PNP General Secretary, Paul Burke, says the country will know by July 20 this year whether Portia Simpson Miller will face a challenge for the Presidency of the 78-year old party.
Mrs. Simpson Miller told a tension filled meeting of the party’s National Executive Council, NEC, yesterday that she’ll be seeking re-election in September.
Mr. Burke says the cut off period for nomination is in a few weeks. He says then it will be known whether Simpson Miller will face a challenge.
Simpson Miller’s announcement that she’s seeking re-election has sparked tensions in the PNP. Some supporters of Central Manchester MP, Peter Bunting, say they note Simpson Miller’s refusal to give a time table for her departure.
Bunting has expressed interest in the top job. However, he feels it would be ideal if Mrs. Simpson Miller determines when she steps down.
Some supporters of PNP Campaign Director, Dr. Peter Phillips, have also said Simpson Miller should make way and allow for Phillips to be ushered into the PNP Presidency.
Last night, the Chairman of the PNP group, The Patriots, Javette Nixon blasted Mrs. Simpson Miller.
In a Facebook post hours after the NEC meeting, Nixon, says ‘Every well thinking member of the PNP should be freaking out at Mrs. Simpson-Miller’s utterance that she will be seeking to continue as party leader.” He says he refuses to accept that Simpson-Miller is the only person to lead the party at this point in its history.
Nixon said Simpson Miller appears to believe that the PNP belongs to her. According to Mr. Nixon, Simpson-Miller’s unwillingness to give a clear timeline for her departure is a red line in the sand. He says a group of intelligent people should not allow the party to be held hostage to stupidity and selfishness.
The Chairman of the PNP Patriots group said maybe he should consult West Portland MP, the JLP’s Daryl Vaz about the strategy which was used to compel Edward Seaga to step down as JLP Leader.
Paul Burke says he has contacted the Chairman of the Patriots about his comments which some consider to be out of order.
Two of the country’s leading political analysts have weighed in on the decision of Opposition Leader and PNP President, Portia Simpson Miller, to seek re-election come September.
Political Analyst Richard “Dickie’ Crawford says Mrs. Simpson Millers refusal to step down will only further divide the PNP.
Mr. Crawford also feels that this decision will have a negative effect on how the PNP is perceived by the wider Jamaican society.
He notes that our political directorate has failed to learn from the principled resignation of British Prime Minister, David Cameron, after last weeks Referendum to leave the European Union.
Another analyst Kevin O’Brian Chang, says a renewal of the party that many have called for will be difficult without a change in leadership.
Mr. O’Brian Chang argues that if Mrs. Simpson Miller is challenged come September she could still clinch it.