Former Prime Minister Perry Christie yesterday denied rumors that he intends to run in the next general election.
Christie said his focus is on supporting the current leadership of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).
“If Perry Christie was running, you would know,” Christie said following an address to students at Mount Carmel Preparatory Academy.
“If Perry Christie ever runs again, you will know.”
He added, “Right now, I am in retirement.
“I am supporting my leader, Philip Brave Davis.
“I am very hopeful that one day he will become prime minister. It really rests with our democracy and what the people will decide when the time is here.”
Christie, who was the Centreville MP, lost his seat in the 2017 election, which saw the Free National Movement (FNM) win in a landslide victory. Christie, 76, held that seat for 40 consecutive years. He lost to political newcomer Reece Chipman by four votes.
He later admitted that he did not campaign in his constituency and had stayed in politics too long.
“When I apply retroactive thinking to it, objectively, I could have made the judgment that I have been in too long,” he said in 2018.
The loss sent Christie into retirement.
However, rumors have spread that he may run in the upcoming election.
Under his leadership, the Christie administration was plagued with scandals and missteps in its five-year term.
As noted, the party suffered a wholesale and brutal defeat at the polls on May 10, 2017, winning only four of the 39 seats in the House of Assembly.
In a post-election report by Jamaican social development practitioner Maureen Webber, Christie’s decision to remain as PLP leader and his failure to demonstrate “forceful and effective” management of his Cabinet, among other things, led to the party’s defeat.
Along with “Christie fatigue”, the report found that voters rejected the PLP because of persistent corruption perceptions, the constitutional and gaming referenda, the handling of the Rubis oil spill, unnecessary spending on carnival and poor response in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.