FROM humble beginnings during his childhood days in Spanish Town, St Catherine, to the upper St Andrew-located Jamaica House, Andrew Michael Holness, having secured his own mandate in last Thursday’s general election, will today, for the second time, be sworn in as Jamaica’s prime minister. The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader had previously served at the helm of the country for just over two months — from October 23, 2011 to January 5, 2012.
|HOLNESS… previously served at the helm of the country for|
just over two months
Holness, in continuation of a tempestuous political career, will take the oath of office in a special ceremony at King’s House scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm, after which he will receive the Instrument of Appointment to the Office of Prime Minister from Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. He will then deliver his inaugural address.
It was the political leanings of his mother, Carol Harvey Richards, and the mentoring of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga which led him to this particular point in his life, having been taught to “study hard, work hard, don’t beg, and to be disciplined. That is the core principle and philosophy of a Labourite,” Holness would later tell a crowd of supporters in Manchester in late 2015.
But his arduous journey to the country’s highest political office took several spins, including a divisive leadership challenge, a contentious battle with two senators; which ended with the country’s highest court ruling against him; and threats by senior party members to remove him as party leader.
For political analyst Troy Caine, Holness has matured and is now better prepared for his position as a leader.
“His meteoric rise is not so meteoric anymore because Mr Holness is not one you would call a newcomer to politics, having been in the elected Parliament of the Lower House since 1997 — 18 years ago. His journey to where he now is has been a bit rough,” Caine pointed out to the Jamaica Observer during a telephone interview yesterday.
Holness’ entrance into representational politics almost never happened, as he was not sworn in as Member of Parliament for the St Andrew West Central constituency until months after he had been elected in the December 18, 1997 General Election. He had to fight off a brisk challenge from Dr Warren Blake of the People’s National Party (PNP) after the preliminary and final results were challenged, and the seat was only finalised after a magisterial recount. A decade later he was appointed minister of education when the JLP won the September 3, 2007 General Election. more