Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Respect our constitution, says Portia

Published:Monday | September 21, 2015 | 12:00 AM

People's National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller yesterday warned Comrades against usurping the constitution, telling them at the party's 77th annual conference that the guiding document should be respected.

"Recently, the conduct of a few has not been in keeping with the rules and spirit of this great movement," Simpson Miller said.

"We have a constitution that provides us with guidance and structure that we must honour and respect. No issue in the PNP is beyond the capacity of our constitution and democratic system to address," she said.

Simpson Miller's comments came nearly a week after the party issued a statement on the behalf of North East St Elizabeth Member of Parliament Raymond Pryce, indicating he was no longer interested in representing the constituency.

Pryce was being challenged for the seat by Evon Redman, and a supporter rushed to court to have an internal race stopped. He then came under pressure and was forced to resign as party insiders said he supported the legal action, which is thought to be an affront to the party's constitution and tradition.

Simpson Miller said that if the party's constitution and principles are followed, "we will remain on a path that is decent and right".

The PNP has been beset by internal squabbles in recent months, mainly as a result of challenges being made to several sitting members of parliament.

Following what Simpson Miller described as vigorous discussion on the issue in the private session of its conference, Simpson Miller said: "We leave this 77th conference energised, united and strong."

She also left no doubt that the party was in election mode, describing the performance of her Government as "tun up".

"If it is a mountain, we have climbed it. If it is a river, we have crossed it. If it is a test, we have passed it. If it is a race, we have run it. And when I call it, we will win it," Simpson Miller said.

daraine.luton@gleanerjm.com