KINGSTON, Jamaica — After 15 years, the majority spent on the Opposition benches, four-term Member of Parliament for St Ann South East, Lisa Hanna, has announced that she will be stepping away from representational politics.
The People’s National Party (PNP) representative will stay on for a while longer as the next general election is not constitutionally due until 2025. Hanna, the party’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has informed PNP President, Opposition Leader Mark Golding, that she will not be available when the next election is called.
The former Miss World has been a polarizing figure in PNP politics. She seemed to always be at odds with her councillors who are crucial to a representative winning and retaining one’s seat. She also challenged Golding for leadership of the PNP in November 2020, two months after the PNP suffered a massive landslide defeat at the hands of the Jamaica Labour Party at the polls on September 3.
Critics of Hanna, who was a staunch supporter of Dr Phillips, argued that her challenge was ill-timed as the party was still bitterly divided from the decision by Peter Bunting 14 months earlier in September 2019 to challenge Phillips for the presidency.
Of note is that Hanna occupies one of the safest seats in the country and won by a margin of over 2,700 votes when she turned back the challenge of Peter Fakhourie on her first outing in 2007. However, she came within a whisker of losing the seat in the near wipe-out that the party suffered in 2020, holding on by just 31 votes.
See a synopsis of Lisa Hanna’s timeline in representational politics:
-September 3, 2007 – Won the St Ann South East seat even though then Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s PNP lost the General Election.
-September 2007– December 2011 – Served as Opposition spokesperson on Information, Youth and Culture. The PNP won the general election in December 2011.
-December 2011 – Wins a second term in St Ann South East
-January 2012– February 2016 – Served as Minister of Youth & Culture.
-February 2016 – Wins third term as Member of Parliament for St Ann South East
-March 2016 – present – PNP Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade
-September 2020 – Wins fourth term as MP for St Ann South East
-November 2020 – Loses bid for PNP presidency to Mark Golding
-August 2022 – Announces intention to leave representational politics