Rasbert Turner, Gleaner Writer
GENERAL SECRETARY of the People's National Party (PNP), Peter Bunting, said Member of Parliament for South Central St Catherine Sharon Hay-Webster had a credibility problem and had to resign.
"It became clear that there was a complete loss of credibility and trust at the leadership level and among her colleagues," Bunting told a gathering of supporters during a divisional executive meeting at Windsor Heights, Central Village, Wednesday evening.
Bunting said the fallout intensified when news of the dual-citizenship case resurfaced. The Gleaner, through whistle-blower WikiLeaks, revealed that Hay-Webster withdrew her renunciation letter, but left the impression that she had given up her citizenship.
"In recent months, she started a process to deal with the dual citizenship, and secretly went back to withdraw the application. It became clear she should resign," Bunting said.
Hay-Webster resigned as a member of the PNP and has decided to sit as an independent member in Parliament.
Bunting told the gathering that it was sad to see her go, as he knew the beleaguered MP since 1993 and she was deeply attached to the party.
Meanwhile, the PNP used the meeting to present Denise Daley, councillor for the Linstead division, as candidate to replace Hay-Webster in the next general election.
Daley promised to work tirelessly for the constituents.
"I must tell you, the Jamaica Labour Party will never win the South Central St Catherine seat. With your help, I am prepared to continue the work," Daley told the audience.
A number of PNP elected representatives and supporters turned out to give support to Daley's candidacy.
Among those who were in attendance were Arnoldo Brown, Noel Arscot, Raymond Pryce, Norman Scott and Sean Barnswell.
Some members of the PNP believe that Hay-Webster, who spent 15 years as the elected representative in the constituency, should resign as member of parliament.
Bunting said she could not be forced to vacate her seat, but noted that Hay-Webster should do what is best for the party.
Meanwhile, the scores of supporters who turned out were urged to mobilise themselves.
They were told that election fever was in the air and the PNP must be ready for any eventuality.