People’s National Party

Published 12th December, 2011

The People’s National Party or PNP was founded in 1938 by Norman Manley. It describes itself as a centre-left party and believes in social democracy, democratic socialism and social liberalism.

The PNP along with its main rival the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has dominated the politics of Jamaica since its first elections in 1944. In total the PNP has won eight general elections to the JLPs seven, but it boycotted one general election in 1983.

The PNP won two terms in office in the 1955 and 1959 general elections. It won again in 1972 and 1976.

Arguably its most successful period was between 1989 and 2007 when it won four elections in a row. In 1989 it took 45 seats, in 1993 that went up to 52 seats, its best result ever, taking 60% of the vote. In 1997 they declined slightly to 50 seats in the 60 seats House of representatives and in 2002 dropped further to 34 seats before losing in 2007, taking 28 of the 60 seats.

Their current leader, Portia Simpson-Miller was briefly prime minister when she took over from Percival Patterson in February 2006.

The People’s National Party is an observer member of the Socialist International.

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