Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Call for unity - Comrades bat for end to feuds

Published:Monday | November 23, 2015 | 11:00 AMDaraine Luton
Hugh Buchanan, Ewan Stephenson and KD Knight hold hands aloft on the platform.
Supporters at the People's National Party mass rally in Black River, St Elizabeth last night.
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Former People's National Party (PNP) General Secretary Peter Bunting has called for warring factions with the party to put an end to their disagreements and unite for a common cause.

"All of us have sinned and come short," Bunting declared from the platform as the PNP held a mass rally in Black River, St Elizabeth, last night.

With the Black River market venue packed, the Central Manchester member of parliament said persons should not believe that "the little democracy", which has led to challenges meant the PNP was facing tough times.

"When I see Comrade KD [Knight] come in with Comrade Stephenson and Comrade Hugo Buck... . When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were in one accord in one, place," Bunting said of a show of unity between, Ewan Stephenson and incumbent South West St Elizabeth MP Hugh Buchanan.

Stephenson in September challenged Buchanan for the leadership of the constituency but fell short by 14 votes.

But despite surviving, Buchanan has been under pressure from factions aligned to Stephenson, a division which party members fear could cost them the seat, which was won by a mere 13 votes in the 2011 General Election.

Stephenson is the brother-in-law of Dr Christopher Tufton, the man who Buchanan toppled to make it to Parliament.

But last night, the two feuding Comrades publicly buried the hatchet in a sign that wounds are being healed.

Knight, a PNP stalwart, had taken the two men to the front of the stage where all three held hands aloft to show they were unified.

"Time to put that behind us and let us move in one accord, in one place, to give the (Jamaica) Labour Party the backsiding of dem lives in St Elizabeth," Bunting said.

He told young prospective candidates that self-confidence and humility were two necessary qualities for them to possess.

In the meantime, Evon Redman appealed to Comrades to unite around him in order to win North East St Elizabeth.

Redman was selected after Raymond Pryce was forced to step back because of an attack on his stewardship.

"We should be united in fighting the Labourites, not ourselves," Redman said.

But noticeably missing from the platform was Pryce.

Mikael Phillips, the chairman of Region Five, which covers Manchester and St Elizabeth, also appealed for unity.

Don't let the few challenges that took place divide us," Phillips said.

Daren Powell the PNP's prospective candidate for North West St Elizabeth, said he was jealous that the other constituencies in the parish were represented in Parliament by members of the PNP.

He said this was about to change as, he claimed, the citizens of North West St Elizabeth were tired of J.C. Hutchinson.

daraine.luton@gleanerjm.com