Bowed, not broken

Bowed, not broken

Phillips says despite bitter leadership race PNP united, strong and ready to take on JLP


Thursday, September 12, 2019

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President of the People's National Party (PNP) Dr Peter Phillips has scoffed at claims that the bile that soiled the just-concluded presidential race in the party will leave it disjointed and a spent political force for some time.

“I don't know if we are in a different age, but this not the first time that we have had a contest. It is not the first time that we have had utterances made by people.

“In every family, from time to time there are moments of friction, and tension, and in well-ordered families this reality of life is overcome by people exchanging views about issues that arose. We have set up, inside the party, the mechanisms to facilitate the re-emergence of a unified collective approach,” Phillips told journalists during a media briefing at the PNP's Old Hope Road, St Andrew headquarters yesterday.

“As has been the case in the past, I have every confidence that we will go forward together with some unity of purpose,” added Phillips, who had earlier declared that in the finest traditions of the PNP he will be the president for all, not just for some.

According to Phillips, it would be wrong to think that this period in the history of the PNP is more extreme than any time in the past.

“Contests are part of life,” argued Phillips, who had already told the media briefing that the PNP remains a party with vibrant internal democratic traditions which allow each member to offer themselves for any office in the party and to campaign hard.

Phillips, who last Wednesday alleged that there were people in the party who were opposed to his leadership ever since he became president by acclamation some two years ago, said that having distinct tendencies in political parties has been a fact of life forever in Jamaica.

“It requires political management [and] the exercise of state craft to be able to manage these different tendencies which exist. What is important is that whatever management takes place, takes place in the context of our constitutional provisions that are there to preserve our essential unity of purpose as an organisation,” said Phillips.

Pointing to the factions that have been in the PNP through its history, including the so-called Peter, Portia factions that were said to exist after his unsuccessful bid to unseat Portia Simpson Miller as party president in 2008, Phillips said the party has always found a way to come together.

“I was part of the national campaign team in 2010 after having contested the [2008] election. We are most of all committed to the overarching principles and objectives of the People's National Party to build a better Jamaica… and that's what keeps us together so that we are able to overcome differences of views,” added Phillips.

The PNP president said the party's task now is to build on the positive energies created during the campaign to resume its work in the 63 constituencies islandwide, while continuing to put in place its candidates, strengthening its machinery on the ground and continuing to bring to public attention the critical issues which face Jamaica today, including rampant crime and corruption.

According to Phillips, following its annual conference next weekend the PNP will go into full election alert mode and will put in place its campaign team as it prepares to defeat the Jamaica Labour Party Government.

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