Jamaicans cast ballots amid sluggish economy

Friday, October 18, 2002

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Jamaicans turned out in large numbers to vote Wednesday despite pelting rains and concerns of violence in an election they hoped would revive a sagging economy and ease spiraling crime.

Preliminary results released Wednesday night showed more than half of the 60 parliamentary seats were won by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson's People's National Party.

If the early results hold, Patterson would be the first Jamaican prime minister to win three consecutive terms.

"It's an extremely historic day. This can only go well for Jamaica," said Merva Grier, jumping and waving a People's National Party flag.

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