Thu | Jun 30, 2022

Rebaptised Ivan Anderson looks to tackle JLP’s Lee

Party gen sec invites others to boost numbers

Published:Monday | May 16, 2022 | 12:06 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
Ivan Anderson
Ivan Anderson

Political turncoat Ivan Anderson has returned to the People’s National Party (PNP) a decade after expulsion and is eyeing a challenge for the St Ann North West seat held by the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

Anderson, who has not yet formally kick-started a campaign, confirmed that he was eager to return the seat to the column of the PNP after the political shellacking the party suffered in the 2020 general election.

He was reportedly part of the campaign that helped catapult incumbent Member of Parliament Krystal Lee to power in the 2020 polls.

“Yes, man. Is it I’m going for,” Anderson responded when quizzed by The Gleaner. “It’s on my agenda because they invited me to one of their conferences with open arms.”

PNP General Secretary Dr Dayton Campbell said the PNP would open its doors to sidelined JLP supporters or others who could not find a place at Belmont Road.

“As a political party, we believe in multiplication and addition. Anything that increases our numbers and our support, so he’s welcomed back ... ,” Campbell said in a Gleaner interview.

“I notice there are a lot of young persons who have fallen out of grace because of their own internal challenges. We welcome them as well,” he added.

TUMULTUOUS TIME

Anderson split from the PNP after a tumultuous period that erupted while he was mayor, including legal challenges that were eventually settled amicably.

The party’s failure to support his return as councillor in the 2012 local government elections caused him to run as an independent candidate. He lost that run and subsequently joined the JLP.

Anderson was rejected by JLP candidates in St Ann North West in his bid to represent the Labourites in the 2016 general election and turned his attention to St Ann South East to challenge Lisa Hanna in the PNP stronghold.

Anderson was clobbered by Hanna, who tallied 8,142 votes to the 4,877 he recorded.

Campbell, however, said the PNP had made no decision on the selection of a candidate for St Ann North West, emphasising that the delegates of the constituency would ultimately make that call.

“We’re not at the point of candidacy discussion with Comrade Anderson, but we’re very happy to have him back in the fold,” the general secretary said.

“That is somebody who has served the party and somebody that we think can contribute to the development of the community and the party in that area.”

Campbell, who served as MP for St Ann North West for two consecutive terms between 2011 and 2020, reiterated that he is not interested in representational politics.

“At this point in time, that’s not where my mind is. I’m more focused on seeing how we can organise the party and achieve something fundamentally as to how we do electioneering and how we get out our supporters on the day,” he said.

carl.gilchrist@gleanerjm.com