Check my record

Check my record

Hanna shoots down criticism that she's divisive

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Senior staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

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PEOPLE'S National Party (PNP) presidential candidate Lisa Hanna has shot down criticisms of divisiveness levelled against her by some within the party, arguing that, having been in key positions over the years, her record indicates otherwise.

Hanna, who was a guest at yesterday's virtual Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange, said people have adopted and passed on unfavourable narratives about her without doing their research.

The fourth-term Member of Parliament for St Ann South Eastern has been heavily criticised by factions in the Opposition party who have grouped her among those responsible for the PNP's current state of disarray.

But Hanna, who has also come under fire from councillors within her constituency over her stewardship of the seat, is not prepared to add that storyline to her résumé.

“My record does not speak to that. If you look at my record as regional chairman, having been elected for eight years consecutively, what you would recognise is that I presided over a region where there was absolutely no fallout in other constituencies,” she stated.

Hanna said during her chairmanship of the party's Region One, which comprises constituencies within St Ann and Trelawny, it had been smooth sailing.

This, she said, was despite a falling out with two of her councillors, which included Lydia Richards of the Bensonton Division in the constituency, whose challenge to her leadership in 2016 fizzled.

Richards has now publicly stated that Mark Golding — the other candidate seeking a mandate from delegates — has her full support.

Yesterday, Hanna reasoned that the label of divisiveness being thrust upon her would hold water had she sought to have Richards sacked, or those who continue to oppose her.

“Across the constituencies as well I led that region to two victories at the parish council level in St Ann and Trelawny and had the best electoral victory since 1989. So sometimes I think people take a narrative without actually doing the research. The fact of the matter is that people keep using a particular instance of a councillor challenging me for the seat in my own constituency as a basis for saying that I am divisive.

“If you ask every constituency, all 63, if you ask the workers in those constituencies, if you ask the councillors I've walked with over the past decade about who I am they will tell you that she's a team player. But persons keep using the fact that there was a councillor in my constituency who I should say, it is not a secret, that she was a part of another group of councillors that ousted a sitting Cabinet minister, Aloun Assamba, before she could complete her first term. I am now in my fourth term. I have not tried to change those councillors. They're still there,” said Hanna.

At the same time, she urged those who have tagged her as troublesome to “look at the data” and conclude whether or not “those facts are representative of a divisive person”.

Hanna's campaign manager, Donna Scott-Mottley, came to her defence, describing the MP as “loyal”.

“Lisa has never done anything which would harm the party. When she lost the vice-presidential race she was gracious. She was kind; she was supportive because even though [she] lost she put the party first. When Mark resigned as treasurer Lisa came and took up that position, filled the breach and became very creative at raising funds for the party,” Scott-Mottley argued.

“So, I evaluate her service. I evaluate her loyalty. But I've also seen her in Parliament; she's a fighter. She's going to stand up for people's rights and that [is what] I want,” Scott-Mottley said in a bid to woo delegates who head to the poll on November 7 to elect a successor to Dr Peter Phillips who submitted his resignation after the PNP lost the September 3 General Election 14-49 seats to the Jamaica Labour Party.


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