Daily Observer (Jamaica)

PNP says Region Five almost ready for general election

Bunting assigned to Manchester Southern machinery

- BY KASEY WILLIAMS Staff reporter kaseyw@jamaicaobs­erver.com

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Chairman of the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Region Five Hopeton Mccatty has said the party has confirmed representa­tives for at least five of eight seats in Manchester and St Elizabeth, for the next general election.

The remaining three seats for which representa­tives have not been formally confirmed are Manchester Southern, St Elizabeth North Western and St Elizabeth South Eastern.

Reports have suggested that former Member of Parliament for Manchester Central Peter Bunting is being recommende­d for Manchester Southern.

When asked if Bunting is being considered as the party’s representa­tive there, Mccatty said he was uncertain.

“I don’t know. His name has been called quite often in different seats and very often in south [Manchester], but I do not know what his intentions are regarding returning into representa­tional politics. I do not know,” Mccatty told the Jamaica Observer on Friday.

However, the Region Five chair said supporters of the party have been calling for Bunting in Manchester Southern.

“What I can say is the Comrades from south [Manchester] and other seats have an interest in him but whether he chooses to return to representa­tional politics, that is his personal decision,” said Mccatty.

Bunting, who lost the Manchester Central seat in one of the biggest political upsets in the 2020 General Election, said he was assigned to get Manchester Southern ready for the next parliament­ary election.

In a Whatsapp message Bunting told the Sunday Observer: “I am currently the assignee (from the party’s executive committee) to support and ensure the election preparedne­ss of the constituen­cy organisati­on in South Manchester.”

On April 30 Bunting told Comrades at the Bellefield divisional conference that he would not be seeking re-election in Manchester Central at the next national vote.

“This will be the last round of conference­s — divisional and constituen­cy — where I am the standard-bearer, whether chairman or MP. I shared that with my constituen­cy executive back in January,” he had said.

Bunting did not say whether his decision was limited to Manchester Central or overall representa­tional politics at that time.

Bunting lost to the Jamaica Labour Party’s Rhoda Crawford in the September 3, 2020 General Election. Crawford polled 8,139 votes to Bunting’s 6,989 votes.

He had won three consecutiv­e times in Manchester Central from 2007, along with another triumph in Clarendon South Eastern, his first, over former Prime Minister Hugh Lawson Shearer in the 1993 General Election.

Mccatty outlined the five seats that have been confirmed with representa­tives.

“We have Comrade [Valenton] Val Wint in Manchester North East, Comrade Mikael Phillips in Manchester North Western, Comrade Donovan Mitchell in Manchester Central, Comrade Miranda Wellington in St Elizabeth South Western, and Comrade Zuleika Jess in St Elizabeth North Eastern,” Mccatty said.

Wint has thrice contested parliament­ary elections on behalf of the PNP. He has never won. He was defeated by the JLP’S Audley Shaw in Manchester North Eastern in 2011 and 2016, and by Zavia Mayne (JLP) in St Ann South Western in 2020.

Phillips is the only Opposition MP in the PNP’S Region Five (Manchester and St Elizabeth).

Mitchell, who is also councillor for the Royal Flat Division, succeeded Bunting in Manchester Central.

Wellington, an educator, told the Sunday Observer in July that she was cognisant of the characteri­cs of St Elizabeth South Western.

The seat, which is considered a weathervan­e constituen­cy, saw its largest margin of victory since 1989 being that of JLP incumbent Floyd Green defeating PNP candidate Ewan Stephenson (now deceased) by 2,090 votes in 2020. In 2016 Green defeated former PNP MP Hugh Buchanan by 2,057 votes.

Jess defeated former Region Five Chairman Kern Spencer last June in a PNP run-off for St Elizabeth North Eastern.

Mccatty said aspirants in at least two seats have been given work to meet the party’s criteria to be representa­tives.

“I know that the process in St Elizabeth South Eastern is coming to an end now, and the party will make a decision very shortly. Comrade [Ian] Stephenson was given a programme of work. The party will be assessing that and coming to a decision very shortly. [In] St Elizabeth North West [there is] Comrade Mugabe Kilimanjar­o, and the party will be making a decision on that one also very shortly,” said Mccatty.

Kilimanjar­o is the brother of former PNP candidate Basil Waite.

Mccatty said all municipal divisions in Region Five have been filled with representa­tives of the PNP.

“In divisions, all 30 candidates are in place; the party is 100 per cent ready for the local government election. And we are not far off from a general election so if they call the general we are not at a point where we can’t put things in place. We are ready for the local and we are almost there with the general,” he said.

“We are going for all eight, that is the plan. So we are working on the strategy to ensure that if we don’t get all eight, we get as close to all eight as possible,” added Mccatty.

 ?? ?? BUNTING… says he was assigned to get Manchester Southern ready for the next parliament­ary election
BUNTING… says he was assigned to get Manchester Southern ready for the next parliament­ary election
 ?? ?? MCCATTY… we are ready for the local and we are almost there with the general
MCCATTY… we are ready for the local and we are almost there with the general

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica