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One PNP loyalists get top posts in party hierarchy

Published:Tuesday | October 1, 2019 | 12:12 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer
Natalie Neita
Natalie Neita

The political loyalists of People’s National Party (PNP) President Dr Peter Phillips who stood by him during the presidential challenge settled last month have been rewarded with top positions in the party.

The campaign director for Phillips’ One PNP team, Natalie Neita, has been given the post of deputy general secretary.

The announcement was made at a PNP National Executive Council meeting on Sunday in Moneague, St Ann, which sources say was poorly attended.

She will operate in the secretariat under the leadership of PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson and will work alongside Basil Waite and Wensworth Skeffery.

Neita is also deputy house leader for the Opposition in the House of Representatives.

Before Peter Bunting had announced his intention to challenge Phillips for the PNP presidency, Luther Buchanan had stepped down from the post. He eventually became a key organiser for Bunting’s Rise United team in a losing effort.

Another key figure who featured prominently in the One PNP campaign, Phillip Pauwell, has been given the responsibility of campaign director for the party in the upcoming general election.

It is a post that Phillips had been given on multiple occasions, most recently in 2016, when the Jamaica Labour Party edged the PNP by one seat at the polls. The JLP wrested 11 seats from the PNP to form Government.

Paulwell, a PNP vice-president and the East Kingston and Port Royal member of parliament, is also the leader of Opposition business in the House of Representatives.

Neita had served as Pauwell's campaign manager back in 2018 when he had contested to become one of the PNP's four vice-presidents.

PNP Chairman Fitz Jackson and Deputy Chairman Horace Dalley were returned to their posts unopposed.

Meanwhile, there are 11 new members of the party’s executive. They are Patricia Duncan Sutherland, Andre Hylton, Valenton Wint, Dr Floyd Morris, Shane Alexis, Noel Sloley Jr, Norman Perry, Karl Kirkland, Alric Campbell, Dennis Gordon and Venesha Phillips.