Tue | Aug 4, 2020

I am very cool on the fence – Redman - MP says he will not tell delegates how to vote in PNP leadership race

Published:Tuesday | August 13, 2019 | 12:22 AMErica Virtue/Senior Gleaner Writer

Days after St Thomas Eastern Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Fenton Ferguson announced that he is supporting the Rise United team of presidential candidate Peter Bunting, Evon Redman said he will not instruct delegates how to vote.

The St Elizabeth North Eastern MP told The Gleaner yesterday that both Phillips and Bunting are good candidates to lead the party, and he will vote in the September 7 contest.

“I will not instruct my delegates how to vote. I have one vote. I have a mind of my own, and on September 7, I will exercise my right to use that vote. So I am very cool sitting on the fence,” Redman told The Gleaner yesterday.

His comments came in the wake of the decision by Ferguson – a once-trusted lieutenant of incumbent Dr Peter Phillips – to support Bunting. He was the only survivor for the post of vice-president following the bruising 2008 contest when Phillips challenged then incumbent Portia Simpson Miller and lost.

Ferguson is a six-time MP for the party and is said to have been disappointed that Phillips did not offer more support to him in the vice-presidential race last year that ousted him and Angela Brown Burke.

Brown Burke supported Simpson Miller in that contest, but is now supporting Bunting.

Hates internal contests

“I am not getting involved. The delegates have their own mind and I leave it to them to decide. And, truth be told, I personally hate internal contests,” said Redman, who is not seeking re-election and has been replaced by caretaker Basil Waite.

Trelawny North MP Victor Wright and Clarendon North Western MP Richard Azan are the two other Lower House legislators who have not yet publicly declared.

Wright recently represented Phillips at the recent annual Denbigh Agricultural Show in Clarendon.

Azan could not be contacted yesterday.

Twelve MPs now support Bunting, while nine back Phillips.