Portia Simpson Miller will soon become the first female prime minister in Jamaica after she was elected president of the governing People’s National Party on Saturday. Miller will take over as prime minister when incumbent PJ Patterson retires sometime before the next legislative session begins on April 1.
“[Miller] is seen as someone who has really risen through the ranks of the party, coming from a very, very poor section of JamaicaÉ to the top post,” said Radio Jamaica’s Kathy Barrett, according to BBC News. “She’s a woman who’s very determined, a firebrand type of politician who has really hit home when it comes to the majority of people Ð especially women, the poor, and the unemployed.”
Jamaica will next hold general elections in 2007, when the People’s National Party is expected to face serious challenges because of spiraling crime and unemployment rates during the party’s 17-year reign, according to the Miami Herald.