Former People’s National Party General Secretary, Peter Bunting, is this afternoon criticizing his party’s handling of its candidate selection process for South West St. Andrew.
He says he’s concerned that the process is not impartial. His criticism comes less than 24 hours after the party’s Executive Committee revealed that it’ll recommend that there be a selection conference on July 30 to allow delegates to choose their constituency representative.
It also declared that Angela Brown Burke will be allowed to contest the race. But Mr. Bunting says the party’s decision damages confidence in the process.
Mrs. Brown Burke had missed last month’s deadline which was set by the party for comrades to express their interest in succeeding Portia Simpson Miller as MP for the PNP stronghold.
The decision of its Executive Committee last night means she’ll now square off with Councillor Audrey Smith Facey to be the party’s standard bearer in the seat.
Bunting says the decision has hurt confidence in the selection process.
A statement from PNP General Secretary, Julian Robinson, has outlined what was described as two developments which influenced the Executive.
Those developments are the decision of Mrs. Simpson Miller to endorse Mrs. Brown Burke and a similar move by the constituency executive.
Mr. Bunting says he casts absolutely no aspersions on Mr. Robinson, whom he describes as a man of impeccable character. But he says the reasons given in support of the Executive’s decision are not credible.
Mr. Bunting is questioning why the Executive has not decided to submit to the NEC a poll which media reports suggest show that of the potential candidates, Smith-Facey is ahead of Brown Burke, who’s least favored among comrades.
He says that poll should also be reasonably considered as new information.
There are suggestions that Mr. Bunting is supporting Mrs. Smith-Facey’s campaign.
While the man who’s regarded by some as his internal political rival, Region Three Chairman, Phillip Paulwell, is supporting Mrs. Brown Burke.
But Mr. Bunting told our news center today that he’ll not disclose where his support lies until after this weekend’s meeting of the party’s National Executive Council, NEC.
Calls placed this afternoon to Mr. Paulwell were not answered.