Top­ple Por­tia and over­haul PNP

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

GTHE EDITOR, Sir: OVERNMENT MP Daryl Vaz said in a state­ment re­cently, “Once you serve the peo­ple, the peo­ple, they will serve you.” Pow­er­ful words com­ing on the heels of an­other dev­as­tat­ing blow to the PNP in the re­cent mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion elec­tions. The rul­ing Ja­maica Labour Party took eight of the 13 parish coun­cils, in­clud­ing Kingston and St An­drew. The JLP, which has been do­ing very well in its first year of ad­min­is­tra­tion, must be en­cour­aged by this en­dorse­ment.

The PNP now has some se­ri­ous soul-search­ing to do, as the blow serves as a re­jec­tion of the old­time, di­vi­sive pol­i­tics and lead­er­ship of which most per­sons have grown tired. The fact that Por­tia Simp­son Miller failed to show up at PNP head­quar­ters af­ter the de­feat spoke vol­umes about her in­ad­e­qua­cies as a leader. Her re­cent com­ments about “no bway, no gyal can­not trou­ble” her didn’t help ei­ther. If noth­ing else, it re­minded us that, as a peo­ple, we are who we elect.

Although the rul­ing JLP is in con­trol, the word ‘con­trol’ is never a good thing in a democ­racy. We do need a vi­brant Op­po­si­tion for our democ­racy to work. It was Lisa Hanna who trended the hash­tag ‘re­newal’ in a bid to se­cure one of the party’s vice-pres­i­dent posts re­cently, Hanna and her mes­sage were re­jected by the party’s mem­ber­ship.

The PNP now needs a proper cleans­ing and new en­ergy if it is to be taken se­ri­ously. All or­gan­i­sa­tions must grow and re­new over time. The re­newal of the PNP must start at the top and work its way down, and the time to do it is now.

In the best in­ter­ests of the party and the coun­try, there should be no fear to do the right thing and chal­lenge Por­tia Simp­son Miller, whose time has long passed. The PNP’s lead­er­ship must be chal­lenged, and the party needs to take some time to over­haul it­self if it is to emerge once again as a party that is rep­utable and as an Op­po­si­tion that is vi­able. P. CHIN chin_p@ya­hoo.com

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