(Jamaica Observer) Andrew Holness yesterday issued a strong rejection of donmanship and garrison politics, saying he has never embraced either, and will not veer from that position regardless of which constituency he will seek to represent in the next general election.
Holness said while no decision has been made on whether he will take up the West Kingston seat, if it is left vacant by outgoing prime minister Bruce Golding, he does not want to be cast as a garrison politician.
“Anywhere I decide to go I will be strong against garrison politics as I was strong against it in that (West Central St Andrew) constituency,” Holness told reporters and editors at the Observer Monday Exchange held at the newspaper’s head offices in Kingston.
The education minister, who is expected to take the reins of Jamaica Labour Party leader and prime minister when Golding demits office next month, said it is not fair that he has been accused of being a garrison politician because he represents West Central St Andrew, which is labelled a garrison constituency. Holness said he has also never used public resources to support donmanship and that has made him unpopular with some of his constituents.
Although he built four basic schools, a community centre, cleaned gullies, corrected the water problem and is about to construct a police station in his constituency, Holness said he has never got credit for that.
“I don’t get credit for that because what people want is for me to use public resources to pay for funerals and to give them and I never did that, and so my own personal ratings [fell] because of this personal thing,” Holness said.
He said he has taken unilateral steps to eliminate the garrison-like features in the constituency which he has represented for three terms.