Sun | Jul 15, 2018

Letter of the Day | Topple Portia and overhaul PNP

Published:Wednesday | November 30, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Government MP Daryl Vaz said in a statement recently, "Once you serve the people, the people, they will serve you." Powerful words coming on the heels of another devastating blow to the PNP in the recent municipal corporation elections. The ruling Jamaica Labour Party took eight of the 13 parish councils, including Kingston and St Andrew. The JLP, which has been doing very well in its first year of administration, must be encouraged by this endorsement.

The PNP now has some serious soul-searching to do, as the blow serves as a rejection of the old-time, divisive politics and leadership of which most persons have grown tired. The fact that Portia Simpson Miller failed to show up at PNP headquarters after the defeat spoke volumes about her inadequacies as a leader. Her recent comments about "no bway, no gyal cannot trouble" her didn't help either. If nothing else, it reminded us that, as a people, we are who we elect.

Although the ruling JLP is in control, the word 'control' is never a good thing in a democracy. We do need a vibrant Opposition for our democracy to work. It was Lisa Hanna who trended the hashtag 'renewal' in a bid to secure one of the party's vice-president posts recently, Hanna and her message were rejected by the party's membership.

The PNP now needs a proper cleansing and new energy if it is to be taken seriously. All organisations must grow and renew over time. The renewal of the PNP must start at the top and work its way down, and the time to do it is now.

In the best interests of the party and the country, there should be no fear to do the right thing and challenge Portia Simpson Miller, whose time has long passed. The PNP's leadership must be challenged, and the party needs to take some time to overhaul itself if it is to emerge once again as a party that is reputable and as an Opposition that is viable.