Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Bad, Blythe - PNP presidential candidate could face disciplinary action over comments on Portia's health

Published:Saturday | September 3, 2016 | 9:00 AMJovan Johnson
Blythe ... as a medical doctor, I would say she is not well.

Dr Karl Blythe could be hauled before a disciplinary committee of the People's National Party (PNP) for his "unethical and false comments" about the health of Party President Portia Simpson Miller.

PNP Chairman Robert Pickersgill disclosed yesterday that Blythe could be sanctioned for his comments.

"That (sanction) is to be decided because we'll be meeting concerning that. No decision has been taken [yet]. There is a process that will deal with it inside the party," he told The Gleaner yesterday after his party issued a statement on the matter, criticising Blythe.

Pointing to two television interviews Simpson Miller did on the campaign-funds scandal rocking the party, Blythe said on Thursday: "From both as a layman and as a medical person, observing her in the interviews attempting to answer, and the answers she gave, placed me in a position, where, as a medical doctor, I would say she is not well.

"The tone of the voice ... the eyes, the way you appear not to be in your surroundings even though you are there."

But the PNP said Blythe, who is seeking to unseat Simpson Miller as president, was being out of order.

"Comrade Karl Blythe has not personally examined the leader in the capacity of a medical doctor and, therefore, is reckless to make any declaration on the health of Comrade Simpson Miller. His unethical and damaging utterances are unfounded and constitute a violation of good and decent medical standards, especially as he is the candidate opposing our leader," the party said in its statement.

"Comrade Blythe's conduct is not the PNP's standard and this type of personal attack is a violation of the rules established for our internal campaigns."

The party said it has "full confidence in the capacity of Simpson Miller, 70, to lead, and called for Blythe to apologise.

Telephone calls to Blythe for a response went unanswered.

Blythe, who lost a past bid to be president, is a former housing minister who resigned in disgrace in 2002 over the Operation PRIDE housing scandal.

He has been calling for a 'renewal' in the scandal-hit PNP, which has been battling internal problems since it was ousted from government in the February 25 general election.

jovan.johnson@gleanerjm.com