Andrew Holness | 15 Interesting Facts About Jamaica's Prime Minister
by Deon Clarke | Associate WriterPhoto: Prime Minister of Jamaica - The Most Honourable Andrew Holness
Being the Prime Minister of a country is no simple job or achievement. Over the years, Jamaica has seen several Prime Ministers and today we will be zeroing in on the current one, The Most Honorable Andrew Holness. Just who exactly is he? Let’s find out.
- Andrew Michael Holness was born on July 22, 1972, in Spanish Town and attended the St. Catherine High School where he was head boy and valedictorian.
- He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies where he successfully pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Studies and a Master of Science in Development Studies.
- He acted as special assistant to the Most Honourable Edward Seaga (former Prime Minister of Jamaica) after joining The Premium Group of Companies.
- During the period 1994 – 1996, he served as Executive Director at the Voluntary Organization for Uplifting Children (One of Jamaica’s oldest non-government organizations).
- In 1997 he married Juliet Holness nee Landell (a chartered accountant and businesswoman), whom he had met while they were students attending the St, Catherine High School. They share two sons, Adam and Matthew. He is also a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
- Also in 1997, he became the Member of Parliament for West Central St. Andrew and served as the Opposition Spokesperson on Land and Development during the period 1999 to 2002.
- In 2002 he was switched to the Housing portfolio.
- By 2005 he was switched to a spokesperson on Education.
- He succeeded the Most Honourable Bruce Golding as Prime Minister where he served as Prime Minister from October 2011 to January 5, 2012. He then decided to go to the polls in the December 29, 2011 general elections to get his own mandate but lost to the Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller (then leader of the PNP).
- He won the February 25, 2016, General Elections by one seat – 32 seats total to the 31 of the People’s National Party (PNP), becoming Prime Minister for the second time.
- His wife, Juliet also won a seat in the Parliament, making it the first time in Jamaica’s history that a Prime Minister or Opposition Leader and his spouse sat together in Parliament.
- Mr. Holness is the youngest person to have been elected and re-elected as Prime Minister in the history of Jamaica. He was 39 years of age at his first election. He is also the first prime minister to have been born after Jamaica’s independence in 1962.
- On September 3, 2020, he led the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to a consecutive victory at the polls. This time, by a landslide, winning 49 seats with the PNP retaining a mere 14 seats.
- Once again he was sworn in as Prime Minister of Jamaica on September 7, 2020, for another four-year term and is now ranked as the 9th and 10th Prime Minister of Jamaica.
- His National and International Honours include:
- Being a member of the Order of the Nation (Jamaica)
- The Grand Cross with Gold Breast Star of the Order of Merit of Duarte, Sanchez and Mella ( Dominican Republic)
- Member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council (United Kingdom)
Quite a lot for one person, isn’t it? I bet you didn’t know so much about this distinguished gentleman. If I were to add my two cents to it, I would say that he is the only Prime Minister in Jamaica who has ever had to handle a pandemic and has done it so well. Being a leader is one of the hardest jobs ever! Kudos Mr Holness.
I also recommend you read Who Runs Jamaica?
- Andrew Holness (1972 – ), National Library Jamaica, https://nlj.gov.jm/project/andrew-holness-1972/
- Prime Minister Holness gets General Elections landslide - CARICOM, CARICOM, https://caricom.org/prime-minister-holness-gets-general-elections-landslide/
- Jamaica's ruling party claims re-election victory in landslide win, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-jamaica-elections-idUSKBN25U1NU
- Andrew Michael Holness, Jamaica Information Service, https://jis.gov.jm/profiles/andrew-michael-holness/
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