‘I don’t hold a panacea’

Camp­bell de­fends Re­gion One stew­ard­ship de­spite elec­tion losses

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Jo­van John­son Staff Re­porter jo­van.john­son@glean­erjm.com

DAY­TON CAMP­BELL, the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party (PNP) chair­man for Re­gion One, is ques­tion­ing the fo­cus on parishes he leads when other re­gions per­formed worse in Mon­day’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

He said ques­tions should also be asked of Ian Hayles, who heads the party’s Re­gion Six, which has seen its di­vi­sion count slashed to 16 from the 31 that were won in the 2012 lo­cal gov­ern­ment polls.

Re­gion One com­prises Trelawny and St Ann. The two parishes have swung to the Ja­maica Labour Party (JLP) with some key tra­di­tion­ally strong PNP di­vi­sions and high-pro­file Com­rades, in­clud­ing St Ann’s Bay Mayor Des­mond Gil­more, los­ing.

Camp­bell also lost all four di­vi­sions in his St Ann North Western con­stituency, in­clud­ing the PNP bas­tion of Brown’s Town, which had not gone green in al­most 30 years.

“When I came to North West St Ann, we had only one coun­cil­lor. We had lost the other three. It was a sim­i­lar thing in 2012 when we won three. You al­ways have three of the di­vi­sions that go with which­ever party that is in power,” he said.

BROWN’S TOWN SUR­PRISE

Con­tin­u­ing, the MP added: “The only sur­prise in my con­stituency would be the Brown’s Town di­vi­sion that was lost. In Fe­bru­ary of this year, I won that di­vi­sion by 745 votes, so clearly the is­sue is not a PNP is­sue or an is­sue with me. I re­alise that per­sons have taken is­sue with my con­stituency.”

Camp­bell also had an ex­pla­na­tion for why the JLP broke the PNP’s stran­gle­hold on the Moneague di­vi­sion in Lisa Hanna’s St Ann South East­ern con­stituency – a his­tor­i­cally solid PNP area.

“I be­came re­gional chair­man three months ago. Since be­com­ing chair­man, this is the first time it has hap­pened in the re­gion. I drove to each one of these con­stituen­cies, sat down and met with the cam­paign teams of all the di­vi­sions, gave them the in­stru­ments to get them pre­pared.

“If you’re go­ing to as­sess re­gional chair­men’s per­for­mances, then you have to look at all the re­gions and see how many re­gions lost seats. In St Ann, we lost six seats and in Trelawny we lost one. We lost five di­vi­sions in West­more­land and 11 in St James. But I don’t hear any­body talk­ing about Re­gion Six. There seems to be this fix­a­tion with Day­ton Camp­bell. I don’t hold a panacea.”

ON­GO­ING STRIFE

Hayles is chair­man of Re­gion Six and MP for Hanover Western. Re­gion Six com­prises St James, West­more­land and Hanover.

Hayles lost one of the three di­vi­sions (Lucea) won by the PNP in 2012. Based on Mon­day’s pre­lim­i­nary re­sults, the PNP has won 16 of the 38 di­vi­sions in the re­gion. In 2012, the party won 31.

The PNP’s de­feat in Moneague is being linked to the on­go­ing strife dom­i­nat­ing PNP or­gan­i­sa­tion in Hanna’s con­stituency. PNP Pres­i­dent Por­tia Simp­son Miller’s in­flam­ma­tory re­marks, in try­ing to quell the re­bel­lion when she went into the parish ear­lier this month, did not ap­pear to help.

Ver­non Wil­liams, a PNP mem­ber who left the party to run as an in­de­pen­dent, amassed 787 votes to the PNP’s Lloyd Gar­rick, who polled 777. The JLP’s Del­roy Kelly pre­vailed with 807 votes, based on the pre­lim­i­nary re­sults.

CAMP­BELL

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