Wednesday 23 May, 2018

Heavy Cabinet support for Clarke on Nomination Day in NW St Andrew

Dr Nigel Clarke (right), the JLP candidate for North West St Andrew, is greeted by Finance Minister Audley Shaw (centre) while Duane Smith, councillor for the Chancery Hall Division and son of former MP Derrick Smith, looks on during Nomination Day activities. (PHOTOS: Shawn Barnes)

Dr Nigel Clarke (right), the JLP candidate for North West St Andrew, is greeted by Finance Minister Audley Shaw (centre) while Duane Smith, councillor for the Chancery Hall Division and son of former MP Derrick Smith, looks on during Nomination Day activities. (PHOTOS: Shawn Barnes)

With the backing of a throng of party supporters including top-level figures - in 12 Cabinet ministers, two state ministers and three other Members of Parliament (MP), plus a number of mayors - economist and Rhode Scholar, Dr Nigel Clarke, marched confidently into the Pembroke Hall Community centre to be nominated on Monday to contest the March 5 by-election for the North West St Andrew seat in Parliament.

But perhaps his greatest asset on the day was the hands-on input of Duane Smith, son of former longstanding MP for the constituency, Derrick Smith, who has tempered his personal ambition to replace his father, and is seemingly throwing his weight heavily behind Dr Clarke.

On hand to complement the bandwagon-style Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) support base that accompanied the candidate to the nomination centre were Cabinet ministers, Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Dr Horace Chang, Robert Montague, Delroy Chuck, Dr Christopher Tufton, Dr Andrew Wheatley, Audley Shaw, Desmond McKenzie, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, Ed Bartlett, Daryl Vaz and Karl Samuda.

This was backed up by state ministers Fayval Williams and Everald Warmington, along with House Speaker, Pearnel Charles Snr, other Members of Parliament in Juliet Holness and Dr Norman Dunn, and mayors inclusive of Delroy Williams and Richard Creary.

In traditional JLP style, Dr Clarke’s nomination fee was paid in all $100 bills depicting the image of former JLP Prime Minister, Donald Sangster, with Duane Smith, after marshalling the 10 chosen supporters to sign the nomination papers, sitting with Dr Clarke throughout the formal nomination process, including making the payment for the fee.

Of note though, in contrast to the People’s National Party top brass earlier, Prime Minister Holness, likely under pressure on different fronts, especially over his continued failure to fully appoint Acting Chief Justice, Bryan Sykes, to lead the judiciary, surprisingly declined to be interviewed by the media after Dr Clarke’s nomination. See more photos in slider below.

NW St Andrew Nomination Nigel Clarke