Sat | Sep 23, 2023

Dawes to represent the PNP in South East St Catherine

Published:Friday | May 5, 2023 | 12:35 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer
Dr Alfred Dawes.
Dr Alfred Dawes.

Medical doctor Alfred Dawes has been selected by the People’s National Party (PNP) to be its standard-bearer in South East St Catherine in the next general election.

The decision came on Wednesday when PNP President Mark Golding used his authority to select Dawes over councillor for the Bridgeport division and deputy mayor of Portmore, Alric Campbell, who was the other aspirant for the position.

The decision by the party president sparked a late-evening demonstration by a group of delegates and other persons supportive of Campbell, who claimed that Golding did not follow the process outlined to them for the selection of the candidate.

The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), the highest decision-making body outside of the national conference, had stated in a document, a copy of which was obtained by The Gleaner, that delegates in the constituency would have the final say.

A source who was in the meeting when the decision was announced told The Gleaner that Golding felt that Dawes was the better choice because of his national profile.

The source said this position disregarded Campbell’s 15-year tenure as councillor for a division in the constituency.

A late-night statement issued to the media under the signature of Campbell’s campaign manager, Ricardo James, said Campbell and his entire team were stunned by Golding’s decision to use the reserved powers so early in the process.

“I can admit to feeling wronged by the use of the reserved powers at this point in the process, I believe that myself, my campaign team and the constituents of South East St Catherine have been denied a true democratic opportunity,” Campbell was quoted as saying.

The decision is to be ratified by the NEC at its next meeting.

The St Catherine South East constituency was won by the Jamaica Labour Party’s Robert Miller in the 2020 general election, breaking a 27-year dominance by the PNP.