The next Jamaican prime minister faces significant challenges, including too much debt, rising unemployment and a crime wave.
Jamaicans were expected to go to the polls in September and
Portia Simpson Miller, the country's first-ever female prime
minister, was widely expected to win re-election. The
premiership comes with the poisoned chalice of chronic fiscal
problems, rising unemployment and a growing wave of violent
crime in the Caribbean's most populous English-speaking
"Whoever comes to power will have to grapple with the same
issues as the current administration: reducing public
indebtedness, fighting crime and improving social conditions in
Jamaica," says Shelly Shetty, an analyst with Fitch, which
rates Jamaica B+. "Overall, we think the Jamaican economy
continues to remain vulnerable to external shocks such as high
oil prices and a reversal in favorable global liquidity
Fiscal performance in 2006-2007 is likely to be worse than
budgeted because of lower revenue and higher-than-expected
expenditures, says Standard & Poor's. A portion of this is
a legacy of the 2007 Cricket...
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