East Portland unsettled
Port Antonio, Portland:
Confusion, chaotic, and instability are just some of the words being used to describe the troubling situation now facing the People's National Party (PNP) in East Portland ahead of the impending parliamentary election.
The unrest among supporters of attorney Andrea Moore and the incumbent, Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, now appears to be far from over following the reported walkout by some party workers at the Port Antonio High School on Saturday evening. The walkout was reportedly in protest over the party's decision to reinstate Bloomfield as the standard-bearer, overturning the result of an internal election held on September 6.
The recent incident comes against the background of senior members of the PNP, including Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips and chairman of Region 2 Dr Morais Guy, who urged party workers to support the incumbent as the future of the party in East Portland was far more important.
But with the ongoing tension, which is now threatening to last for a considerable period, the PNP is being forced to question whether it can gamble on the loyalty of its supporters to defeat the Jamaica Labour Party's candidate, Derron Wood.
"The party needs to do the honourable thing and reinstate Miss Moore," commented Michael Anderson, a delegate.
"Yes, it is our party; however, we, too, have a say in the system of democracy. There is absolutely no guarantee that those of us who are hurt by the party's decision will go to the polls," he added.
Bloomfield, who won on a PNP ticket in 2011, defeating home-grown Patrick Lee by 1,250 votes, has had a rough time and has been harshly criticised for his style of leadership.