Former St Ann's Bay mayor switches to JLP. Ivan Anderson takes aim at Dayton Campbell
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Expelled from the People's National Party (PNP) for contesting an election against a fellow Comrade, former mayor of St Ann's Bay, Ivan Anderson, has switched allegiance to the opposition party and is hoping to be its parliamentary candidate in the next general election due in 2016.
Anderson, who served for 15 years as councillor in the Brown's Town division until the 2012 local government elections, said the PNP not only disrespected him by foisting Dr Dayton Campbell on the constituency which he wanted to represent, but it also denied him the opportunity to run in the last local government polls.
Anderson told The Gleaner that he applied for membership in the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) five months ago, and is also putting himself in a position to run on the party's ticket in North West St Ann, which Campbell won in the 2011 general election.
"I am here with the people every day, and I still have some clout, so I have said, if I can't go the PNP way, I will go with the JLP," Anderson told The Gleaner.
Even though he has been accepted by the JLP, he is not yet sold on its policies.
"It is about people. I am a people person. There are few ideologies that I agree with, but I would not say I have bought into it totally," he added.
In explaining the reason for his expulsion, the PNP told Anderson: "By virtue of your nomination as a candidate to contest the Brown's Town division of the St Ann Parish Council, in opposition to the approved candidate of the People's National Party, your membership in the party is hereby terminated with immediate effect."
It pointed to Rule 206 of its constitution, which states: "No person who has contested a seat for the House of Representatives or for any municipal or parish council as a candidate in opposition to a candidate of the People's National Party may continue, or be subsequently admitted, as a member of the party, except with the specific approval of the Executive Committee, which may reject the application or accept it on such terms as it may decide."
SHUNNED FOR COUNCIL POLLS
The PNP's decision not to put Anderson forward as candidate in the local government elections was influenced by fraud charges against him.
The matter related to a land transaction Anderson reportedly carried out but reportedly failed to hand over the money.
Anderson told The Gleaner that he was freed of the charges in court and that that matter no longer hangs over his head.
He said, too, that while the PNP "did what they had to do" by not selecting him as councillor candidate, "none of them sat down with me to discuss anything".
Anderson said after party functionaries spoke with him, they told him he was too close to Othneil Lawrence, one-time member of parliament and JLP caretaker for the constituency, and that Anderson did not work with Campbell or Lucius Thomas, who Campbell replaced as the PNP's standard-bearer.
Anderson told The Gleaner he would have no problem getting the nod over Lawrence, and go on to beat Campbell in the next election.
"The first hurdle is to actually get over Neil Lawrence, and I don't think that I have a problem, because I have done a some groundwork. I am a people person, and I have never gone out there and preached politics in a way that would turn people off," Anderson said.
"I am still a leader. I was born a leader and I think have a lot to contribute by way of representation. When I was a [member of the] PNP, I got both Labourites and PNP voting for me. I think the same will happen now I am a Labourite. I will get PNP people voting for me," Anderson said.