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#JaVotes2016: McKenzie refuels debate controversy

Published:Friday | February 19, 2016 | 10:29 PM
Ricardo Makyn Photo: JLP Manchester North East candidate Audley Shaw (left) greets deputy leader Desmond McKenzie at the party meeting in Christiana.

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

Amid cool temperatures in the hilly Manchester North East town of Christiana Friday night, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate for Kingston Western, Desmond McKenzie was piling heat on the People's National Party (PNP) over its refusal to engage the opposition in a leadership debate.

McKenzie charged that the PNP has scurried from leadership debate but wants a forum to appease the country.

"We are not going to allow the PNP to set our agenda, " declared McKenzie.

He also rejected claims by PNP general secretary Paul Burke that the JLP was afraid to face the media.

"What a piece of backwardness!" McKenzie exclaimed.

"Delroy Chuck is not afraid of the media, Audley Shaw is not afraid and Andrew Holness is not afraid but they will not dictate terms to us," he said.

McKenzie also scoffed at threats by the PNP that Shaw, the candidate for Manchester North East will be unseated.

"We come to Manchester to put an end to the fool-fool argument of the PNP," he said to thunderous applause.

"Anyone in their right mind can't step in the shoes of Man a Yard," he said in reference to Shaw.

A teasing McKenzie quipped: "Them believe that they are the best thing since sliced bread but we going to know how it feels when the bread get stale. "

He also told Labourites that the stage is set for the big showdown in the Corporate Area on Sunday when the JLP meets for a rally in Half-Way Tree.