Former PNP MP Dayton Campbell says sorry

Former PNP MP Dayton Campbell says sorry

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Senior staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, October 15, 2020

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FORMER People's National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament for St Ann North Western Dr Dayton Campbell is apologising for the role he played in unsettling the Opposition party, which is still struggling to find its footing in the political arena.

In a two-minute video posted to his social media pages yesterday, the outspoken former parliamentarian, who lost his seat in the September 3 General Election after serving two terms in the House of Representatives, said upon reflection, he has taken stock of several ills plaguing the once-dominant political organisation.

Fourteen other PNP Members of Parliament (MPs) lost their seats in the polls, which saw the PNP crashing 14-49 to the Jamaica Labour Party. Among them was Rise United boss Peter Bunting, the former Manchester Central MP, whose challenge to Dr Peter Phillips's presidency failed in September 2019.

Campbell was Bunting's campaign manager in the bruising internal election, which many believe added salt to the wounds of the already-crippled 82-year-old party, broken from years of infighting.

He said the conundrum in which the party now finds itself is as a result of the disunity within, even as presidential candidates Mark Golding and Lisa Hanna go head to head in yet another leadership contest amid Phillips's desire to bow out.

“If I've ever been one of the individuals, and I suspect that I have been, that caused us to appear that way in the past, then, as an adult, as a big man, I want to unreservedly offer my own apologies for any role that I would have played in doing so in the past,” Campbell, a medical doctor by profession, said.

“After the election on September 3, I took a little time off to do a little introspection and to observe what is going on. As I was looking on, on what is taking place within the party, I realise that there is a reason why the player on a football field is probably not the best coach of the team, because when you're immersed in what is taking place, your vantage point, your view on things, is a little bit different than when you're on the outside looking on,” he added.

He said from his point of view, some things are of concern that need to be addressed.

“The obvious palpable disunity within the party is something that needs to be addressed. The way in which we treat with each other, whether or not we can speak the truth and it is welcomed — there is a space for it without us becoming mortal enemies. And, I find that we need to take stock of things; understand how to treat with each other, to deal with each other with love and respect, and to ensure that we focus on the main things and that we keep the main thing, the main thing,” he said.

He said, too, that the PNP needs unity, organisation, proper funding, and truth-speaking respectably.

The former MP is expected to announce today, who has his backing in the leadership internal poll scheduled for November 7.


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