Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer
Western Bureau:Business leaders in western Jamaica are of the view that the time is right for the leadership race in the opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) as it will allow for healing before the next general election.
"All the unresolved issues in the party would one day explode beyond verbal explanation," said businessman Theo Chambers, a former president of the Hanover Chamber of Commerce. "This provides an opportunity for renewal and the legitimate selection of a leader by the delegates of the JLP."
However, Nathan Robb, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, does not see the imminent face-off between former Finance Minister Audley Shaw and party leader Andrew Holness as a matter of great relevance.
"Politics has nothing to do with the chamber. It does not affect us," Robb told The Gleaner yesterday.
TIME TO SETTLE ISSUES
But Robb's predecessor, business-man Davon Crump, believes that in order for the JLP to be seen as a viable option to the electorate, all the internal issues must be settled.
"It is the best time for this to happen if they are serious about leading this country," Crump said. "There are contradicting reports of rifts in the party, so this will provide an opportunity for them to organise themselves for the next general election."
Richard Burke, president of the Trelawny Chamber of Commerce and Industry, believes the election will reaffirm the elected party leader's position.
Chambers believes that if the JLP is really serious about leading the country, it needs to take a leaf out of the People's National Party (PNP) book with regard to their last leadership race.
"They must take a look at the PNP," Chambers said. "Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Dr Peter Phillips contested the last presidential elections. They had their differences, but they have since placed personal feelings aside and are now working together for the good of the country."