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Phillips, Holness agree for political parties to seek to address voter apathy

Dr. Peter Phillips and Andrew Holness
 
Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips has called for both major political parties to work together on a national programme to increase political participation by Jamaicans following the low voter turnout in the recent general election.
 
Speaking in the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Phillips congratulated Prime Minister Andrew Holness and his government on their election win.
 
However, he lamented the low participation by voters.
 
Dr. Phillips said the parties need to figure out how to increase public engagement.
 
"I believe each political organisation has to take it on as something that we separately consider; how we revive the sense of civic responsibility and civic duty. Some of this belongs, Prime Minister, with government and with education and the Ministry of Education. But some of it also will rest on what we do in our communities separately and how we induce a respect and regard for the sacrifices of those before and a recognition that collective action of a united people, united nation is the ultimate project the entire country should embrace," the Opposition Leader reasoned. 
 
Mr. Holness said he agreed with the Dr. Phillips, noting that "that there needs to be joint effort by both political parties and by the government to engage our voting population." He added that "there are many ways in which this could be done" and suggested "we could put the parliament to work on examining the possibilities of how we could have greater engagement."
 
The Electoral Office of Jamaica reported a 37 per cent voter turnout for the September 3 general election.
 
That was a decline from 48 per cent in the 2016 polls.
 
 


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