Jamaica To Officially Get First Female PM Today

Hardbeatnews, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thurs. Mar. 30, 2006: Jamaica will formally get its first female prime minister later this afternoon with PM designate, Portia Simpson Miller, expected to take the oath of office at a 5 p.m. ceremony.

Chairman of the Inauguration Committee, Commerce, Science and Technology Minister, Phillip Paulwell, has explained that the inauguration ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. sharp and end before sunset. Simpson Miller will take the oath of office as the country’s seventh prime minister, following the reading of the instrument of appointment by Governor General Professor Kenneth Octavious Hall.

This will be followed by the lowering of the standard of outgoing Prime Minister, P. J. Patterson, and the raising of the standard of the new Prime Minister. Both the governor general and PM Patterson will speak followed by the inaugural address by Simpson-Miller.

Arrangements have been put in place to accommodate some 6,000 people for the ceremony, several of whom will be nationals from the Jamaican Diaspora. The evening’s proceedings will culminate with a reception in honor of the new prime minister, on the grounds of King’s House.

Meanwhile, outgoing PM Patterson, in his final address to the nation last night, stated that he’s sure “… that the change can provide a fresh impetus and create new dynamics in that forward movement.” But he advised, “We need to combine patience with a demand for accountability. We need to recognize limitations but not to be bound by them. We must make the targets a real priority, not just in our talk but in our action, through our budget allocations and in the efficiency of our implementation.”

Patterson has resigned after 14 years as PM. HE is being joined in retirement by both the health and foreign affairs ministers. – Hardbeatnews.com