Golding: PNP differences in St Catherine SE settled

Golding: PNP differences in St Catherine SE settled

PRESIDENT of the People’s National Party (PNP) Mark Golding says he has reduced tension in St Catherine South Eastern over who should be the party’s representative in the constituency in the next general election.

Reports surfaced recently that Comrades in the constituency have rejected the party’s choice of political newcomer Dr Alfred Dawes to be their representative and have been clamouring for long0-time councillor Alrick Campbell.

But Golding told a Knockpatrick Divisional Conference at May Day High School in Manchester on Sunday that he settled the dispute during a series of meetings in St Catherine South Eastern over the weekend.

“We have had our little issues over the years, in recent times in particular, and we have been very deliberate in solving those issues. Sometimes I have had to make decisions, or decisions that had to be taken, which have led to some feeling a way,” said Golding.

“They [the delegates] didn’t get the candidate they wanted, or whatever, but I say to each and every Comrade: Put the interest of Jamaica first and your party as the vehicle for building the progress in Jamaica, and put down any little issues now and make us rally together – and it has been working,” added Golding.

He said he intervened with two meetings in the constituency last Friday and on Sunday and, “the people are seeing the PNP again as a united force”.

However that was not confirmed by Campbell who said on Monday that there are matters outstanding to be resolved.

“I don’t know what the reported tensions are. I can confirm though that there are outstanding matters to be treated with. I still have a duty to protect my party and its president so I must decline further comment at this time,” Campbell said in a text message.

Golding had used Sunday’s divisional conference to point to the reasons for his decision, approximately one year ago, when he backed Dr Dawes to be the party’s standard-bearer in the constituency.

“Because I need a strong minister of health. Because you hear the issues going on in the health system [of] how the people are suffering. Because of the mismanagement of this Labour Party Government,” said Golding.

The PNP president also criticised the media for its reports on the tension in the constituency.

“I told the Comrades over the weekend my reason why I chose Dr Dawes for [St Catherine] South East and the Comrades had a good meeting. They vented, said what they had to say. I listened keenly and by the end of meeting Comrades, Dr Dawes gave a lovely speech and an authentic speech, expressed his love for them and his desire for us to work together, and we sang
Jamaica Arise in a spirit of unity, so don’t watch what the media carried afterwards. I was there,” said Golding.

“We had another meeting [Sunday] afternoon of the entire constituency, because on Friday that was just one division and the constituency workers [having a] meeting [Sunday], and everything was nice and irie. I am telling you, Comrades, we just need to be wise with one another, pull together, and show that the People’s National Party is bigger than all of us,” he added.

An upbeat Golding further declared that the PNP is gaining support among the Jamaican people.

“The people of Jamaica have been warming to the People’s National Party. The [PNP] is back, up and running. This was confirmed when we did a poll in April, a Don Anderson poll, and [it] reflected what we knew – that we were ahead. An eight-point lead over the Jamaica Labour Party. And Comrades it’s a great thing because two years ago we were far behind.

“We were 13 points behind, having lost in 2020 so badly, and we have been going through a series of strategic decisions to rebuild the party, to introduce the new party leader to Jamaica, and to build the organisation and to develop the message of hope. Comrades, the people are responding positively. They want to see the back of this Government and they want to see a Government of the People’s National Party back in Jamaica House,” added Golding.