North Trelawny appeals to Portia for stability
THE EDITOR, Sir:
This is an open letter to People's National Party President Portia Simpson Miller.
This serves to register our displeasure with the manner in which the constituency of North Trelawny has been handled by the PNP. Since 1989, our constituency has remained in the column of the party, and the party base has remained loyal, even in times where there was disaffection in other areas of the country.
The party, however, has taken some decisions that have caused a very large cross section of the base in the constituency to become incensed, and serious wounds have been opened, thus intensifying disunity among supporters.
It is a sad situation, especially since instead of making a concerted effort to challenge Jamaica Labour Party caretaker candidate, Dennis Meadows, we are embroiled in battle, fighting among ourselves. There now exist factions, owing to the discontent among Comrades. The party, it appears, is turning a blind eye to this situation under the assumption that people who are hurting will vote anyway. It is our view that if the party takes such a position, it would be foolhardy.
The concerns of the constituents are numerous, but we will try to articulate some. Four years ago when incumbent MP Patrick Atkinson was being asked to run, the people were contacted by the party and we welcomed him graciously after brief talks.
However, in this situation, Comrade John-Paul White has not been formally presented by the party. We only heard of his selection through the media. As such, we cannot help but feel that the party is ignoring the cries of the people, the very people on whom it is depending to accomplish these objectives.
It cannot be that we are seen as a set of people who do not have the capacity to think and assess issues for ourselves. It cannot be that the party thinks that people will vote irrespective of the decisions the party takes. This type of politics is not what former PNP President Norman Manley was about.
The demographics of the constituency have changed and we cannot afford to have any disaffection. Some of these people are bent on sending a message to the party.
Another great concern is that the momentum being gained on the ground by the candidate is inadequate, given that the Opposition's candidate has run in two previous elections; he is known by the people, is married to a prominent businesswoman, and has settled here. Our candidate is a newcomer to the constituency.
We, therefore, urge you, in all your wisdom and love for the people, to make the necessary efforts to help us heal. We are ready and willing to aid in the process, but we cannot do it alone, as the level of tension that now exists in the constituency is beyond all our experience combined.