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#JaVotes2016: We are not afraid to debate anybody, Simpson Miller declares

Published:Sunday | February 14, 2016 | 2:17 PM
Peter Bunting, the PNP's standard bearer for Central Manchester presents roses to party president, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at a mass meeting in Mandeville on Sunday night.

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

People's National Party (PNP) President, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has rejected assertions that she is hiding from the political debates.

"We are not afraid to debate anybody," Simpson Miller said at a mass meeting in Mandeville, Manchester on Sunday night.

"I debated Bruce Golding. I debated Andrew Holness and I beat him in the debates in 2011," she said.

The PNP has said it will not participate in the debates unless Holness, the JLP Leader, answers questions about his house and also apologises for statements he made in St James following a shooting incident in at a JLP mass meeting in Sam Sharpe Square last weekend.

Holness had said the incident could threaten the democratic process.

"They must deal with the issues that we have put on the table and then they can talk to us about debates," Simpson Miller said.

She said the PNP has spent the past two years travelling across the country and accounting for its stewardship.

Simpson Miller said too that the PNP will publish its manifesto on Tuesday and several televised broadcasts are planned.

Earlier in the meeting, the party's General Secretary Paul Burke said Holness' comment in St James was  "dangerous".

"It is such a dangerous statement. It could have caused conflict. It could have caused people to start shooting up PNP people. It could have caused death," said Burke.

"Why should we be sitting in that room with that gentleman? Why should we sit in a debate with that man," he added.