The verbal salvos fired by senior members of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) following news of the impending leadership challenge is setting a wrong tone for the contest, one JLP member of parliament (MP) has warned.
Instead, Daryl Vaz, the MP for West Portland, is urging his colleagues to use the contest as an opportunity to "dispel the perception that internal elections cause irreparable splits in the party".
"Because of this fear, for too long, the delegates of the party have been deprived of their right to decide leadership positions," Vaz asserted in a statement to the media.
North East Manchester MP and former finance minister, Audley Shaw, informed JLP Chairman Robert Montague on the weekend that he plans to hold a series of islandwide consultations with party workers and delegates to discuss a possible challenge to Andrew Holness' leadership of the JLP.
Several senior members of the JLP used a meeting in the constituency of South Central St Catherine on Sunday to chide Shaw for his decision. One of them, North Central Clarendon MP Pearnel Charles, has since apologised to Shaw and has promised to play his part to ensure that the impending contest is peaceful.
ALLOW SHARING OF VISION
Vaz wants party leaders at the constituency level to go further and put their personal preferences aside and allow prospective candidates the opportunity to share their vision with all delegates and party workers.
He proposed that the JLP secretariat immediately put in place an agreed oversight committee as well as a code of conduct and ethics to guide prospective candidates and their supporters.
"The party and those entrusted to oversee any impending election has a glorious chance of showing the maturity of our 70-year-old, noble institution," he said.
Vaz cautioned the media about sensationalising the matter.