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PNP assembles 'high-level' campaign team for South East St Mary battle

Published:Tuesday | August 22, 2017 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott
Dr Shane Alexis

A high-level team of senior politicians from the People's National Party (PNP) is now being assembled as the party seeks to shore up its candidate, Dr Shane Alexis, to face off against Dr Norman Dunn of the Jamaica Labour Party for the South East St Mary seat.

Former Cabinet ministers and veterans who worked alongside former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson are said to be among the members of the assembly, which the party is banking on to pull Alexis, a political neophyte, across the line when a by-election is called.

When contacted, PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson would not say who the members of the team were but said that the party was "preparing itself".

Robinson disclosed to The Gleaner that the party's approach to the situation would be twofold.

"There are two sets of issues. We have our colleague (Dr Winston Green), who is going to be buried week after this Sunday, and there is still a host of events surrounding that. There will be two church services - one in the constituency - and we have the nine night tonight (Tuesday night). We have to celebrate his life.

"Simultaneously, we have to put the campaign arrangements in place," Robinson said.


Meeting of delegates


There was a meeting of delegates and some members of the "high-level" team on Tuesday, where preparations were made for Alexis to be presented to the delegates of the party by PNP president Dr Peter Phillips, Gleaner sources close to the situation have said.

The sources have said further that there is to be another meeting in the coming days to finalise matters surrounding the campaign, including its financing.

It is further understood that there are some grumblings in the constituency about Alexis's candidacy as some are of the view that a more experienced politician should have been selected given Dunn's impressive showing in recent elections.

Contacted on Tuesday, former member of parliament for the constituency Harry Douglas played down the issue of unease among some, arguing that "in political parties, not all will agree on everything".