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PNP executive proposes selection conference for Portia's successor

Published:Thursday | July 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Smith Facey (right) suggested today that she was slighted by Simpson Miller.

The executive of the People's National Party (PNP) has proposed a selection conference on July 30 to determine the candidate for the St Andrew South Western constituency left vacant by Portia Simpson Miller's resignation.

The party said its executive met this evening and after "careful deliberations" unanimously decided to recommend to the National Executive Council that a conference be held to select the successor candidate.

Audrey Smith Facey, the councillor for the Payne Land Division, Angela Brown Burke, who represents the Norman Gardens Division and Karl Blake, the councillor for the Greenwich Town Division will go for the position.

The party executive said the nomination procedures and selection process should be established and supervised by the secretariat, with the general secretary being mandated to ensure a fair and transparent selection process.

The PNP has been struggling to control the selection process after Smith Facey said she was the only candidate nominated to replace Simpson Miller.

Brown Burke had expressed an interest in the constituency after the June 23 deadline but has argued that under the party's rules, the president is empowered to select the PNP's representative.

IN PHOTO: Angela Brown Burke

In a statement Thursday night, the PNP said several developments forced it to propose the selection exercise on July 30.

It said Blake and Facey Smith were the only ones who responded to a request for expression of interest issued by the General Secretary Julian Robinson on June 19. 

The PNP added that Simpson Miller on July 17 publicly endorsed Brown Burke, who also received official support from the "vast majority" of the constituency executive.

Brown Burke is a PNP vice president but the party said she recused herself from this evening's meeting.

In an interview on RJR's Beyond the Headlines, Smith Facey today that suggested she was slighted by Simpson Miller.

She said she felt she was being groomed to take over the constituency.