Make Pearnel Charles Jr deputy leader

Make Pearnel Charles Jr deputy leader

Friday, September 25, 2020

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Dear Editor,

I'm taking a time out from the People's National Party's (PNP) first-tier leadership saga to focus on the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) second-tier leadership.

I will be focusing on Area Council Three, which consists of St Ann, Manchester, and Clarendon. That area council consists of 14 seats; the JLP won 11 of them. This area council is the only one that can boast renewal within the JLP. It had 10 first-time standard-bearers contesting seats; only Mike Henry, Audley Shaw, Zavia Mayne, and Ken Gammon were 'repeaters'. That area council has the most new Members of Parliament with eight of them winning their first general election.

With the retirement of Rudyard Spencer this year the position for the next deputy leader hasn't been settled yet. Clearly, Pearnel Charles Jr is the man for the job for the following reasons:

1) He's the only young MP in Area Council Three with a Cabinet position. He's running a mega ministry. He and Audley Shaw, a former long-serving deputy leader, are the only Cabinet ministers in that council.

2) Only he and Mayne managed to get more votes than their predecessors in 2016. Also, they both broke their seat record by achieving the largest number of votes, ever in their seats.

3) He and Everald Warmington are the only candidates to get over 10,000 votes in the general election. He's the candidate with the most votes in that area council.

4) At age 42 he's, by far, the most capable individual in that area council who can put his foot forward to be the next leader of the JLP, post-Andrew Holness.

As the man responsible for housing it would be an unwise move for Area Council Three not to elect Pearnel Charles Jr as deputy leader. Many will argue, why change a deputy leader when he's won so many seats? I will answer that question by saying, if they believe the JLP won a landslide victory because of the deputy leaders, chairman and general secretary, clearly they need to join the Jamaica Progressive Party or the Jamaica Unicorn Party. It was the leader, Andrew Holness, that made many candidates look good.

Teddylee Gray

Ocho Rios, St Ann

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