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Bunting: I won't challenge Portia for PNP president this September

Published:Monday | July 18, 2016 | 7:42 AM
Peter Bunting (left) and Portia Simpson Miller engage in a conversation.

It appears Portia Simpson Miller will be returned unopposed as People’s National Party (PNP) president after Central Manchester Member of Parliament, Peter Bunting, last night announced he will not be challenging her in September.

Nominations for the top posts in the party are open until Wednesday, but there have been media reports that Simpson Miller’s other likely challenger, Dr. Peter Phillips, will also not be mounting a challenge this year.

Speaking at the Central Manchester annual conference last night, Mr. Bunting said he wanted to put to rest speculation about him going up against Mrs. Simpson Miller.

He told Comrades gathered at Manchester High School that timing was critical and he was standing down for two main reasons.

The first was that officers of the party had asked possible challengers not to seek the top job in September because of impending local government elections and he has decided to yield to the call and put the party first.

Mr. Bunting said his other reason for not seeking election at this time is that he believes it is best if Mrs. Simpson Miller sets her own timetable for departure.

He noted that the party’s only leadership challenge involving Dr. Phillips and Mrs Simpson Miller had deeply divided the party:

 

Central Manchester MP, Peter Bunting

However, Mr. Bunting sought to make it clear that he was not giving up his ambition of becoming party president, but simply putting it on hold until the appropriate time:

 

Central Manchester MP, Peter Bunting