Golding himself has given indication that he intends stepping down before November.
“The person who is expected to succeed me in a matter of days has provided very strong leadership in transforming our education process, but that is not something that can be done in any short time span,” he told reporters.
Education Minister Andrew Holness (L) with retiring Prime Minster Bruce Golding
There has been widespread speculation here that with Golding’s departure, Jamaica could be plunged into an early general election, as early as December, with some political commentators saying that the polls could be held by December 15.
Following the 2007 general election, the ruling JLP won 32 of the 60 seats in the Parliament with the remainder going to the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP).
Holness, the present Education Minister, has received overwhelming support from the JLP’s parliamentary group and party delegates in general, to replace Golding. He remains the only candidate duly nominated.
Under Jamaican law, there should be a minimum of 16 and a maximum of 23 days between nomination day and election day. In addition, there must be five days, excluding Sundays and public holidays, between the announcement of the election and nomination day.
Holness’s elevation to the country’s top job will make him the youngest ever occupant of the post.
The Observer newspaper here Wednesday reported that following his appearance at the “Observer Monday Exchange, Holness said his life has been transformed into a whirlwind of activities since it became clear that he was the front-runner for the top job”.
“I’ve been attending, on average, seven to eight meetings a day,” said Holness, who has also been attending party rallies and fulfilling his portfolio responsibilities at official functions.