As February approaches, Jamaica anticipates a pulsating month of political energy, with the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP) preparing for a divisive local government showdown, marking their first engagement since 2016. The absence of a political ombudsman adds a layer of concern, given Jamaica’s history of electoral violence dating back to the slavery era. JLP leader Andrew Michael Holness exuded confidence outside the party’s Belmont Road headquarters, citing favorable reports from a recent executive committee meeting. JLP Chairman Robert Montague emphasized the party’s commitment to preventing electoral violence.

Despite setbacks in the last general polls, the PNP remains undeterred. At Manning’s School in Westmoreland, high-spirited comrades unveiled their picks for divisional seats, expressing confidence in their ability to make a compelling case for a third term. The impending showdown, expected to cost at least 1.7 billion dollars, represents a 16% increase over the last elections. Director of Elections Glasspole Brown assures the public that plans are well underway, constitutionally due in February. While the rationale for the increased election cost remains undisclosed, the Prime Minister is expected to announce the election date soon.

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