Friday 25 September, 2020

WATCH: Hold 'Speid' on election agenda, urges JTA president

Owen Speid

Owen Speid

With the island's two main political parties in general election mode, President of the Jamaica Teacher's Association (JTA), Owen Speid, says it is not a good time for the polls to be held with the current spike in COVID-19 cases coinciding with back-to-school preparations.

In a video below, Speid argued that "It is not a good time for us to be looking at... all those activities that surround back-to-school and at the same time be campaigning in a general election, which will impact the communities across Jamaica."

At the same time, he has raised concern that both Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and People's National Party (PNP) supporters may not adhere to the necessary COVID-19 protocols during the campaign period.

And with the now increase of coronavirus cases, the JTA president expressed concern about the likely negative impact of national polls on the scheduled start to the new academic year in September.

While acknowledging that he cannot tell Prime Minister Andrew Holness when to call the elections, Speid said if it is called at this time "there could be an exponential spread in the number of COVID-19 cases as soon as the energy level picks up leading into the next general election."

He called on the Government to assess whether or not the island is in the "best possible position" to have elections at present.

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