Attorney Marsha Smith gets JLP nod to seek support in NE St Ann
The late Shahine Robinson
Attorney Marsha Smith has been given permission by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to seek the support of the constituents and the party executives of North East St Ann in a bid to represent the party in the seat.
At the same time, JLP General Secretary, Dr Horace Chang, emphasised that no decision has been taken by the party on whether Smith will replace Shahine Robinson as the JLP’s candidate for the constituency in the upcoming general elections, which are constitutionally due in February 2021.
Robinson, who served as Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency for 19 years, died on May 29 after a battle with cancer. A private funeral service was held for her last Friday, and the Government is to announce the date for an official funeral service for her at a later time.
Speaking in a radio interview on Monday, Chang said so far "one person has been given permission to work with the (North East St Ann) constituency to seek the support of the constituents."
He said if anyone desires to become a KLP candidate for a seat, "you have to apply for it and the party will decide if you are to be allowed to seek the support of the constituents."
Chang also asserted that the selection of any candidate "is the responsibility of the officers and the central executive (of the party)", and further reiterated that a candidate has not been selected for North East St Ann.
In relation to Marsha Smith, the JLP General Secretary said along with being an attorney, she is the Chairman of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT), and she worked closely with Robinson when the latter was the Minister of Labour and Social Security.
It is not clear if Smith still occupies the positions of chairman and member of the IDT.
Meanwhile, the attorney is the daughter of veteran St Ann lawyer, Ernest Smith.
The elder Smith is a former parliamentarian for South West St Ann, having won the seat for the JLP in the 2002 and 2007 general elections.
However, his success in the seat ended in the 2011 General Elections when he was defeated by Keith Walford of the People's National Party (PNP).