Pro-Pryce supporters to march on PNP HQ
Supporters of North East St Elizabeth Member of Parliament Raymond Pryce have vowed to take their protest to the People's National Party's Old Hope Road headquarters in Kingston in a bid to have him reinstated as the candidate.
"Let me tell you that right now, a convoy of 14 Coaster buses, private cars and other vehicles will be heading to PNP headquarters. We are going to occupy PNP headquarters until this thing is settled. We are bringing pots, pans, bananas and pickney. It means we not leaving, 'cause PNP headquarters is for every PNP," a Pryce supporter told The Gleaner yesterday.
Pro-Pryce PNP supporters mounted several roadblocks along sections of the Balaclava main road in the constituency. They are demanding that Evon Redman, the man selected by the party to replace first-term MP Pryce, be removed and Pryce be given the responsibility as standard-bearer.
Communities such as Union, Content, Braes River and Bogue were badly affected by the roadblock, which saw vehicular traffic creating a driveway through farmlands. The alternative would have been to destroy a cane field across the road. Firemen and the police removed some of the huge trees used in the roadblock.
Pryce, a first-time MP, who is also deputy general secretary of the party, was in September told by the executive of the party that his application to represent the PNP had not been accepted. That followed a move by former Black River Mayor Daphne Holmes, a Pryce supporter, who took the PNP to court and secured an injunction against the holding of a selection exercise in the North East St Elizabeth constituency.
Redman later prevailed in the selection.
NO USE TO COMMUNITY
Percival Newman, another Pryce supporter, said he has been a long-standing supporter of the PNP and was formerly a driver to the late Sydney Pagon, a former member of parliament.
"Up to now, Raymond Pryce did not say he was not running. The party announced his withdrawal. And all that has done is to allow the same people who, along with the late Roger Clarke who used to keep up foolishness, to continue. They are of no use to the constituency and are not interested in the development of young people," Newman said.
However, he was not blind to what he says is the real reason for the mischief in certain constituencies.
"This is not about Raymond Pryce. This is about the leadership of the PNP when Portia steps down. That's why you see this rat race a gwaan. But dem could a deal, a Raymond Pryce we say," he charged.
Redman, the man ratified to replace Pryce, said the residents were misreading the situation.
"I have no problems with youths. I have a problem with performance. If you are elected to serve, you do that or allow someone else to do it," said Redman.
"I challenged Pryce based on the fact that there was an MP about whom there were so many complaints. And rather than have the seat go to the JLP, I offered myself."
He also pointed fingers at Pryce, saying he and a handful of supporters were behind the protest.
However, Pryce told The Gleaner: "I, Raymond Pryce, cannot sneak in and out of my constituency, it does not matter at what hour, because someone is going to call my name. And for me to be in my constituency is not something new. I am the representative."