Portia Simpson-Miller made history back in March 30, 2006 when she became the first female prime minister of Jamaica and held the office until her center-left People’s National Party narrowly lost in a September 11, 2007 election in which the Jamaican Labor Party gained power after 18 years as the opposition.
On December 29 she capped a remarkable political comeback as ‘Sista P’ and her party won a landslide victory over the ruling center-right Jamaican Labor Party in the snap election called by former PM Andrew Holness. He became prime minister in October after the resignation of Bruce Golding in favor of the 39 year old education minister.
Simpson Miller becomes only the second person since Michael Manley to serve non consecutive terms as Jamaica’s prime minister.
“I am humbled as I stand before you and I wish to thank the Jamaican
people for their love, for their support and for giving the People’s
National Party and the leader of the party her own mandate.’’
She will have a 41-22 edge in the Jamaican parliament to work with as she gets a second chance to lead the island nation and make good on her campaign promise to ‘unleash the greatness in all Jamaicans’.
With the country celebrating its 50th anniversary of independence from Great Britain later this summer she and the PNP will face the challenge of dealing with 12% unemployment, tackling the country’s debt and come up with policies in the face of the global economic crisis that create jobs and sustained economic growth for her people.
As to what the new PNP government means for my rainbow community brothers and sisters on the island, it remains to be seen what will positively happen for them. I hope it signals some government policies such as the repeal of the colonial era buggery law that will end the bigotry aimed at them and make it possible for Jamaica’s TBLG citizens to unleash their greatness on behalf of their nation
It will be interesting to see how PM Simpson-Miller handles this second chance to run Jamaica..