Jamaicans elect Miller-Simpson as PM

Dec. 30, 2011 at 10:24 AM

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The People's National Party cruised to victory in Jamaica's elections, electing Portia Simpson-Miller as prime minister and picking up 41 parliamentary seats.

Simpson-Miller, who returns as prime minister after being ousted by a Jamaica Labor Party win in 2007, extended an the olive branch after what has been a vigorous campaign, the Jamaica Observer reported Friday.

"We will be working to move this country forward to achieve growth and development and for job creation," she said Thursday. "As we move to balance the books, we will be moving to balance people's lives."

She defeated Andrew Holness, who became prime minister when Bruce Golding resigned in October.

The Jamaica Labor Party won 22 legislative seats.

In his concession speech, Holness said, "The people have spoken and we are humble servants and we listen."

Voting went smoothly, despite long lines at some polling stations, glitches in the electronic voter identification system and low voter turnout, the Observer said.

The Electoral Office said voter turnout was 48 percent.

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