Sat | Sep 19, 2020

ULTIMATUM - Phillips given 30 days to quit; rejects PNPYO Senate list

Published:Wednesday | September 16, 2020 | 12:13 AM
Peter Phillips has been given 30 days to quit as PNP president and opposition leader.
Peter Phillips has been given 30 days to quit as PNP president and opposition leader.
Krystal Tomlinson, PNPYO president and losing candidate in the St Andrew West Rural seat. The youth group has given Dr Peter Phillips 30 days to pack his bags and go as party president and opposition leader.
Krystal Tomlinson, PNPYO president and losing candidate in the St Andrew West Rural seat. The youth group has given Dr Peter Phillips 30 days to pack his bags and go as party president and opposition leader.
Tom Tavares-Finson is expected to return as the Senate president.
Tom Tavares-Finson is expected to return as the Senate president.
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People’s National Party (PNP) President and Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips appears to have rejected suggestions of the party’s youth organisation for Senate appointments even as he has been given an ultimatum by the young Comrades to vacate his posts within 30 days.

The new opposition senators who are to be sworn in today are Norman Horne, Janice Allen, Gabriella Morris, Donna Scott-Mottley, Dr Floyd Morris, Sophia Fraser-Binns, Damion Crawford, and Lambert Brown.

Phillips said the group reflected the PNP’s commitment to a Senate that is a distinct deliberative body as intended by the Constitution of Jamaica.

Unsuccessful candidates in the recently held general elections were overlooked.

None of the seven names suggested by the PNPYO had been included in final list of opposition senators.

The recommended list sent to Phillips by the PNPYO were PNPYO President Krystal Tomlinson, Michael Hemmings, Zulieka Jess, Omar Newell, Raymond Pryce, Patricia Duncan Sutherland, and Wavell Hinds.

In a leaked letter under the signature of Tomlinson, the PNPYO on Monday called for Phillips to make clear his resignation date within 30 days and before the local government elections which are due in November.

“If our councillors and councillor candidates are to escape a fate similar to our parliamentary candidates, electors must be convinced that the PNP is changing gears, and among the changes they expect is new leadership,” the letter stated.

Phillips, in the aftermath of the heavy defeat at the September 3 polls, indicated that he had sent in a resignation letter to the chairman of the party but would hang on until a new leader was elected.

Phillips said he intended to fulfil all the roles that were linked with the PNP presidency, including being leader of the Opposition.

The PNP is to establish a committee to investigate the election loss.

CRitical failures

But according to the PNPYO, it saw first-hand “the critical failures in our party machinery that limited the capacity to mobilise even our traditional bloc of voters”.

The PNP were on Monday night locked in an executive meeting at The Mico University College where several issues critical to the party’s functioning were being discussed.

Among them is grumbling arising from the redundancy exercise that was executed by the party on some of its core staff after the defeat at the polls.

The Gleaner understands that the National Workers’ Union has sought to step in as workers demand transparency.

At least one motion was tabled at the meeting concerning the fate of the president, it is understood, but it will be discussed at another confab.

Also on Monday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness named the full slate of government senators to be sworn in on Tuesday.

The 13 government senators include some who sat in the Upper House during the last term.

However, there are three new faces: losing candidate Natalie Campbell-Rodriques, Leslie Campbell, and Sherene Golding Campbell.

Golding Campbell, an attorney-at-law, is the daughter of former Prime Minister Bruce Golding.

They replace Robert Morgan, Kerensia Morrison, and Tova Hamilton, who have been elected to the House of Representatives.

Kamina Johnson Smith, Matthew Samuda, Aubyn Hill, Tom Tavares-Finson, Kavan Gayle, Ransford Braham, Charles Sinclair, Don Wehby, Delroy Williams, and Saphire Longmore are the returnees.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com