Sun | Feb 16, 2020

Phillips stands firm on need for VP race - PNP president declares no bias for son

Published:Monday | August 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer

People's National Party (PNP) President Dr Peter Phillips has rejected suggestions coming from within the party that the vice-presidential election should not be held, fearing a massive fallout and political disruption in the aftermath.

Mark Golding, the party's main man on finance, has been one of those voices.

"It (the internal election) could be a thing weh mash wi down and set wi back, and wi nuh want that right now because the Labourites dem a gwaan wid enough almshouse inna di country, and wi have to be strong to save Jamaica from them," Golding said during a Rae Town PNP divisional conference at the beginning of July when the race was just heating up.

He had told persons vying for the vice-president posts to use Peter Bunting as an example of someone who put party unity above personal ambition when he allowed Dr Peter Phillips to become president of the PNP unchallenged.




However, speaking in North West Manchester at a PNP constituency conference, the party president made it clear that he was all for the vice-presidential race.

"There are those who say we shouldn't have it. Dem seh we never want to have the contest because it's going to cause friction. But I say this, if we are a party that can't have elections, what would that be?" Phillips told supporters, pointing out that the race was an important one for the party.

According to Phillips, a political party must allow different views to contend.

The PNP president said that so far, there has been no major political upheaval in the race.

Dr Fenton Ferguson, Angela Brown-Burke, Phillip Paulwell, and the party president's son, Mikael Phillips, are all on the ballot for a place in the second-tier leadership in the PNP.

Seemingly addressing growing anxiety in some circles about the relationship between himself and his son, the elder Phillips said: "In this race, there are six candidates. Six are my Comrades, six are my friends, and one is son - of the flesh. But I want you to accept and I want you to understand, seriously, I am for all, and I am not partial for any."

Stressed Phillips: "This race is his race. It's not my race. I am neutral in this race."