Rohan says bank on him

Businessman will resist pressure to give way to Krystal Tomlinson as PNP representative in St Andrew West Rural

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

Sunday, October 20, 2019

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With all indications being that Krystal Tomlinson will be the next People's National Party's (PNP) representative in St Andrew West Rural, the man she is set to displace, Rohan Banks, and his supporters are crying foul.

Late last week senior PNP sources told the Jamaica Observer that once Tomlinson gets the all-clear from the party's Integrity Commission she will be named as its candidate to take on the Jamaica Labour Party's Juliet Cuthbert Flynn, in the constituency which has changed hands to the victorious party in every election since 2007.

But Banks, who has been working the seat for more than two years, is not accepting his displacement, despite what sources say is a clear message from the party that Tomlinson who heads its youth organisation is the person that PNP President Dr Peter Phillips wants to contest the 'must-win' constituency.

“I see an impression that the party wants to impose a candidate, but I am not convinced that this will be the final result,” Banks told the Sunday Observer.

“I am waiting to see the final result in terms of fair play being shown,” added Banks.

He said several delegates in the constituency have urged him to stay, and there is no way he could walk away against their wishes.

“There are persons who have been saying that I have been there for a very long time and I am the person they know. They don't want anybody to be pushed on them or imposed on them.

“Anybody imposed would not know the personalities or the issues of the constituency, and based on what the delegates have seen, based on my efforts and work, they know that I am competent to run the constituency,” said Banks.

“I am at the stage where I am not walking away, and the delegates have asked me not to walk away. If it wasn't by request I would walk away, but the delegates are so firm in their belief that I should remain and that I am the person who should be selected to run for the constituency,” declared Banks.

Since 2007 when the JLP's Andrew Gallimore defeated the PNP's Andrea More to retain the constituency, the party that has won that seat has been elected to form the Government.

In 2011 the PNP's Paul Buchanan polled 7,716 votes to Gallimore's 7,479 to take the seat and help his party to election victory.

Buchanan registered a slight decline in votes polled in 2016 (7,638), which was not enough to stave off the challenge of newcomer Cuthbert Flynn who polled 9,736 to win the seat for the JLP and help that party earn the majority of seats in Parliament.

Against that background, Banks understands the desire of the party to ensure that it has a winnable candidate in place — but he is confident that he can deliver the seat in the victory column.

“I have confidence that with my machinery we will win the constituency. I am not concerned about losing,” declared Banks.

“My support is very strong in all four divisions, and I will lead a complete restructuring of thinking and a complete restructuring of the machinery,” added Banks.


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