Sun | May 28, 2017

DK Duncan unhappy with Hayles' campaign, pulls out of PNP Region Six race

Published:Thursday | August 20, 2015 | 8:26 PM
Duncan ... The manner in which the challenge has been launched and is being pursued by some members of that team has already resulted in considerable and unnecessary tension which will inevitably lead to levels of conflict that will be difficult to resolve.

After eight years as Regional Chairman for the People's National Party (PNP) Region Six, Dr D.K Duncan has announced that he will not be seeking re-election as a result of the manner in which Ian Hayles, his deputy has gone about seeking to unseat him.

"After careful consideration I have decided not to seek re-election to the position of chairman for the PNP’s Region 6," Duncan said in a statement today.

"I appreciate the support I continue to receive at all levels of the People’s National Party and take this opportunity to reaffirm my commitment to participate fully in the work of my Party so that the PNP will be in the winning column when the trumpet sounds and deliver on the developmental goals of our country," the veteran politician said.

READ: PNP's Ian Hayles withdraws claim Buchanan told him to challenge DK Duncan

Duncan, the Member of Parliament for Eastern Hanover, said the way in which Hayles' campaign has been conducted since it was initiated two months ago runs counter to the norms and culture of the PNP's Region Six.

Region Six comprises 10 constituencies across three parishes — Westmoreland, Hanover and St James.

Eight of the 10 constituencies were won by the PNP.

According to Duncan, over the last two decades and up until this challenge, Region Six had adopted a particular approach for the effective management of internal divisions.

"It is my experience that no political party beset by significant internal conflict can be successful in a general election campaign," he said.

"The manner in which the challenge has been launched and is being pursued by some members of that team has already resulted in considerable and unnecessary tension which will inevitably lead to levels of conflict that will be difficult to resolve," Duncan said.

SEE DUNCAN'S FULL STATEMENT BELOW:

This year marks 45 years since my commitment to the struggle for social justice and the process of national development led me to Michael Manley and the Peoples’ National Party. In that period I served the party as National Organiser, General Secretary and Campaign Manager, before accepting the invitation of the people of East Central St. Andrew to enter electoral politics. My most recent stint of service to the party has been as the Member of Parliament for Eastern Hanover and Chairman of Region 6, which comprise the parishes of Hanover, St. James and Westmoreland.

Last weekend a campaign for the post of Chairman of the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Region 6 was formally launched. I have occupied this position of PNP Region 6 Chairman since 2008. While I have always supported participatory democracy at all levels within the Party and the State, it is my view that the way in which the campaign has been conducted since it was initiated two months ago runs counter to the norms and culture of Region 6 of the PNP.

It is my experience that no political party beset by significant internal conflict can be successful in a general election campaign. The manner in which the challenge has been launched and is being pursued by some members of that team has already resulted in considerable and unnecessary tension which will inevitably lead to levels of conflict that will be difficult to resolve.

Over the last two decades and up until this challenge, Region 6 had adopted a particular approach for the effective management of internal division. This has been facilitated by the election of Regional Chairmen on the basis of consensus. It was on this basis of consensus that I was elected as Chairman in 2008. Accordingly, Vice President Comrade Derrick Kellier and I worked closely together to maintain peace and harmony in the Region. This absence of conflict at the leadership level paved the way for the Region’s success in the 2011 General Elections, winning 8 of 10 seats across the 3 parishes. This enabled Region 6 to contribute to the margin of victory for the PNP so that we could pursue the developmental agenda for Jamaica.

I am still committed to the principle of consensus and as a result I have not engaged in a public campaign to retain the role of Chairman of Region 6.
Now while political parties exist to win state power, we must never forget that state power is to facilitate national development.  At this time we would do well to recall the warning that former Party Leader and Prime Minister, Michael Manley gave in 'The Politics of Change’:“Left to themselves Political Parties quickly degenerate into machines for attacking opponents, distributing the spoils of office and electing candidates.” The internal structures of the PNP were established to guard against this.

The Regional Organisational structure of the PNP was introduced in 1975 to enhance the Party’s capacity to organise effectively. The purpose of Regional leadership is to ensure the integrity of the Party structures — Groups, Divisions and Constituencies — so that organisational growth is on a firm base and enables unity within the regional family of the PNP.

Such effective leadership at this and other levels in our Party is not based on age or gender. Indeed as a young and now elder Comrade, I have consistently advocated the principle of renewal, to enable younger comrades of both genders to fill various positions within the Party. However, an important criterion for leadership is neither gender nor age but includes integrity and the ability to unite.

It is for all these reasons that after careful consideration I have decided not to seek re-election to the position of Chairman for the PNP’s Region 6.

I appreciate the support I continue to receive at all levels of the People’s National Party and take this opportunity to reaffirm my commitment to participate fully in the work of my Party so that the PNP will be in the winning column when the trumpet sounds and deliver on the developmental goals of our country.

— Dr. D.K. Duncan