Simpson Miller avoids questions

Jamaica’s People’s National Party president-elect and Prime Minister-designate, Portia Simpson Miller, yesterday steered clear of questions about possible Cabinet reshuffles, policy announcements or a snap election.

Fielding questions while leaving a church service in east Kingston, less than 24 hours after she was elected the first female president of the PNP, Mrs. Simpson Miller stated that it would be premature to respond at this time.

She was looking forward to sleep last night after a historic and hectic weekend.

Her election victory on Saturday was followed by a party at New Kingston’s Asylum Nightclub and two church services yesterday.

“I hardly got any sleep last night and I think it was very good that my first appointment (after the election) was representing the Prime Minister (P.J. Patterson) at a church service at the Baptist Union Assembly this morning,” she said.

The Gleaner caught up with Mrs. Simpson Miller yesterday evening as she left her second service of the day held at the Pentecostal Gospel Temple, Windward Road in Kingston. She was there to help honour another female leader and head of that church, Bishop Dr. Carmen Stewart, the Custos of Kingston and St. Andrew.

On Saturday, the 60-year-old Mrs. Simpson Miller became the first woman elected to the leadership of a major political party in Jamaica. With that victory, she is now slated to become the first female Prime Minister in the nation’s history.

Speaking early yesterday at the Jamaica Baptist Union’s 156th General Assembly, held at the National Arena in Kingston, Mrs. Simpson Miller included pastors in her vision for working towards national unity.

“Pastors, I will be depending upon you to assist me in also promoting the good family life,” she said.

Speaking after the second service, surrounded by well-wishers and children, she also pledged her efforts towards the latter.

“I hope I will be able to do some special things for the children, who are our future leaders,” she said.

Asked whether female foreign leaders had contacted her, she replied, “My phone at home is very hot, very hot at this time.”

The PNP president-elect and Prime Minister-designate said she had received messages from leaders of two CARICOM countries and members of the United States Congress but acknowledged that she might have missed several other calls given her busy schedule.

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