BY TANESHA MUNDLE Staff reporter email@example.com Monday, December 05, 2016
Two names have already emerged as potential leaders of the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) following yesterday’s emotional announcement by President Portia Simpson Miller of her intention to step down.
Opposition Leader Simpson Miller yesterday announced at the meeting of the party’s highest decision-making body that she will not be seeking re-election as leader of the PNP at the annual conference next September — adding fuel to the growing disunity within the party. There were clear signs of conflict within the party yesterday at the National Executive Council meeting, held at the Cedar Grove Academy in St Catherine, as Simpson Miller’s loyalists and disgruntled members from Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna’s St Ann South Eastern constituency hurled abuse at Hanna and Bunting in particular. Hanna, a former Cabinet minister, had been at odds with executives of the PNP, including Simpson Miller, something which intensified during the recent local government election.
The angry supporters chanted “No Lisa, no Bunting!” periodically during the meeting and refused to stop when asked by other members. They could also be heard chanting at the end of the meeting.
“We no waan nobody weh a fight against wi prime minister. She affi work fi dis like how Portia wuk. Weh she hear bout; she think dis a beauty contest?” one supporter told the Jamaica Observer.
|Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna listen to the deliberations|
at yesterday’s NEC meeting in St Catherine. (Kenyon Hemans)
Another woman who identified herself as a delegate from Hanna’s constituency said: “The people of South East St Ann don’t want Lisa. She create history down there; she mek Labourite a rule Moneague and from I born till now Labourite never win down there yet,” she said in reference to the shock loss suffered by long-standing PNP Councillor Lloyd Garrick in the Moneague Division of the St Ann Parish Council.
While some people were clear that they would not be support Bunting and Hanna in any quest to lead the party, others could be overheard saying that the campaign is on for Peter Phillips. One woman even got into a public tracing match with prominent attorney-at-law K D Knight, who served as campaign director for Hanna in the vice- presidential contest that ended in defeat for her last September. more