Golding, Hanna say they have strategies to effectively lead OppositionTuesday, October 20, 2020
BY ALPHEA SAUNDERS
THE two candidates vying for the top job in the Opposition People's National Party (PNP) say they are ready with strategies to effectively lead their side in Parliament and manoeuvre the issues, regardless of the 14-49 majority which the Jamaica Labour Party Government now holds in the legislature.
“Giants don't normally frighten me. I have come upon many giants and goliaths in my life,” said four-term Member of Parliament (MP) for St Ann South Eastern Lisa Hanna. “The art of good leadership is not to fear what seems to be the noise but to plan the strategy...so we will be a responsible Opposition, we will hold the Government accountable, we will also make our voices heard,” she told yesterday's Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange.
Hanna, who is also party treasurer, said as president of the PNP and Opposition leader, she will help to reorganise constituency seats. “We will have the time to ensure that we can form the next Government when the next elections are called. We have just lost an election; it is a bruising defeat, but the beauty about it is that we have another four years to get it right. So I am not daunted. When Michael Manley lost in 1980 and we only had nine seats, because of clear and active and exuberant and strategic leadership we were able to come back years later and win again, and I believe we can do that,” she said.
St Andrew Southern MP Mark Golding also believes it's not about the numbers but strategising and organising. “We have to really be a tighter cohesive unit. We have some good people on our side among the 14 and we need to work together, caucus a lot, and be strategic in how we operate,” he said.
Golding pointed out that so far the Opposition has held its own, already pushing back on at least one issue — that of the chairmanship of several parliamentary committees being turned over to the Government side, a move which Prime Minister Andrew Holness initiated at the start of the new session of Parliament. “The Government hasn't yet relented on its position, but I think the wider society senses the correctness of the position we put forward, and we will continue to adopt principled positions that support and defend the rights and interests of the Jamaican people,” he said, stressing that while the Opposition holds a small minority, it can be effective. “We might be likkle but we tallawah,” he remarked.
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