Sat | Jun 6, 2020

PNP leadership tussle

Published:Saturday | May 23, 2020 | 12:13 AM


IN JUNE 2019, Peter Bunting announced his intention to challenge for the leadership of the People’s National Party. He was defeated by 76 votes on September 7, 2019. Momentum is clearly on Peter Bunting and Rise United’s side now due to his party just seeding South Eastern Clarendon to the Jamaica Labour Party without even putting up a fight.

On the subject of Dr Phillips’ health concerns, that’s clearly going to be an issue for the People’s National Party because the people of Jamaica, to me, will also vote on a leader’s fitness and stamina for office. I strongly believe that Dr Peter Phillips wants to resign, but he has too many potential leaders who supported him last year. Meanwhile, apart from Dayton Campbell and Mark Golding, Rise United does not have many potential leaders in that camp.

If Peter Bunting announces another run for leadership, or someone from his camp challenges, I strongly believe that Dr Peter Phillips’ One PNP camp has no option but to select either Damion Crawford or Lisa Hanna to stop Peter Bunting or anyone from Rise United. Clearly, Wykeham McNeill, Phillip Paulwell, Fitz Jackson, Mikael Phillips, and Julian Robinson aren’t an upgrade from Dr Peter Phillips. Lisa Hanna is the only politician who can go toe-to-toe with Andrew Holness on social media. Damion Crawford, to me, is the current energy god of the PNP. He could defeat Peter Bunting in a leadership run-off and let Dr Peter Phillips remain as leader of the Opposition. Better yet, Lisa Hanna can be made leader of the Opposition and Damion Crawford, president of the People’s National Party. As a Labourite, I believe that that team against Prime Minister Andrew Holness would be a good contest.

The One PNP camp could hand over the party to Peter Bunting with the reality that he can’t beat Andrew Holness, which means that Bunting losing to Holness would eliminate him from any future leadership race.


Ocho Rios, St Ann