Hayles set to represent PNP in Westmoreland Western after internal selection process
PNP Caretaker for the Westmoreland Western Constituency making his victory speech. To his right is his Vice Chairman Wayne Vaccianna.

WESTMORELAND, Jamaica - Vice President of the Opposition People's National Party (PNP), Ian Hayles, is set to represent the party in the constituency of Westmoreland Western in the next general election after receiving overwhelming support from delegates during an internal election held at the Little London Primary and Infant School on Sunday.

Hayles was the only name on the ballot after another aspirant, Councillor for the Sheffield Division, Garfield James, requested that his name be omitted from the voting process, citing several issues with the overall selection process, including issues with the delegates list that was prepared for Sunday's voting session.

As a result of James- who is also the principal of the Little London High School in the parish- staying away from the selection process, Hayles had to obtain more than 50 per cent of the votes cast by the delegates to be selected, according to the rules of the party.

At the end of the voting process, which started at 11:00 am, and lasted over four hours, Hayles got 99 per cent of the 746 votes cast.

After the announcement, Hayles, who is also the constituency chairman, thanked those who worked with him over the past five months.

"For five months we went out there on the road, we did not cuss anybody because we knew that it was an internal election. So, for five months we decided to walk the nook and cranny in every house - some board floors we dropped through and some we walked on good," stated Hayles.

"I want to say this to you, it wasn't about an internal election. It was about us getting ready to face the [ruling] Jamaica Labor Party (JLP). So, I say this to you, we clench our fists in the People's National Party because we believe that everybody is supposed to be equal in this party."

Hayles, a former MP for the neighbouring constituency of Hanover Western, will replace the PNP's Wykeham McNeil

who lost in his bid to retain the seat in the last general election. The sitting MP is the JLP's Morland Wilson..

– Anthony Lewis

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