Sat | Nov 28, 2020

PNP needs to work to regain western seats

Published:Friday | October 23, 2020 | 12:13 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
People's National Party supporters revved up in Mount Salem, St James, during a past election campaign.
People's National Party supporters revved up in Mount Salem, St James, during a past election campaign.

Mark Golding has said that the People’s National Party (PNP) has some work to do to regain the seats it lost in western Jamaica in the September 3 general election.

When the dust settled on September 3, all 16 seats in the west went to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in what was a bruising defeat for the PNP.

With a voter turnout of approximately 37 per cent, the JLP bagged 49 seats across the island while the PNP won the remaining 14.

“We have to really focus on rebuilding the organisation of the party, and especially the base. The west is traditionally a strong area for us, but I think that we have not focused sufficiently on ensuring that our party workers are fully motivated, well-trained, and educated around the political matters,” Golding told journalists at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum yesterday.

Political education

The St Andrew Southern member of parliament, who is seeking to become the party’s next president, said that political education must be brought back to the centre of the party, with training supported by life skills, so that being a member of such a group is viewed as part of a dynamic process.

The spin-off, he said, would be that the communities in which the party base live would see the benefits of being part of the PNP.

“We need to revitalise the groups, and we need to revitalise political education and training on the ground and support that process with appropriate incentives,” Golding emphasised.

He explained that the remedy to regain the western seats is no different from other regions.

“In particular constituencies, there may be a need for change of leadership there or further support from the party or other matters. There may be some divisions that need to be healed, [and] on a case-by-case basis, specific actions may need to be taken,” Golding said.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com