'Comrade till I die': Karen Cross insists she is still a PNP member despite expulsionTuesday, September 28, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Political activist, Karen Cross, is insisting that she is still a member of the People's National Party (PNP), claiming that due process wasn't followed in expelling her from the party with immediate effect on Monday.
"I am a member of the People's National Party and I will remain so 'till I die. That fool fool ting (the expulsion from the party) is not how this thing works, and they can print dem likkle one liner and anything dem want but that doesn't change the fact that I am a member of the People's National Party and they can't expel me," Cross declared in an interview with OBSERVER ONLINE on Tuesday.
The decision to expel Cross was taken on Monday night at a meeting of the PNP's Executive Committee, according to a statement from the party.
"The Executive Committee of the People's National Party, having received and considered the report of the Disciplinary Committee, and in accordance with Section 260 of the Party's Constitution, expelled Karen Cross from the party with immediate effect," the statement said.
“This action was taken at its meeting held on September 27, 2021," it added.
However, Cross claims that she was never formally told that she was no longer a member and was only made aware of her expulsion through messages sent by her friends.
“I got a group call from my crew last night and they were the ones who told me what they saw being broadcast in the media,” she said.
According to Cross, it would be against protocol for her to be informed at this time since the “horse gone through the gate already”.
“To formally inform me now, after you have already informed the nation is counterproductive and working backway. I am not accepting that. I am a member of the PNP and will always be a member of the PNP.”
The party's acting chairman, Horace Dalley, indicated in a media interview that the disciplinary committee had recommended that Cross be suspended from the party. However, that decision was overturned by the party's executive committee which opted to boot Cross from the PNP.
Cross on Tuesday reiterated that the executive committee could not expel her and there was nothing to appeal.
"There is a process in the PNP and that which they did is not the process," she insisted.
Asked to explain the process, the 'former' PNP activist admitted that "she was not very good with what the [party's] constitution is".
"... But the [PNP's] constitution is not quite clear based on what I have been shown from morning... about the whole suspension/expulsion thing," she asserted.
According to her, "the [PNP] Executive [Committee] can only accept a recommendation from the disciplinary committee and I understand the disciplinary committee recommended suspicion".
Cross had been brought before the party's disciplinary committee earlier this year after she made several accusations against the PNP leadership hierarchy, including its president, Mark Golding, and Dayton Campbell, the party's general secretary.
"... And they [the PNP Executive Committee] got up into their feelings because dem embarrassed about [last] Thursday," she alleged.
Last Thursday, Cross was among a small group of protesters who converged on the party's Old Hope Road, St Andrew headquarters where they demanded new leadership of the 83-year-old political organisation.
Cross has also declared that she will continue with her plans to push back against officials in the Golding-led PNP.
She indicated that on Saturday, she will be turning up at the party's Region 3 National Executive Council (NEC) Elections to be militant against persons who cannot prove that they are true PNP members, and even signalled her intentions to exercise her voting right as a member, despite being expelled.
"I sent out a voicenote yesterday [Monday] morning encouraging Region 3 comrades to stand up against the (alleged) fraudulent groups... in the party... Those are the fraudulent groups that have been around the country electing NEC members," alleged Cross.
"Those fraudulent groups; there are some in Region 3 and we are going to be militant about establishing that these people are actually PNP people, and if we are going to allow them to vote, they have to prove that they are actually PNP... long time. I am going to stand up for that," she charged.
"I am a member of the PNP. I am still a member, I will be at Edith Dalton James [High School] on Saturday to register my vote for NEC members. For now that's all I have to say about that," she added.
The controversial activist did note, however, that the election of delegates to the party's NEC has been taking place across various regions.
"It's when the delegates from each region get together and elect NEC representatives from their region to the NEC. So it's an annual constitutional requirement [of the PNP]," she explained.
"When I go to vote I am going to stand firm and ensure that the people who come to vote are PNP people and nobody can stop me from doing that! I mean nobody!" she quipped when asked to elaborate further on her plans for Saturday.
In the meantime, Cross is holding firm to her belief that the announcement of her expulsion was to counter the embarrassment PNP officials faced by her protest action last week.
"Dem just all up in dem feelings bout last Thursday how they could have handled it better... Their first attempt at handling these things are always the bad ones and dem realise dem mistakes and want to back up like, for example, locking the [PNP party's headquarters] gate which was a colossal mistake," she said.
She further argued that, "All they had to do, if they truly wanted unity, is to think clearly and say to them, 'Alright if these people show up, we going to ensure that people can come in and talk to people'."
Instead, the 'former' veteran PNP member claimed that the leadership of the Opposition party took a different route by allegedly embracing "vengeance" and "revenge".
"They always go for those approaches first. The ones where they want to take vengeance, and revenge and demean people. It's a cancer in the PNP... A cancer which has taken over some aspects of the PNP... A cancer which has now pitched us against them," she observed.