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Delegates will dictate!

Published:Sunday | November 18, 2012 | 12:00 AM

JLP groups' reps to make their voices heard at new-look conference

The new-look annual conference of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) scheduled for today is expected to create a forum for delegates to hold the leadership of the party accountable.

At least that is what the party's leader, Andrew Holness, expects.

Holness and other senior officials of the party are scheduled to address the open session of what is being dubbed a delegates conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston instead of the traditional massive public session which has highlighted previous conferences.

"I am taking this opportunity to get the delegates back into the core of the party," Holness told The Sunday Gleaner even as he admitted that funding was not readily available for the customary two-day affair.

"But even if we had the funding, I still would have wanted to have a conference where we get the delegates to be in tune with the party," asserted Holness.

He noted that normally, the JLP would have convened two conferences, the all-island delegates meeting where the leader is elected on a Saturday and the public session on a Sunday.

"It has not always been practical or possible, so for several years we have had only the public session. To put on a conference can be a very stressful exercise, particularly in an economy like this."

According to Holness, while JLP delegates and supporters would descend on the National Arena for the public session each year, that is not always a good thing.

"Sometimes, it's one big confusion and fanfare and not much is said … . What we want to do this year is to get the delegates to have a say in how the party should be run."

Holness suggested that such a discussion will help the leadership to make the connection with the people.