Tue | Aug 21, 2018

Comrades set to clash - Fireworks expected as PNP's second-highest decision-making body meets in Spanish Town today

Published:Sunday | December 4, 2016 | 12:00 AMArthur Hall
Simpson Miller at a National Executive Council meeting.
Paul Burke
Dr Karl Blythe

Departing People's National Party (PNP) General Secretary Paul Burke has thrown down the gauntlet. He wants strong disciplinary action to be taken against the soft-spoken but outspoken South East St Ann Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna, over comments she made last week.

Dayton Campbell, the party's chairman for Region One, wants the spotlight moved from his poor performance - where he lost all four municipal divisions in his North West St Ann constituency last Monday - and be turned on the combative Ian Hayles, who led Region Six to its worst performance in decades, where it lost 15 of the 31 municipal divisions it held going into the elections.

Whipped by the party's president, Portia Simpson Miller, in the leadership race in September, Dr Karl Blythe wants support for his call for her to set a timetable for her departure to allow the PNP's renewal to start.

"She must realise that she has to put the party and the country ahead of self-interest, and it must be clear to her that every day she remains, the party is going to be suffering more and more and we are not going to start the real renewal that is necessary to prove to the voters of this country that we are really ready to take over the governance of the country," is the message Blythe wants endorsed.

Those are just some of the many thorny issues expected to be on the front burner when Comrades gather today in Spanish Town, St Catherine, for the latest meeting of the PNP's second-highest decision-making body, the National Executive Council.

Still smarting from last Monday's crushing defeat in the local government elections, which saw it losing outright eight of the 14 municipal bodies it held - with St Thomas being split down the middle but the Jamaica Labour Party being allowed to select the chairman based on it capturing the majority of the votes cast - it is a bruised PNP that meets today and the fireworks expected could leave Comrades even more battered.