TROUBLE IS brewing in the People's National Party's(PNP) camp over the selection of one time Mayor of Mandeville, Cecil Charlton, as a candidate in the next Local Government elections.
Charlton, one of the parish's longest active politicians, has been linked to the two major political parties over the years and was also said to be a supporter of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) at one time. The Gleaner has learnt that Charlton, a former PNP member turned JLP member, made an application to return to the PNP last year and was selected over other candidates by the party, recently, to run in the Mandeville division.
The division is now represented by the PNP's Paul Pinto, who is not seeking re-election. Councillor Pinto was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident more than three years ago from which he has not yet fully recovered, making it difficult for him to carry out his duties.
While many party supporters tried to encourage businessman, Trevor Heaven, to run for the seat, he declined leaving long time party supporter, Oliver Oliphant, as the front-runner.
However, Oliphant did not get the nod from the party's local leadership, a decision he said he will be appealing to the national leadership of the party.
In the meantime the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) candidate for the division, Sally Porteous, has been on the campaign trail in an effort to gain recognition.
With the election due in March, four of the thirteen PNP councillors have indicated they will not be seeking re-election, including Norman Brown of the Alligator Pond division. However, residents of Alligator Pond are adamant that they want Councillor Brown to stay on, or they will not participate in the election.
One resident in New Forest told The Gleaner that Councillor Brown had "done well," despite the lack of support from Member of Parliament for the area Micheal Peart. They are convinced that it is this lack of support why Mr. Brown opted not to seek re-election.