No glitzy campaign for Lisa


No glitzy campaign for Lisa

PNP presidential hopeful says costly campaign amid COVID-19 would be obscene

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

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THERE will be no glitzy, bank-breaking campaign for Lisa Hanna as she vies for the presidency of the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) — not when “people are starving out there” in a country battered by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, she has vowed.

“I want a practical, pragmatic, compassionate campaign, which is relevant to the times that we are living in. Because it would be audacious, it would actually be almost obscene, if I was spending the kind of exorbitant money on running a very glitzy campaign… Mi a tell you dat straight. I cyaan find it in me,” said Hanna.

She was responding to a question during a Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange yesterday.

Though she made no reference to it, Hanna's comments came a day after her opponent Mark Golding's virtual campaign launch, which included actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, his business partner and financial powerhouse Chris Dehring, and the influential Joe Matalon endorsing him. Golding also received endorsements from president of the PNP Patriots, vice-president of the PNP Women's Movement, as well as a number of his St Andrew Southern constituency's youth and community leaders.

The event ended on a musical note with a set by entertainer Tarrus Riley. The slick production is now available on YouTube and Facebook, and in a press release yesterday morning, the Golding camp noted that it had since “racked up approximately 18,000 views online”.

Yesterday, in discussing how she will reach party delegates who will choose PNP President Dr Peter Phillips' replacement, Hanna made it clear hers would be a targeted approach that speaks directly to the voters. She also spoke about the hard choices being faced by many Jamaicans now without jobs because of the pandemic, which is expected, in some quarters, to shrink the Jamaican economy by double digits by the end of this year.

The tough choice facing some, Hanna said, is whether to spend limited resources on data for their children to access online classes or buy food. She said checks with principals in her St Ann South Eastern constituency had shown that 75 per cent of students do not have access to education, the face of which has changed in the era of COVID-19.

“Education is the only thing in this environment that can give people an opportunity to have a better way of life,” she said, before hammering home the point that her campaign for the PNP presidency cannot be divorced from these and other issues.

“I am… cognisant that running in a leadership race, I cannot have dissonance with what the reality is on the ground,” she said.

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