Jamaica's first female prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller.
By Barry Weisleder, Montego Bay, Jamaica
January 6, 2012 -- Socialist Action (Canada), posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- Car horns blared, orange flags waved and campaign reggae jingles pulsated. Youthful political celebrants blew vuvuzelas from roving car caravans on the evening of December 29, 2011, continuing well past sunrise, across the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica.
A snap election called by the governing Jamaica Labour Party catapulted the opposition People's National Party into government after a five-year hiatus. In terms of seats in the House of Representatives, it was a landslide, 41-22 for the PNP. In terms of votes, it was a 3 per cent shift from the very close 2007 results. This time the PNP won 53 per cent, the JLP 47 per cent. Political pundits were equally surprised by the relatively large margin of victory, and by the record low 52 per cent turnout.