30 Dec 2011

Opposition has easy win in Jamaican elections

9:35 pm on 30 December 2011

The opposition Jamaican People's National Party, led by Portia Simpson-Miller, has won a closely-fought general election by a wide margin.

Preliminary official results give her party 41 of the 63 seats in parliament.

This will be Ms Simpson-Miller's second term as Prime Minister of Jamaica; she became the country's first woman prime minister if 2006, but was narrowly defeated in elections the following year.

Current PM Andrew Holness said it was a "humbling" defeat for his Jamaica Labour Party.

The BBC reports the snap election was called earlier in December by Mr Holness who succeeded Bruce Golding as JLP leader in October.

The campaign was dominated by concerns about the economy, with debt running at approximately 130% of GDP and unemployment at more than 12%.