BY TANESHA MUNDLE Staff reporter email@example.com Monday, March 27, 2017
Former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in her final address as president of the People’s National Party (PNP) yesterday urged the party to continue its mission of being the voice for the poor and voiceless.
“The PNP has always spoken out for the poor and the voiceless and that must remain our cause and our purpose,” the decorated politician told thousands of cheering supporters in an emotional speech inside the National Arena in St Andrew.
Former People’s National Party President Portia Simpson Miller
(left) embraces Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna at the
National Arena yesterday. (Bryan Cummings)
“Now, more than ever, Jamaica needs a strong, vibrant and united party to defend people’s interest. We must be the eyes, ears and voice of the people,” she said. “We must embrace the foundation’s mission, principles and ethics, and we must create programmes to enhance the quality of life for our people.”
The outgoing party president noted that every party president has worked to improve the lives of the dispossessed and the poor, and promised that she will continue to find ways to inspire and help the less fortunate. She expressed confidence in the leadership of the new party president.
“As I exit the stage and hand over the baton to Dr Peter Phillips, I know that the party, our party is in good hands,” she said.
“Dr Phillips, like all of us before him, will have to lead the charge to repair the breach and restore the path for the people of Jamaica,” Simpson Miller added, while encouraging members and supporters to give him their full support.
“I say to the Portia battalion and the Portialites, you must become the Peter brigades, he is now your leader and he will need you as much as I did,” she told her supporters while thanking them for their unbridled love and loyalty.
“I have been privileged to serve at every level, worker, councillor, Member of Parliament, president of women’s movement, the first female Vie-president, and first female president, and I am proud to have served as your president for 11 years,” she continued amidst the deafening sounds of blaring vuvuzelas.
Simpson Miller also expressed satisfaction at the successes that she achieved during her tenure as prime minister, including her Administration’s economic reform programme which she said has helped the current Government to get a new programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with little effort.