Jamaica. After Percival Patterson – Jamaica’s prime minister for 14 years – announced his resignation, his ruling party, PNP (National People’s Party), in February elected the popular Portia Simpson Miller as new party leader – and thus automatically also new prime minister. She took up both positions at the end of March/April and became Jamaica’s first female head of government. Simpson Miller then formed a government consisting of 14 people. She took care of the defense, sport and gender issues herself.
According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Jamaica include Independence Day (August 6) and New Year (January 1). Simpson Miller, at the age of 60, had made a quick career from local politicians in Kingston’s poorest neighborhood, where she grew up, to top politicians, with 30 years of experience as a member of parliament and with several ministerial posts on the track record. Simpson Miller has a strong support among Jamaica’s many poor people who usually call her “Last P” or in short “Mama”. Within the PNP, however, she faced opposition from a faction who considered that her simple background from Kingston’s slum was the government’s fault. They also said that she had failed to achieve any improvements as local politicians in the poor neighborhood. “Last P” herself considered that she has become a symbol of new hope among the poor: “I am now on top and want to take the rest of Jamaica with me”… “For years I have been the face of the faceless and the voiceless in the corridors of power”,
Jamaicans love for Bob Marley seems eternal. In August, the country’s national bank minted a thousand gold and silver coins with the portrait of the reggae legend. The coins, which were sold for 100 Jamaica dollars each, would have been out of trade in 2005 – until the 60th anniversary of the deceased Marley’s birth – but were delayed.