The ruling Jamaican National Party’s (JNP) campaign director conceded defeat Thursday on a national television broadcast. Karl Samuda said “we have not won, the people have spoken”.
Thursday’s win returns Jamaica’s first female prime minister to power.
Portia Simpson Miller narrowly lost to the ruling Jamaica Naitional Party four years ago.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness from the center-right JNP had fought to retain his position just two months after he was sworn in. The 39-year-old took power when his predecessor, Bruce Golding, resigned in a scandal over his handling of a U.S. extradition request for a notorious drug gang leader.
Now, Simpson Miller faces the task of leading her party in lowering Jamaica’s 13 percent unemployment rate and tackling the country’s debt-ridden and stagnant economy.
Observers said the voting was mainly smooth and peaceful, a change from previous elections marred by violence.