MANIFESTO MAN - PNP recalls Dayton Campbell to sell party’s vision in run-up to election
Fresh on the heels of his reappointment to the People’s National Party’s (PNP) shadow Cabinet, firebrand St Ann North West Member of Parliament Dr Dayton Campbell says he will raise the tempo of advocacy for transparency, accountability and probity in Government.
His return to the shadow Cabinet with responsibility for special projects comes three months after he was sidelined by party President and Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips in a reshuffle in the wake of a bruising internal election with leadership challenger Peter Bunting. It has also happened just over one year before a general election is due.
Campbell’s recall is the clearest signal of an attempt to heal wounds after he ripped into a Phillips-led team as unelectable during a scorching summer campaign that climaxed with Bunting losing by less than three per cent of the vote.
In his new role, Campbell has been given the task to prepare an implementation programme for priority projects, across all ministries, to be undertaken by the next PNP administration in the first 150 days.
In an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Campbell said that the Opposition must present meaningful alternative solutions to problems confronting the country.
Giving details of his new mandate hours after The Gleaner published that he was being recalled as an attack dog against the Holness administration, Campbell noted that there was the widely held view that political parties make wild promises on the hustings to garner votes.
However, he said that his job was to roll out the party’s ideas to the electorate, outlining an implementation schedule “so that they can work through the ideas and see where we are going with them and how they will be funded”. Further, he said that the proposals would represent a binding contract with Jamaicans that the PNP would deliver on its commitments.
The man in charge of the PNP’s special projects said he was now in the process of forging a multiskilled team to package the party’s manifesto as implementable policies.
Quizzed on the impact that his appointment may have on the party’s thrust for unity after last September’s bitter leadership race, Campbell said that it was crucial to have all hands on deck.
“Unity is certainly an important factor for any political party,” he added.
Commenting on his re-election bid, Campbell said that he was expected to secure a third term.
“It is a privilege to serve the people of the constituency. It is a constituency in which I was born, I went to school, I go to church, I raise my family here – this is where I live,” he said.
Campbell has indicated that the ruling Jamaica Labour Party’s plans to target his St Ann North West seat would bear no fruit.
“They used to say when man a plan, God a wipe out. I have seen them try so many things over the last four years and I have seen them fall by the wayside, and I am still here standing.”