Waite comes out for Golding
Another PNP deputy general secretary takes leave of absence, hits campaign trailFriday, October 30, 2020
PEOPLE'S National Party (PNP) Deputy General Secretary Basil Waite has become the latest high-profile member of the Opposition to declare support for one of the two candidates contesting the party's presidential race on November 7.
Waite, who was unsuccessful in his bid to capture the St Elizabeth North Eastern constituency for the PNP in the September 3 General Election, had previously indicated that he would remain neutral in this presidential contest so as to not influence the outcome, primarily because of the established protocol associated with his responsibilities as deputy general secretary.
But yesterday, he said after significant deliberations with numerous Comrades across the country, he has decided to take a stance in coming out for Golding, who is facing off with Lisa Hanna for the party's top job.
Waite joined fellow Deputy General Secretary Natalie Neita, who has taken a leave of absence to campaign for Hanna. He argued that he has to take a stance.
“I agree that our party is at a critical juncture that will determine the overall direction and future of the movement. Therefore, I now consider it imperative for me, as someone who has served long and sacrificed much, to indicate my support for a direction consistent with the foundation, principles and objectives of our noble institution.
“These values must remain our compass, even though the modes of expression and means of execution may, and should, evolve with time. It is for these reasons that I have decided to take a leave of absence from the PNP Secretariat and become active in the impending presidential elections,” added Waite.
Pointing to his family history in the PNP, Waite noted that his grandfather offered himself as a councillor candidate in 1947; his father also offered himself at the local government level in 1977, while his brother, Mugabe Kilimanjaro, is now the councillor for the Ipswich Division.
“I have spent all of my adult life in service of the Jamaican people, through the People's National Party. I have served in various capacities, including as president of the PNP Youth Organisation from 1999-2003. I was appointed to the Senate by [former Prime Minister] Portia Simpson Miller and I have served as deputy general secretary with the current party leader Comrade Dr Peter Phillips.
“Regardless of who was leader, I have always served my party, faithfully,” declared Waite.
He argued that the PNP is now in need of a critical three-pronged thrust in its mission to rebuild.
The deputy general secretary charged that the PNP needs a genuine quest for unity, a set of policies and programmes consistent with its original mission, and an overhauling and rebuilding of its once vaunted political organisation.
“I have taken the time to review the strengths and weaknesses of our presidential candidates, with both of whom I've shared strong and pleasant relationships for decades. Be that as it may, it is my view that Comrade Mark Golding is the candidate better suited to lead the People's National Party at this time,” said Waite.
He argued that Golding possesses the ability and track record as someone who practices unity, and has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to lead and mediate in challenging situations.
“The next leader of the PNP needs to be one who has avoided protracted political battles, seeks to bring people together, and continues to strengthen political organisations,” said Waite. “After considering these and other factors, I have no doubt in my mind that Mark Golding is better suited to be the sixth president of the People's National Party.”
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