICA!

ANDREW ANTHONY HOLNESS TO BE SWORN IN TODAY AS PRIME MINISTER OF JAMAICA!

BY KIMONE FRANCIS—

 

 HOLNESS… previously served at the helm of the country for just over two months–

FROM humble beginnings during his childhood days in Spanish Town, St Catherine, to the upper St Andrew-located Jamaica House, Andrew Michael Holness, having secured his own mandate in last Thursday’s general election, will today, for the second time, be sworn in as Jamaica’s prime minister.

Andrew Holnes

Andrew Holnes

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader had previously served at the helm of the country for just over two months — from October 23, 2011 to January 5, 2012.Holness, in continuation of a tempestuous political career, will take the oath of office in a special ceremony at King’s House scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm, after which he will receive the Instrument of Appointment to the Office of Prime Minister from Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. He will then deliver his inaugural address.

It was the political leanings of his mother, Carol Harvey Richards, and the mentoring of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga which led him to this particular point in his life, having been taught to “study hard, work hard, don’t beg, and to be disciplined. That is the core principle and philosophy of a Labourite,” Holness would later tell a crowd of supporters in Manchester in late 2015.

But his arduous journey to the country’s highest political office took several spins, including a divisive leadership challenge, a contentious battle with two senators; which ended with the country’s highest court ruling against him; and threats by senior party members to remove him as party leader.

AndrewHolnessPM

For political analyst Troy Caine, Holness has matured and is now better prepared for his position as a leader.

“His meteoric rise is not so meteoric anymore because Mr Holness is not one you would call a newcomer to politics, having been in the elected Parliament of the Lower House since 1997 — 18 years ago. His journey to where he now is has been a bit rough,” Caine pointed out to the Jamaica Observer during a telephone interview yesterday.

Holness’ entrance into representational politics almost never happened, as he was not sworn in as Member of Parliament for the St Andrew West Central constituency until months after he had been elected in the December 18, 1997 General Election. He had to fight off a brisk challenge from Dr Warren Blake of the People’s National Party (PNP) after the preliminary and final results were challenged, and the seat was only finalised after a magisterial recount. A decade later he was appointed minister of education when the JLP won the September 3, 2007 General Election.

“In my view, to this date, Andrew Holness has been one of the most effective ministers of education Jamaica has ever had. I don’t think that there are much people you’ll find that will refute this, in spite of what happened with the Administration being a one-term Government at the end of 2011,” Caine said.

But the analyst reasoned that it was the resignation of former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, and the fact that several polls conducted pointed to Holness as the most popular among the Labourites, that catapulted him to his present position.

“…He basically won without a contest, because everybody else threw in their hat and he was given prime minister and leader of the JLP succeeding Golding. So, yes, it has been tempestuous along the way. And you know what happened after that? He called the election, lost it, became Opposition leader, during which time he was challenged by Audley Shaw for leadership of the JLP. Later on they even had two party votes, elected members of the party had caucuses on his leadership, and he survived all of that,” said Caine.

AndrewHolness2

He said, despite criticisms from several members of the party, Holness has evolved into a transformational leader. “…I would say in the last maybe half-year, even the last few months of the campaign, Andrew Holness has turned into a different person, a different political animal, and begun to look and sound more impressive, not only as a political leader, but as a statesman, and all of this was borne out in his victory last Thursday night.

“He has come a long way in a short time relative to the fact that there are others in the politics, especially some around from both sides of the political fence, that have been in the party much longer than he has,” Caine told the Observer.

 

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