Wed | Aug 16, 2017

PNP to remedy election shortcomings

Published:Tuesday | September 27, 2016 | 9:00 AMEdmond Campbell

With local government elections anticipated before year end, the People's National Party (PNP) says it expects key recommendations of the Appraisal Committee that examined the reasons for the party's defeat in the February 25 general election to be implemented shortly.

This follows Sunday's announcement of a special team to oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the Appraisal Committee. The 10-member team is co-chaired by former minister and high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Aloun Assamba, and former ambassador to China and Washington, Ralph Thomas.

General secretary-designate of the party, Julian Robinson, told The Gleaner yesterday that the party would not put its processes on hold in anticipation of the local government polls but, in the interim, begin to introduce the Appraisal Committee's proposals.

Commenting on some of the recommendations to be implemented, Robinson said the secretariat of the PNP is to be strengthened and improved.

MENTORSHIP PROGRAMME

In terms of the proposed mentorship programme, he said persons have already volunteered and the party has identified former members of parliament who are willing to mentor young politicians.

"I believe that we can start working on them (recommendations) immediately with this committee in place. I don't think it has to wait until after local government elections," he said.

One of the setbacks for the PNP in the February election was the lack of coordination in the party's fundraising effort. In an interview with The Sunday Gleaner earlier this year, Robinson had indicated that there was no central coordination of all the funds that came into the party.

Yesterday, Robinson noted that in any political campaign, a number of persons would be raising funds for the party,

However, he argued that going forward, the centre of the campaign management structure "must know what each person is doing and they must be accounting for what each person is doing".

She told the National Executive Council (NEC), the highest decision-making body of the PNP outside of annual conference, that it is extremely important for the party to move with alacrity to implement the recommendations of the Appraisal Committee and commence the rebuilding of the 78-year-old party.

Simpson Miller also instructed members of the special team to ensure that the recommendations are implemented on a timely and efficient basis.

At the party's recent annual conference, the PNP president had pledged to announce the oversight team by the first NEC meeting of the political year.

The special team is expected to monitor the implementation of the recommendations, while the secretariat of the party will be responsible for implementing the recommendations.

The team is required to report to Simpson Miller and the executive committee of the party monthly and to all meetings of the NEC.

Other recommendations of the Appraisal Committee to be implemented include the introduction of a pilot programme to reform the role of party groups and the development of a time frame within which internal disputes are resolved and the decisive application of the necessary sanctions.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com