Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Burke blasts coward comrades

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2016 | 1:00 AMGary Spaulding

General Secretary of the People's National Party (PNP) Paul Burke has has charged that a "cowardly faction" is seeking to undermine the organisation and has described them as "agent provocateur".

"There is a handful, just as how there is a handful of persons who can massacre a whole theatre in Paris, there is a handful of persons who don't like the democratic process in the party, who can do damage," Burke said.

"They really are agents provocateur," he declared.

The French term means inciting agent and refers to a person who commits or acts to entice another person to commit an illegal or rash act or falsely implicate them in partaking in an illegal act.

"They can go to a media house and be cowards that they will not even identify themselves," charged Burke.

He added: "They have every fora in the party structure, but there has been no action from them, no criticism, no motion, no resolution in any fora of the party against the general secretary. This is what is amazing.

"So you will have people who will say nothing in the party and will carry out an action, and there is no way that we can fully control that ... . They are nothing but agent provocateurs."

SUBJECT OF MUCH CRITICISM

Burke's management of the affairs of the PNP secretariat has been the subject of much criticism, with many in the party blaming him for a series of skirmishes and candidate selection clashes that have dogged the party. He is said to have even lost the confidence of party president Portia Simpson Miller, who pushed for his appointment in the position in May 2014.

Meanwhile, Burke said that the party's leadership will this week determine when it will resume its public meetings. The PNP staged a series of mass meeting toward the end of last year, but came off the road for the Christmas period. It's president, Portia Simpson Miller, who is the prime minister, has hinted that she may be calling general elections early this year.

"We are doing our public education, our training and preparation, all in all, we have started back our work," Burke said.

Asked if the PNP was prepared and confident of winning an election: Burke said: "You are never fully ready, but we are confident that our message is being understood and appreciated by the Jamaican masses and that we will win the next election."

In the meantime, Raymond Pryce, the member of parliament for North East St Elizabeth, said yesterday that he has accepted the decision of the party and "I will not be a candidate in the next general election".

"I will work in support of Comrade Redman's candidacy," he said.

Pryce's comments follows demonstration in the constituency on Monday in which persons loyal to him blocked several roads in a bid to force the PNP to put him on the ticket in the next general election.

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com