Simpson Miller back to lead PNP
KINGSTON – The main opposition People’s National Party (PNP), on Saturday returned Portia Simpson Miller as leader of the 78-year-old political party.
After months of debate over the leadership of the party, following the defeat in the February 25 general election, the former Prime Minister was challenged by former Member of Parliament Dr Karl Blythe.
However when the ballots were counted after Saturday’s internal election, Simpson Miller won in a landslide, capturing 2 471 votes to Blythe’s 198.
In the vice presidential race, the victorious candidates were the three incumbents, Dr Fenton Ferguson, Dr Angella Brown-Burke, Noel Arscott, as well as first time candidate Dr Wykeham McNeil.
Lisa Hanna, the Member of Parliament for the constituency of St Ann South East, lost in her bid to become one of the four vice presidents.
However, Hanna said she is not disheartened by the defeat.
“I think for my supporters this is a defeat and they are hurt by it…. But it has revived me to go forward. So I’m not giving up. It has actually re-positioned and re-calibrated how I feel in my belly about what is necessary about the PNP in the current political contest and construct of Jamaica.”
Following his victory, the new vice president, Dr Wykeham McNeil said the party remains united.
“What we saw today, was the PNP coming together. We voted for different people but we were all one family. At the end of the day we move forward with unity to rebuilding our party and to ensure that we can do all the things we must do, to uplift our party and the people of Jamaica,” McNeil said.
The last time PNP delegates voted for vice presidents was in 2008. At that time there were eight candidates. (CMC)