PNP hits the road

PNP hits the road

Senior staff reporter

Friday, January 17, 2020

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LEADER of the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) Peter Phillips and the man who challenged him in September and lost, Peter Bunting, yesterday put on a public show of unity telling supporters that the PNP intends to “rescue” the country from the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

The two addressed party officers and a smattering of supporters gathered at Harbour View roundabout in St Andrew, where the PNP launched its islandwide road show – a pre-election campaign which began yesterday in the eastern end of the island and will make the trek across the island to the west.

Dr Phillips told supporters that the PNP will be touching base with Jamaicans across the island during the tour. “We are going to go through Jamaica, because it is evident in January 2020 that the chaos and crisis that was so evident in 2019 is continuing. Murders are up in January over what they were last year January; we are already seeing the dollar collapse; we are already seeing the chaos in the education system; and in the Parliament we see that they want to cover up of the plunder that is taking place with the people's resources. We are going out today to signal that we can rescue Jamaica. We are united, we are strong, we are up, we are ready,” he said.

Bunting, Member of Parliament for Manchester Central, said 2020 should be a “year of political maturity” for the PNP.

“Jamaica needs rescuing now and it needs it from a 100 per cent PNP. We are here to demonstrate that there are bigger issues to deal with in the country – the chaos in the education sector, a potential fallout in our economy, important issues that the JLP is not dealing with. So we must move forward to address these challenges to educate the people,” Bunting stated.

PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson told the Jamaica Observer that the bus tour intends to connect with citizens on the ground “to share with them our message of hope for Jamaica, how we plan to make Jamaica safe, what our plans are. We started the year with a retreat of all our candidates and campaign managers and we believe we need to get feedback from the road”.

The tour is expected continue through St Andrew and parts of St Mary, and St Ann tomorrow, and move on to the west on Saturday.

He said the stops won't be lengthy, but they are geared at getting a sense of the mood of the people on the ground and to refine the party's message to them.

Senator Sophia Fraser-Binns of the PNP's Region Three also emphasised that the objective of the road show is to hear the issues of Jamaicans and also share with them some of the initiatives that a PNP-led Government would undertake.

“We are going to be sharing with them, listening to them, and start our soft campaign,” she said in an Observer interview.

Asked about tensions within the party against the backdrop of the recent leadership face-off, Fraser-Binns responded: “In a family is there ever a perfect union”, adding that improvements can be made, but the party is at a good place. “Coming out of the presidential elections there were some tension, but both comrade Peter Phillips and Bunting are very desirous of seeing a PNP Government, and so they have pledged unity, and it is very evident that it isn't just talking about unity, but actual steps have been taken to ensure that we unite the party.”

She said tangible and practical evidence of that unity were unfolding.

Joan Gordon Webley, a former Labourite who will be taking on Juliet Holness for the St Andrew East Rural seat at the next general election, said the road show should give the party an opportunity to take notes from the people, which will bolster its plans for the country, going forward.

“It's is about to happen, and we welcome this election. Let us hear what the people are saying, let's hear their voices, let the people speak,” said Gordon Webley.

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