Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor
PNP to outline state of affairs when it took office
The People's National Party (PNP) will use its conference stage this weekend to highlight what it sees as the shortcomings of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration it replaced, despite suggestions this will be to distract Jamaicans from its non-performance.
On Tuesday, the JLP deputy leader and opposition spokesman on finance, Audley Shaw, told The Gleaner that with nothing substantial to offer a deflated populace, the PNP's leadership would spend this weekend trying to blame the JLP for its dismal performance over the past eight months.
Shaw further charged that the PNP administration was afraid to face the facts on what has to be done to create a credible and predictable framework going forward.
SHAW'S CHARGES REBUFFED
But yesterday, PNP General Secretary Peter Bunting scoffed at the charge from Shaw and accused the former finance minister of presiding over the breakdown of the previous International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal and failing to share that information with the country.
According to Bunting, while it would not be a "blame the JLP" conference, there would be no hiding of the facts of what the PNP inherited when it was elected to form the Government in December 2011.
"I can understand Mr Shaw not wanting any time spent examining his dismal record of performance during his incumbency," said Bunting.
"In fact, when I hear him talking about a deal in reaching an IMF programme, I remember what the party's chairman always says, 'He (Shaw) has more nerves than a bad tooth'," added Bunting.
The PNP general secretary argued there was no way the party's leadership could address the country this weekend without pointing to the state of affairs when it took office.
"I think everyone must be prepared to be held accountable for their performance ... . In order to make it clear (where the PNP wants to take the country in the short term), you need to establish where you are starting from," said Bunting.
"In order to understand the path we are on, you need to understand the destination and where you are starting from."
The PNP's annual conference begins on Saturday with a private session at Jamaica College in St Andrew, followed by the public session on Sunday at the National Arena.
The party has scheduled a press conference for today to outline details of its plans for the conference.