Jamaica heads to the polls today in a vote that will decide whether it's youngest prime minister, Andrew Holness, stays on.
Andrew Holness is already Jamaica’s youngest prime minister. Could he also become the nation’s shortest-serving?
Both candidates, from the two major parties – the Labor Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP) – are attempting to blame the other for economic woes that have turned Jamaica, the third largest Caribbean nation, into one of the world’s most indebted.
Once one of the world’s largest sugar producers in the 1800s, this nation – known for its reggae and more recently the deadly violence over the extradition of gang leader Christopher "Dudus" Coke – faces about $18.6 billion in debt, more than 120 percent of its GDP. Unemployment sits at nearly 13 percent.
Prime Minister Holness has only been in office since October, after his predecessor Bruce Golding resigned. "Jamaicans are now safer, our economy is stable with a solid foundation for job creation," the 30-something Holness said before the race.
Ms. Simpson Miller, who was born into a ghetto in Kingston and is known as “Sista P,” is the more charismatic of the two leaders and says she is more in touch with the nation’s poor. She served briefly as prime minister in 2006 and 2007, also as another “first”: Jamaica’s first female prime minister.