Appraisal time for PNP
The People's National Party (PNP) is to establish an appraisal committee that will be asked to examine, in details, the factors that led to its shock defeat in the last general election.
PNP Deputy General Secretary Julian Robinson indicated yesterday that the membership of the committee has not yet been determined, but said it will be in place "very shortly" and will consist of persons from within and outside the organisation.
According to some opinion polls, the PNP entered the February 25 general election with a three percentage point lead and was widely expected to retain state power. At the end of the poll, however, the then opposition Jamaica Labour Party managed to eke out a 32-31 seat victory.
Explaining the decision to include non-PNP members on the appraisal committee, Robinson acknowledged that the issues they would be required to examine are both internal and external factors that led to the party's defeat.
"Some of them relate to the organisation, some of them relate to the external factors. So you want people who can look at both sets of issues," he reasoned.
Robinson also indicated that because of the scope of the work to be undertaken, no timetable has been set for the committee to complete the process.
"It would involve, obviously, speaking to a number of players, both internally and externally, and doing different interview sessions. So I can't give a timetable," he explained.
Members of the parliamentary opposition have also been summoned to a meeting on Monday to discuss the way forward.
Paul Burke, the PNP general secretary, who has come under pressure in the wake of the defeat, has told the party's supporters to blame him "if they are desperate to point fingers at anyone."
"If the party wants a scapegoat, if it makes us feel happy, then blame me ... but it will not be the truth nor the facts, and by this self and mass deception, we will not fix the problems," he reportedly told PNP insiders in a letter circulated days after the elections.