BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau email@example.com
MONTEGO BAY, St James — The leadership of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in western Jamaica on Saturday refused to comment on former finance minister Audley Shaw's intention to challenge Andrew Holness for the leadership of the party.
"I have no comment at this time," Dr Chris Tufton, the party's deputy leader in charge of Area Council Four, told the Jamaica Observer.
The JLP's Area Council Four encompasses the parishes of St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, Hanover, St James and Trelawny.
JLP general secretary and former deputy leader for Area Council Four Dr Horace Chang too, declined to comment on the likely challenge, when asked by the Observer.
"I can't comment at this time. He (Shaw) has stated his intention to challenge for the leadership and has said that he is going to have consultations before he makes a decision, so I prefer to wait until then," said Chang, who is also the member of parliament for St James North Western.
Shaw advised Holness of his intention to challenge him for the leadership of the party last week and informed the party chairman of his decision on Friday.
At the same time, Shaw who has represented Manchester North Eastern in Parliament for 20 years, assured his colleagues that he intends to avoid creating discord in the party, saying that he will go about the consultations in a "cordial and dignified manner".
Meanwhile, several party delegates who spoke to the Observer on Saturday said that they had "no problem" with Shaw's intended challenge for the leadership of the party, but stressed that measures must be put in place to ensure that the leadership race does not divide the party.
"I have no problem with it, but those involved must make sure that the often fractious party is not brought into disrepute," said Michael Williams, a delegate from the Trelawny North constituency.