Jamaican PM romps home in general election
After his third straight defeat, the JLP leader, Edward Seaga, who was prime minister throughout the Eighties, hinted that his career might be over.
Five people were killed in election-day violence, though that was probably the lowest toll in any election during the past 50 years. Relieved that heavily armed gunmen in the so-called "garrison communities", or fiercely loyal neighbourhood fiefdoms, had generally stayed quiet, Mr Patterson said his victory was " a call for a unifying force ... love and togetherness." Holding up three fingers to signify three terms - the late Michael Manley led the first term from 1989 until he handed over to Mr Patterson in 1992 - the Prime Minister told dancing supporters: "This is a signal that the country wants an end to political violence. Today Jamaica won."
Confounding analysts who mostly predicted a close race and inroads by the new National Democratic Movement, the ruling party won about 55 per cent of the votes to Labour's 39 per cent. The NDM won 5 per cent. That looked like giving Mr Patterson's party 49 to 50 seats in the 60-seat parliament.
A dejected Mr Seaga, known by his opponents as "The Don" because of his influence over community leaders, who are often armed, admitted his party had failed to understand the feelings of most Jamaicans.
"If this team did not succeed, we will have to look at which team will succeed and bring to the forefront some new blood," he said. Some saw this as a sign of readiness to hand over the party's reins.
Near the tourist resort of Montego Bay two men believed to be political activists were shot dead in a clash with troops. In a Kingston suburb two brothers were shot dead by what the police called "politically motivated" gunmen passing in a car. A Labour member at a polling station in the St Catherine area was stabbed to death.
In West Kingston gunmen fired on a police patrol and at policemen on a rooftop look-out post. There were no reports of police injuries.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...