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'Cut the nonsense' - Portia urges PNP factions to end divisiveness and unite

Published:Wednesday | November 18, 2015 | 11:00 AMEdmond Campbell
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Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller yesterday cracked the whip on factions within her People's National Party (PNP) that have been embroiled in a public quarrel over who should represent the party in North Trelawny in the upcoming general election.

Yesterday, Simpson Miller, party president, sent a strong message to members in North Trelawny, urging them to put aside divisiveness and unite.

Speaking to reporters at Gordon House yesterday, she told members of her party to do what is right in the interest of the Jamaican people.

"My encouragement would be that it is time that they cut the nonsense and begin to move ahead. Our responsibility is to live together in peace and love. We are not all going to be loving the same person, we are all not going to be wanting to support the same person, but what we should do is do what is right in the interest of the Jamaican people," a strident Simpson Miller charged.

"Comradeship is a very important word. When you say 'Comrade', it means that if your fellow Comrade is in trouble, then you should try to help that one. If that Comrade should fall, you should try to lift that one," she said.

On Monday, the PNP's John-Paul White said he had no intention of stepping aside as the party's candidate for North Trelawny.

Some Comrades in the constituency have registered a strong protest against White's candidacy, burning shirts bearing his image and vowing that they would not support the party if he is the standard-bearer in the next election.

White had expressed the view that there was a move to destabilise him in the constituency, but that, based on feedback from some constituents, the majority of people have endorsed his candidacy.

The Gleaner understands that Lisa Hanna, the chairman of the PNP's Region One, which covers constituencies in St Ann and Trelawny, has been pushing for outgoing East Rural St Andrew Member of Parliament Damion Crawford to be parachuted into the constituency.

However, the party's general secretary, Paul Burke, said White remained the candidate at this time.

Meanwhile, as the country waits with bated breath on what is expected to be the announcement of an election soon, Simpson Miller told journalists that timing was pivotal.

"It is always important for leaders to identify the right time to call an election, and that's exactly what I am doing. My Almighty is my Maker and my Master, and anytime I get the urge, I'll know it is the right time to do so," the prime minister said.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com