The below is Councillor of the Trafalgar Division Kari Douglas’ full statement on why she left the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) for the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
I hereby confirm that I have elected to leave the People’s National Party (PNP) to continue serving my country as a member of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP). Consequently, this morning [Tuesday, Feb 11] I made the symbolic walk in crossing the political aisle in the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC).
For some time, I have been deeply concerned that my former party has become a political organization which is primarily focused on winning elections at any cost, as opposed to pursuing an unswerving commitment to national development and in that process listening to the people and creating policies to meet their needs.
‘My former political party has also for some time not been a space where creative ideas, especially the thoughts of young people, are encouraged and treated seriously.’—Kari Douglas
My former political party has also for some time not been a space where creative ideas, especially the thoughts of young people, are encouraged and treated seriously. I have decided that enough is enough. Honesty dictates that I concede that given the tribal nature of our politics, my political antecedence and the likelihood that some individuals in my former political party may seek to be vindictive following this announcement—making this transition across the political aisle was not an easy decision.
‘There are many people across Jamaica, especially young people who have had a re-awakening of their political views due to the Prime Minister.’—Kari Douglas
But crucially, I must indicate that given the dynamic leadership with a positive difference that Prime Minister Holness has been able to offer the country and the JLP over the past few years, I am certain and in absolutely no doubt that I have made the right decision. There are many people across Jamaica, especially young people who have had a re-awakening of their political views due to the Prime Minister and JLP Leader’s refreshing approach to politics and steering the reigns of Government in a manner which puts the interest of the people first and also is not afraid to hold accountable public officials who step out of line.
I am one of the many who have had to decisively re-think past political ideologies and affiliation. Today, I am happy to announce that I have made a decision in the interest of my country. I intend to continue practising the kind of political representation I always have, that is seeking to secure the interest of the people of Jamaica regardless of their political persuasion or the ‘colour’ of their politics.Even as I remain Councillor for the Trafalgar Division, I look forward to making my contribution to the Prime Minister and the JLP’s exciting vision of building a new Jamaica which is prosperous for all.