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Bunting takes aim at Holness

PNP presidential aspirant issues exit warning to JLP Administration

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

ARMED with the results of a poll commissioned by his 'Rise United' campaign team, which shows the gap between the People's National Party (PNP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) narrowing, Peter Bunting has taken aim at the Andrew Holness Administration and has warned that its days in Government are numbered.

The Don Anderson poll, which shows the PNP trailing the JLP by five percentage points in August, is a marked improvement over the 11 percentage-point gap recorded in a similar poll in March, and Bunting says this shows that Prime Minister Andrew Holness's time in office is quickly drawing to a close.

Addressing a meeting at the Anchovy High School in south St James on Sunday, Bunting said his Rise United campaign is giving new energy to the Comrades who are rearing to vote out the Holness Administration.

“As the campaign comes into the final weeks, I want to say to Andrew Holness, the clock is ticking down on your time in office, because come September 8, the People's National Party will rise united, focussing on removing your corrupt Government from office,” declared Bunting.

“So if you think you get a little break fi the next few weeks, the only thing I have to say to you is that if (the late) Roger Clarke were here him would say, 'Fire deh a muss muss tail him think a cool breeze', and your time is coming,” added Bunting, who is to face off with Dr Peter Phillips on September 7 for the right to lead the PNP.

According to Bunting, his Rise United movement is not just about who is the leader of the PNP, but more about re-energising the party and reigniting the movement.

“When we have gone out there in the past two months, and we have circled this country, every major town we have had whistle-stops there, I can tell you something, the Comrades nuh gone nuh where, them just looking for a little spark … to fire up that passion in them to once again retake the Government of this country,” argued Bunting.

The former minister of national security also blasted the Holness Administration over its decision to use states of emergency (SOE) as a major crime-fighting tool.

Bunting, who recently voted against the extension of the state of emergency in the St Andrew South Police Division, told cheering Comrades that the JLP Administration has perpetrated a fraud on the country with the states of emergency.

“They have used it as a public relations tool. They have convinced the people, and the media, that the only way you can get police and soldiers to blanket the community is through a state of emergency [but] that is a lie. There is nothing that prevents the same amount of police and soldiers from being in your community without a state of emergency.

“In my four years as minister we had fewer murders than we are having now and we had no state of emergency,” added Bunting.

He charged that big businesses are being allowed to operate outside of the hours imposed under the states of emergency, while the small business operator is forced to close his doors, in keeping with the established schedule.

“And if we want to talk truth in this country, anyhow them scrape up two dozen sons of those who live in (the upper St Andrew communities of) Jack's Hills or Cherry Gardens, and detain them for one night without bail, state of emergency done long time in this country,” declared Bunting to loud cheers from persons who have been detained, or who know friends and relatives who have been detained, under the SOE in St James.

“But because them feel is the sons of the poor people in Flanker, in Norwood, in Rose Heights, in Mount Salem, in Salt Spring … because they don't care about the rights of these people, they feel they can just run roughshod over them and take away their rights as they like.

“But nothing nuh go so and the People's National Party is the party that has always stood for the average Jamaicans at times like these, and we will do it again,” added Bunting.

“Under my leadership no more abuse of the states of emergency,” declared Bunting, as he argued that improved infrastructure, education and job opportunities in depressed communities would do more to stem crime than any state of emergency.