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Police intervene after clash between Greater Portmore East candidates

Senior Superintendent Christopher Phillips, People's National Party's Hochoy Gordon and Jamaica Labour Party's Patrick Barrett
By Racquel Porter
 
The St. Catherine South police were forced to rein in candidates vying for the Greater Portmore East division - the People's National Party's Hochoy Gordon and Jamaica Labour Party's Patrick Barrett - following an exchange of words on Thursday morning.
 
Both candidates filed a report at the Portmore Police Station.
 
Senior Superintendent Christopher Phillips said both candidates need to communicate to prevent clashes. 
 
"I had a meeting earlier to resolve the issues between the two candidates. So far, I am pleased that both parties have given their commitment to ensure that we have a peaceful election period. I would say perhaps they need to be communicating some more, not because they are on opposite sides, but the need for communication and collaboration as leaders within their space is necessary."
 
While the meeting between the police and the two candidates was positive, SSP Phillips said the police will continue to monitor the area to ensure persons feel safe to go out and vote. 
 
But before the police intervention, Mr. Gordon alleged that he was threatened about 6:50 Thursday morning at the Junior Centre in Greator Portmore. 
 
"Whilst there sitting in my vehicle, my opponent, Mr. Patrick Barrett, drove up in his van pointing at me to say that [he hopes] I get my facts right or I might face a lawsuit, after which he went into his van, came out the van and sat in front of my vehicle on a stone. After [that] I felt intimidated and I end up at the Greater Portmore police station to make a report," he recounted. 
 
In denying the allegation, Mr. Barrett told Radio Jamaica News that his focus is on winning the division. 
 
"Well, my party sent me here to win this seat. I'm not here to play games. I'm here to ensure that I win this seat. In keeping with my prime minister's plan for Jamaica overall, I intend to make Greater Portmore East a community where people want to live, they want to work, they want to just stay home and relax," he declared.


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