Tue | Jan 19, 2021

Bunting allies to get top posts in campaign - PNP working to heal wounds as it readies for election

Published:Wednesday | January 15, 2020 | 12:13 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer

As the People’s National Party (PNP) continues to ready itself for the calling of a general election, it is making a desperate effort to show unity.

The late inclusion last week of Dr Dayton Campbell to the Shadow Cabinet was another attempt by the party to show unity after its bruising leadership race last year September. When The Gleaner questioned Julian Robinson, the general secretary of the PNP, about the party’s unity as it tunes its machinery for a general election, he said, “It’s a process. There was a contest in September, and it was bruising, and I think bringing Dayton Campbell back is a start. There are other members of the team who supported Peter Bunting who are going to be playing more of a lead role as we go forward. It won’t happen overnight.

“Part of why we have had the retreat early was to bring everybody together, and I think you are going to see, in the coming days and weeks, more of that synergy coming back together.”

But there are still concerns by some surrounding whether enough attention is being paid to bringing influential supporters into the fray.

One member of the PNP who was very visible in the leadership race and sided with Bunting told The Gleaner that the party must extend itself further in reaching out to supporters on the periphery.

“A lot of the One PNP people said bad things to our people. Things like they are not PNP, that they are Labourites, said we never could go back to OLO (Office of the Leader of the Opposition) and some other things,” said the insider, requesting anonymity for fear of sanction.

“Now those persons are completely turned off, so if we are going to begin to talk about unity, we have to reach out to those people who are foot soldiers for the party, and we cannot win any election without them.

“So all I am saying, saying ‘we are uniting’ is not good enough, we have to reach out to those people wherever they are.”