Accessibility links

Breaking News

Simpson Miller Sworn In as Jamaica's Prime Minister

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller speaks during her swearing-in ceremony at King's House in Kingston January 5, 2012.

Portia Simpson Miller has taken the oath of office for a second time as Jamaica's prime minister, pledging to boost the island nation's economy and fight poverty.

Thousands attended her swearing-in Thursday in the Jamaican capital, Kingston.

The Simpson Miller, 66, took office following her People's National Party (PNP) landslide win in last month's legislative elections. The PNP won 41 or two-thirds of the House of Representative seats, taking over power from the Jamaica Labor Party.

Ms. Simpson Miller became the first female prime minister in 2006, but lost power after 18 months in office. During her inaugural speech she said she hoped to cut Jamaica's 13 percent unemployment rate. The new prime minister also said slashing the nation's nearly $19 billion debt burden was a priority.

Simpson Miller also announced that her administration will move to establish Jamaica as a republic and abandon the British monarch as the country's official head of state.

Jamaica will observe the 50th anniversary of its independence from Britain this year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.