'Disappointing'... Chang reacts to PNP annual conference
Danae Hyman, Online Reporter
Political commentator Kevin O’Brien Chang says he’s disappointed that People’s National Party (PNP) presidential challenger Peter Bunting did not address yesterday 81st annual conference.
For Chang, it appears that the hurt and division within the party arising from the internal election may go on for much longer.
The Central Manchester Member of Parliament, who lost by 76 votes to the incumbent Dr Peter Phillips in the September 7 elections, said he did not address the conference, which was held at the National Arena in St Andrew, because of what he said was internal resistance within the party.
He was scheduled to address Comrades at 12:35 p.m., outside of prime time, for five minutes.
But sources told The Gleaner yesterday that Phillips’ supporters opposed Bunting’s speech as they were not sure what message he would have brought or how he would have been received.
Chang is of the view that it was a poor decision not to allow Bunting to speak, adding that it highlights poor leadership on the part of Phillips.
“I am disappointed at what transpired yesterday because the number one thing people are looking for is unity. Phillips should have done everything possible to make sure Bunting spoke so it’s either he didn’t want it to happen or its poor leadership,” he said.
Though Bunting did not make a speech, he was invited to the podium by Phillips with the two shaking hands.
In Photo: PNP PNP president Dr Peter Phillips (right) and Central Manchester Member of Parliament Peter Bunting
Chang argued that the PNP needs to engage in deep introspection as the party plots its way forward.
Meanwhile, the political commentator questioned why former party president Portia Simpson Miller was absent from the annual conference.
“Nobody is talking about this but where was Portia? She is still the most popular and most connected figure in the party so in a time like this she was needed at that event. We saw PJ [Patterson] but where was Portia?” Chang questioned.
“If you can’t organise your own conference properly how can I try you to run the country? I am just a Jamaican who wants to see two strong parties, as strong parties make a strong democracy so I am so disappointed,” he said.