It’s probably the most repeated comment following the first political debates and has also been making the rounds on social media: “Portmore, I am speaking to you, if a mosquito has ever bitten you in your life, do not vote for the PNP”.
That was the plea of the Jamaica Labour Party’s Spanish Town Councillor Kenisha Allen on Wednesday night as she attempted to take on the People’s National Party over its performance in public health.
Her comment, which elicited laughter inside the studios of the Creative Production and Training Centre was in response to assertions from PNP representatives who credited their administration for improving solid waste management and drain cleaning.
“If a mosquito has bitten you, avoid the PNP because you have consecutively supported them and what happened to you? Mosquito bite you left, right and centre,” she said to increased snickering.
The PNP has been haunted by its poor handling of the outbreak of Chikungunya, a virus which is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
The PNP’s Everton Fisher, a representative of the Opposition party rejected Allen’s statements, saying health should not be politicised.
“It is all so very sad that we seem to want to politicise health,” he said.
“We cannot at this time in our nation’s history be talking about JLP or PNP mosquito. The fact is we must clean up the garbage so as to let people live in a healthy environment.”
The issue of garbage collection was a hotly debated subject.
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie admitted that there is a pile up of garbage across the country because of inadequate trucks to transport.
But he announced that several new trucks should arrive in Jamaica by the end of February next year.
LBC News Analysis.
The comment “Portmore, I am speaking to you, if a mosquito has ever bitten you in your life, do not vote for the PNP” was by far the most memorable thing said in the entire debate. That in and of it self says alot.
While Local Government Elections debates, are not expected to move the electorate to vote one way or the other, it was generally expected that it would have given the populace an insight into where both political party’s stand on the issues relating to Local Government. That did not happen much lastnight.
What ensued was more of a tracing match and pointing of fingers. The substance came chiefly from the Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie, who tried to steer the debate towards policy issues rather than a tracing match.
The JLP team did a better job than the PNP in articulating their talking points. Charles Sinclair holding up a long sheet of paper detailing the high level of Corruption that has been a feature of PNP rule in Jamaica was also a talking point.
The other big talking point was the dissapperance of Mayor of the St. Elizabeth Parish Council, Everton Fisher, who did not say a word for fifty-one minutes of the debate. During the debate, the hash tag Manequin challenge started trending in reference to him.
All in all the JLP won the debate.