It's a myth
Lisa Hanna says suggestion of unpopularity among delegates being pushed by mediaWednesday, October 21, 2020
PEOPLE'S National Party (PNP) presidential aspirant Lisa Hanna, who seeks to replace leader Dr Peter Phillips next month, says reports suggesting that she is not popular among delegates form part of a myth being pushed by the media.
In fact, Hanna told journalists at this week's virtual Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange that of the 14 Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) and 97 councillors, she has the support of 10 and 63, respectively.
Her comments also come amid a scathing letter believed to be from constituents circulating on social media accusing her of being divisive.
“We're running an internal campaign. We're meeting the delegates face to face on the ground and they are excited; they are resolute. We meet with them one on one; we meet with them in meetings. So, you might not be seeing what our campaign is doing because I have been very clear that the internal party politics should not be displayed in the public arena, because that is also a part of the healing and I will not have any public spat or conversations,” Hanna said.
“That is why when the media asks me to respond to Mark, I don't, because I said I will respond to Mark face to face. So that, too, is a myth and I think the media is trying to create stories because I have not been necessarily allowing them to film our discussions in those delegates' meetings, neither have I given them too much information,” said the St Ann South Eastern Member of Parliament after it was suggested that her popularity was more at the national than party level.
The internal contest, which takes place on November 7, is also expected to feature Mark Golding, the St Andrew Southern Member of Parliament who this week launched his campaign, widely broadcast on social media.
Hanna said she and her 'Bring Back Di Love' campaign team have been in the field moving from constituency to constituency and have been making an impact.
“So the delegates are coming out [and] they're listening to our messages. As a matter of fact, one of the things we can tell you is that we have 10 out of 14 MPs that are supporting 'Bring Back Di Love'. We have 63 of the 97 PNP councillors that have endorsed and given me their support. And so what we have are the internal mechanisms that are supporting the 'Bring Back Di Love' campaign and the delegates who are coming out to say, 'You know what? We want to give this young woman a chance. We've grown up with her. We've seen her fight with us',” said Hanna.
She added, too, that she has been equally supportive of those now supporting her, noting that she has, over the years, walked hand in hand with them in national, local government, and by-elections.
“From Negril Point to Morant Point, every single constituency can say, 'You know, Lisa has been there for us.' So that's the difference also between myself and Mark. Mark has been more of a legislator, and that was his job, and I respect him for that. He was the minister of justice, but he has not been on the ground. He hasn't served even a full term. He's really going into his full term now as a Member of Parliament,” Hanna said.
Among those supporting Hanna's candidacy are St Catherine Eastern MP Denise Daley; St Catherine North Central MP Natalie Neita; Manchester North Western MP Mikael Phillips; St Mary Central MP Dr Morais Guy; Eastern Kingston and Port Royal MP Phillip Paulwell; councillors Audrey Smith-Facey, Dennis Gordon, and Alrick Campbell.
In the meantime, Hanna, who is aware of the letter being circulated, said she has cautioned her supporters about the type of campaign she intends to run.
“I'm into vision and not vitriol. We've run a clean campaign. I continue to implore persons to stay high and to not go low and not hit below the belt. I will continue to do that because I was one of the first people to come out and say the kind of campaign that I was prepared to run,” said Hanna.
Golding, who also spoke to the Observer on Monday, said the letter did not originate from his camp and that he has cautioned his supporters not to share it or to descend into gutter politics.
Hanna is expected to be nominated today while Golding is scheduled to be nominated on Friday.