PNP betting on Phillips

Party president will seek to 'WOW' Jamaicans at today's public session of annual conference

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, September 22, 2019

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People's National Party (PNP) President Dr Peter Phillips is expected to announce new proposals to fight crime and improve the country's education system when he addresses the public session of the party's 81st annual conference at the National Arena today.

Having survived a scare from Peter Bunting to hold on to the party's top post two weeks ago, Dr Phillips will also speak to the scores of Comrades who are not convinced that he can lead them to an election victory, while trying to convince the rest of Jamaica that the PNP has a plan in place to move Jamaica forward, if elected to form the next government.

Phillips edged Bunting by a mere 76 votes during the September 7 presidential election, with just a shade more than half of the delegates who voted giving him the nod.

That will weigh heavily on his mind when he takes to the stage, sometime after 1:30 this afternoon, as his first duty will be to convince the Comrades who did not vote for him — especially those who have since indicated that they will walk away from the party because of the Bunting defeat.

But yesterday a senior party member, who asked not to be named, told the Jamaica Observer that the party leader will concentrate on national issues rather than PNP matters.

“You people in the media are making more of this PNP disunity than we in the party,” said the PNP official, who was at Jamaica College in St Andrew where the private session of the party's annual conference was being held.

“Of course he will have to talk to Comrades but we are all united in our efforts to rid Jamaica of this corrupt Government once the election is called. The party president will be more interested in showing Jamaicans that the PNP has a plan to move this country forward, and not in the way of the prosperity for a few which Andrew (Prime Minister Andrew Holness) promised,” added the PNP official.

He told the Sunday Observer that Phillips will outline plans for a housing revolution, a land revolution, and a brand new economy with new industries.

“Dr Phillips will outline the findings of the commissions he has established and the recommendations from them to create a modern Jamaica with progress for everybody, and not a few friends of the Government as is happening now.

“Of course he will point to the level of corruption that the nation has seen under this Administration because Jamaica cannot continue like this,” declared the PNP official.

Bunting, the defeated presidential candidate, is scheduled to be given an opportunity to address the conference today as the party pushes its claim that it is healing the wounds caused by the bitter election campaign.

The PNP is staging this year's conference under the theme 'WOW' which it says translates to “Work, Organise, Win”.

“This was chosen because it best describes where we are now in our renewal process. We have been focusing on strengthening our organisations in the constituencies by putting new candidates in place and a support system of workers to ensure that we are election-ready in all of our seats,” PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson told members of the media last week.

“We are putting in the work in our constituencies …; organise, we are focused on enumeration and outreach …and a win for us is not about winning an election, but ensuring that we are in a position to deliver the policies and programmes on behalf of all Jamaicans,” added Robinson


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