Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Raymond Pryce no longer chairman of the PNP's Patriots

Published:Sunday | March 13, 2016 | 3:27 PMGary Spaulding
Raymond Pryce

Embattled politician, Raymond Pryce, is no longer chairman of the Patriots (the Caucus of Young Professionals) in the People’s National Party (PNP).

Javette Nixon, an entrepreneur and marketing consultant, will lead the new executive.

Nixon was elected unanimously to replace the outgoing Pryce, who reportedly backed out at the last minute after members complained that the organisation had lost its original vision.

Pryce lost his bid to return as the candidate to represent the PNP in the February 25 General Election in the St Elizabeth North Eastern constituency that he represented.

He also lost his position as deputy general secretary of the PNP after his supporters took the party to court.

Omar Newell, an attorney-at-law and the secretary of PNP’s Region Two, has been elected The Patriots' general secretary.

The changes took place at The Patriots' AGM which also mandated the new executive committee to advocate immediately for a programme of renewal of all aspects of the party’s organisation; including its structures, affiliates and leadership corps.

In a statement today,  the AGM reaffirmed the organisation’s commitment to the party as the best vehicle to advance a national development agenda for Jamaica. 

“The AGM also recognised that during the preceding political year, the organisation faltered in its drive to attract new voters and as such will formulate a strategy to aggressively promote the philosophy of the People’s National Party to young professionals as part of a new recruitment effort,” said one spokesperson for the Patriots in the statement.

"The participants at the AGM also said that while they recognised the authority of the party leader in determining the make-up of the Senate, they concluded that those appointments could have been used to signal a new direction and should have incorporated, in particular, a wider embrace of youth and new ideas.”

It continued: "The party still has an opportunity to signal its readiness to accept a new approach with the consideration of new people for active leadership assignments within the organisation as well as with the appointment of the Shadow Cabinet.”

The Patriots said there is no doubt that many at the various levels of leadership have served the PNP with distinction for many decades; and as such, there should be no effort to force a transition by divisive means or by way of acrimony through contests. 

However, the group said that there should be a process that permits renewal and transformation of the entire organisation to one befitting a modern democratic organisation.