Lisa blocked out

Young MP vows to fight on af­ter de­feat

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Erica Virtue Se­nior Sun­day Gleaner Writer erica.virtue@glean­erjm.com

I have demon­strated that I am a coura­geous can­di­date, and my prin­ci­ples and con­vic­tion will su­per­sede any kind of dirty pol­i­tick­ing. – Lisa Hanna

PEO­PLE’S NA­TIONAL Party (PNP) del­e­gates locked out Lisa Hanna from the lead­er­ship ta­ble as yes­ter­day, she failed in her bid to be­come one of the party’s four vice-pres­i­dents.

The slap-down re­ver­ber­ated across the length and breadth of the Na­tional Arena and be­yond as Com­rades said no to the brash young mem­ber of Par­lia­ment who had cam­paigned on a plat­form of re­newal and re­birth.

Hanna re­ceived 1,570 votes to fall 579 be­hind Dr An­gela Brown Burke, Noel Arscott, Dr Fen­ton Fer­gu­son, and new­comer Dr Wyke­ham McNeill.

Brown Burke later told jour­nal­ists that she had planned her suc­cess on the work she has done and which, she be­lieved, pulled her across the fin­ish line.

“Cer­tainly, my team and I have done a lot of work. We have gone across the is­land, lis­ten­ing to the con­cerns and is­sues raised by the del­e­gates. I feel their pain. I un­der­stand where they want the party to go. I have given my com­mit­ment to be­ing their voice where it mat­ters most be­cause the party was built on the backs of the or­di­nary peo­ple,” said Brown Burke.

A CON­FI­DENT FER­GU­SON

Re­turn­ing vice-pres­i­dent Fer­gu­son, who polled more votes than party pres­i­dent Por­tia Simp­son Miller, said he was al­ways con­fi­dent, but he took noth­ing for granted.

“I am glad to be among the four. I be­lieved that the work I did was enough as I have been across most of the con­stituen­cies. Where I wasn’t in touch, I had peo­ple who were there. I be­lieve that as a per­son and a politi­cian, I don’t seek friends only when I need them. For many, they have said my can­di­dacy was easy, and so I was not a hard sell,” a ju­bi­lant Fer­gu­son said.

Arscott, who was con­sid­ered to be the weak link among the con­tes­tants, fin­ished with the third-high­est num­ber of votes.

“I had a great day. The party was on show. I al­ways be­lieved in the del­e­gates, and they took me home. Now the work be­gins be­cause the strug­gle con­tin­ues. The re­build­ing of the party be­gins now,” Arscott told The Sun­day Gleaner.

For McNeill, the sec­ond-time-lucky can­di­date, the del­e­gates and sup­port­ers were on show and they did not let the party down.

MCNEILL’S VIC­TORY SPEECH

“I have worked hard. My team has worked. I have cov­ered this coun­try back and forth. The few places I didn’t know, I know now. We did all the work we could have done in an or­gan­ised way. We hoped for the best, and the del­e­gates brought me home,” said McNeill.

“Af­ter ev­ery con­test we go through a process of heal­ing and unity, but the truth of the mat­ter is, we will get through that process and do what we have to do – strength­en­ing our party, re­vis­it­ing our or­gan­i­sa­tion, be­com­ing a strong par­lia­men­tary op­po­si­tion, and hold­ing the Govern­ment ac­count­able for the mis­takes they are mak­ing,” added McNeill.

Hanna, who put on a brave face and ad­dressed the del­e­gates af­ter her de­feat, said she re­mained en­er­gised and com­mit­ted to the PNP.

“We ran a re­ally good cam­paign. We did the work across the coun­try, and cer­tainly, we have no re­grets. We brought some en­ergy to the party. I be­lieve that the pro­gramme of work we have set out we have achieved. We have no re­grets about how we ran it. We ran a build-up cam­paign rather than a tear-down cam­paign. There were many chal­lenges for me as a can­di­date in terms of the ob­sta­cles that were thrown in my way,” Hanna told The Sun­day Gleaner.

“I have demon­strated that I am a coura­geous can­di­date, and my prin­ci­ples and con­vic­tion will su­per­sede any kind of dirty pol­i­tick­ing,” added Hanna, who was given a hug by Simp­son Miller.

Ac­cord­ing to the PNP pres­i­dent, Hanna’s time will come.

2,479 2,395 2,207 2,009

JER­MAINE BARN­ABY/FREE­LANCE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

The vic­tor, Por­tia Simp­son Miller (left), has a hug for the van­quished af­ter the votes were counted at the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party’s in­ter­nal poll yes­ter­day.

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