September 1, 2007
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 nation.
"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 s
The next Jamaican prime minister faces significant challenges, including too much debt, rising unemployment and a crime wave.