Lisa Hanna, MP for South East St Ann and a supporter of Portia Simpson Miller's bid to retain the People's National Party (PNP) presidency, speaks during a Team PNP press conference at the Hilton Kingston yesterday. Seated are Easton Douglas (left), chairman of Team PNP, and Basil Waite, campaign aide. - Junior Dowie/Staff Photographer
The campaign organisation of People's National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller has been forced to defend the intellectual abilities of its party leader.
Team PNP had put the issue on the agenda by questioning the real reason for Dr Peter Phillips' challenge on Simpson Miller for the party's top job.
"Is it because they think Portia cannot talk about intellectual matters?" Team PNP asked in a speaker's guide issued to journalists at the Hilton Kingston hotel in New Kingston yesterday.
The press conference was held to introduce the spokespersons for the campaign.
Easton Douglas, chairman of Team PNP, said there was no concern about Simpson Miller's intellectual ability.
"We are confident that our party leader and president is intellectual, intelligent, efficient and is quite capable of articulating the progressive agenda," Douglas said.
Simpson Miller holds a bachelor's degree and is perceived by many to be in the shadows of Phillips, who has a PhD.
Asked why it was important to point to Simpson Miller's intellectual ability, the campaign group said it needed to make the competence of the party president known.
"A lot of people are not really aware of the depth of intellect, analysis and experience of Comrade Portia Simpson Miller," Douglas said.
The PNP presidential election takes place on September 20, during the party's 70th annual conference.