Andrew Michael Holness

 

Prime Minister of Jamaica

Andrew Michael Holness, ON, MP (born 22 July 1972) has been the Prime Minister of Jamaica since 3 March 2016, following the 25 February 2016 general elections. Upon his appointment as prime minister, Holness was bestowed with the national honour of the Order of Nation, which entitles both him and his wife to be styled as "The Most Honourable".

Holness previously served as Prime Minister from October 2011 to January 5, 2012. He had succeeded Bruce Golding as Prime Minister and decided to go to the polls in the 29 December 2011 general elections in a bid to get his own mandate from the Jamaican electorate. He failed in that bid, however, losing badly to the Portia Simpson Miller-led PNP, with the PNP gaining 42 seats to the JLP's 21.

Following that defeat, Holness served as Leader of the Opposition from January 2012 to March 2016, when he once again assumed the position of prime minister.

Holness is the youngest person to become Prime Minister in Jamaica's history, as well as the country's ninth Prime Minister overall. He is the also first prime minister to be born post-Jamaican independence in 1962.
 

Biography

Early life

Andrew Holness is a graduate of the St. Catherine High School and a graduate of the University of the West Indies where he pursued a Master of Science in Development Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Management Studies In 1997, he married Juliet Holness (née Landell), an accountant, whom he had met as student at St. Catherine High School during the 1980s The couple have two children, Adam and Andrew Jr.

Holness served as Executive Director in the Voluntary Organization for Uplifting Children from 1994 to 1996 and then joined the Premium Group of Companies, acting as a special assistant to Edward Seaga.

He is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Political career

In 1997 he became Member of Parliament for West Central St. Andrew and served as Opposition Spokesperson on Land and Development from 1999 to 2002. In 2002 he switched portfolio to Housing and then Education in 2005. He was sworn in as Minister of Education in September 2007.

Prime Minister

He succeeded Bruce Golding as both leader of the Jamaica Labour Party and Prime Minister on 23 October 2011, making him the ninth person to hold this office. As Prime Minister, he chose to retain the education portfolio.

2011 elections

On 5 December 2011, Holness called the next election for 29 December 2011. The JLP campaigned in their strongholds and Holness highlighted the four years of JLP government with accomplishments, such as economic growth and crime reduction which the JLP says the PNP failed to do during their eighteen years rule of the country. The JLP, however, lost at the polls to the People's National Party, which gained a large majority of 42 to the JLP's 21 parliamentary seats.

2016 elections

On 25 February 2016, the Jamaica Labour Party, headed by Andrew Holness, won the national elections with the Jamaican Labour Party winning 32 seats compared to 31 seats for the incumbent People's National Party. His wife Juliet also won a seat in parliament, the first time a Prime Minister or Opposition Leader and his/her spouse will be sitting in the Parliament of Jamaica together