Andrew Holness

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Andrew Holness
Andrew Holness Press (cropped) 2.jpg
Holness in 2020
9th Prime Minister of Jamaica
Assumed office
3 March 2016
MonarchsElizabeth II
Charles III
Governor-GeneralSir Patrick Allen
Preceded byPortia Simpson-Miller
In office
23 October 2011 – 5 January 2012
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor-GeneralSir Patrick Allen
Preceded byBruce Golding
Succeeded byPortia Simpson-Miller
Leader of the Opposition
In office
5 January 2012 – 3 March 2016
Prime MinisterPortia Simpson-Miller
Preceded byPortia Simpson-Miller
Succeeded byPortia Simpson-Miller
Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party
Assumed office
20 November 2011
Preceded byBruce Golding
Minister of Education
In office
11 September 2007 – 1 January 2012
Prime MinisterBruce Golding
Preceded byMaxine Henry-Wilson
Succeeded byRonald Thwaites
Personal details
Andrew Michael Holness

(1972-07-22) 22 July 1972 (age 50)
Spanish Town, Jamaica
Political partyJamaica Labour Party
(m. 1997)
EducationSt. Catherine High School
Alma materUniversity of the West Indies

Andrew Michael Holness, ON PC (born 22 July 1972) is a Jamaican politician who has been the Prime Minister of Jamaica since 3 March 2016, following the 2016 Jamaican general election.[1] Holness previously served as prime minister from October 2011 to 5 January 2012. He succeeded Bruce Golding as prime minister, and decided to go to the polls in the 29 December 2011 general election in an attempt to get his own mandate from the Jamaican electorate. He failed in that bid, however, losing to the People's National Party led by Portia Simpson-Miller, with the PNP gaining 42 seats to the Jamaica Labour Party'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.[2] In 2020, the Labour Party won a landslide in another general election, and on 7 September Holness was sworn in for another term as prime minister.[3]

In October 2011, at the age of 39, Holness became the youngest person ever to be prime minister in Jamaica's history. In March 2016, aged 43, he became the youngest to ever be elected prime minister. He is also the first prime minister to have been born after Jamaica gained independence in 1962.[4]

Early life[edit]

Andrew Holness is a graduate of St. Catherine High School and of the University of the West Indies, where he pursued a Bachelor of Science in Management Studies and a Master of Science in Development Studies.[5] In 1997 he married Juliet Holness (née Landell), an accountant, whom he had met as a student at St. Catherine High School during the 1980s.[6][7] The couple have two children, Adam and Matthew.[8]

Holness served as Executive Director at 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.[9]

Political career[edit]

In 1997, he became a 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 of Jamaica[edit]

He succeeded Bruce Golding as both leader of the JLP and prime minister on 23 October 2011, making him the ninth person to hold the office. As prime minister, he chose to retain the education portfolio. In February 2023, a commission cleared him of corruption allegations of which he was accused.[10]

2011 elections[edit]

On 5 December 2011, Holness called an election set for 29 December 2011. The JLP campaigned in its strongholds, and Holness highlighted the accomplishments during the four years of JLP government, such as economic growth and crime reduction, which the JLP said the PNP failed to do during its own eighteen years' rule of the country.

The JLP, however, lost the election to the PNP, which gained a large majority of 42 to the JLP's 21 parliamentary seats. Portia Simpson-Miller and the PNP returned to power. The voter turnout was 53.17%.[11]

2016 elections and re-appointment as Prime Minister[edit]

On 25 February 2016, the JLP won the 2016 election winning 32 seats compared to 31 seats for the incumbent PNP. His wife Juliet also won a seat in parliament, the first time a prime minister or opposition leader and their spouse sat simultaneously in the Parliament of Jamaica.[12] As a result, Simpson-Miller became Opposition Leader for a second time. The voter turnout dipped below 50% for the first time, registering just 48.37%.[13]

2020 elections[edit]

On 3 September 2020, Holness led the JLP to a second consecutive general election victory, but this time by a much larger margin. The JLP won 49 seats, as compared to the 14 seats for the PNP. However, the turnout was just 37%, probably affected by the coronavirus pandemic. With this victory, he became the youngest person in Jamaica's history to be elected twice.[14] He was sworn in for another term on 7 September 2020.[15][16][17]


During the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's tour of Jamaica in March 2022, on behalf of the Jamaican monarch,[18] Queen Elizabeth II, and as part of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of her accession, Holness told the royal couple that their nation was "moving on and we intend to attain in short order our development goals and fulfil our true ambitions as an independent, developed, prosperous country".[19]


National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Holness Sworn In As PM, Takes 'The Most Honourable' Title Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. 3 March 2016. Accessed 3 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Journey Begins - Portia Sworn In". Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  3. ^ "Holness to be sworn in as prime minister on Monday afternoon". Archived from the original on 10 September 2020. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  4. ^ Robinson, Claude (23 October 2011). "When Andrew Holness becomes prime minister today". Jamaica Observer. Archived from the original on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  5. ^ "The Honourable Andrew Holness". Archived from the original on 8 November 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  6. ^ Husey-Whyte, Donna (13 November 2011). "The PM's wife Juliet Holness speaks of life, love and family". Jamaica Observer. Archived from the original on 25 January 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  7. ^ Ellington, Barbara (20 November 2011). "Juliet Holness; Jamaica is safe in Andrew's hands". The Gleaner. Archived from the original on 2 December 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Mr. Andrew Michael Holness, M.P. Opposition Leader". Jamaica Information Service. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Andrew Holness 'sworn-in' as Jamaica's new Prime Minister – Dominica News Online". 24 October 2011. Archived from the original on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  10. ^ Thomson Reuters (16 February 2023). "Jamaica PM will not face corruption charges - watchdog". Reuters. Retrieved 17 February 2023. {{cite news}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  11. ^ Caribbean Elections: Jamaican Election Centre, "Jamaican general election results 29 December 2011" Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  12. ^ "Juliet joins husband Andrew in Parliament - News". 26 February 2016. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  13. ^ Caribbean Elections: Jamaican Election Centre, "Jamaican general election results 25 February 2016" Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  14. ^ Charles, Jacqueline (3 September 2020). "Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Jamaica Labor Party retain power in 'tsunami victory'". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  15. ^ "Swearing in ceremony for Holness set for Monday". 5 September 2020. Archived from the original on 6 September 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Holness to be sworn in as prime minister on Monday afternoon". Archived from the original on 10 September 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  17. ^ "WATCH: Holness sworn in as prime minister for a third time". Loop News Jamaica. 7 September 2020. Archived from the original on 10 September 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Full Text—Prince William expresses profound sorrow for slavery", The Gleaner, 23 March 2022, retrieved 19 August 2022
  19. ^ Gentleman, Amelia; Wolfe-Robinson, Maya; Chappell, Kate (23 March 2022). "Jamaica's PM tells Kate and William his country is 'moving on'". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  20. ^ Andrew Holness appointed Prime Minister
  21. ^ PM Holness and Dominican Republic President conferred national honours

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Ronald Thwaites
Preceded by Prime Minister of Jamaica
Succeeded by
Preceded by Leader of the Opposition
Prime Minister of Jamaica
Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party