PNP council approves internal selection for candidate to replace Simpson Miller
KINGSTON – The National Executive (NEC) of the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP) has ratified the resolution to proceed with the recommended selection conference to elect a candidate to replace former party leader and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller in the constituency of South Western St Andrew.
In a press release following Saturday’s meeting, held at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, the party said there was a unanimous vote supporting the resolution.
On July 30, former Mayor of Kingston and Councillor for the Norman Gardens Division Angela Brown Burke will challenge Audrey Smith Facey, Councillor of the Payne Land Division in a bid to determine the party’s standard-bearer for the upcoming bi-election in the Corporate Area constituency.
PNP President and opposition leader, Dr Peter Phillips, in a brief statement, urged the NEC to stand for what is right for the party and the country and support the resolution as it gives honour to all involved and offers the best hope for democracy.
The NEC is the PNP’s highest decision making body outside its Annual Conference.
At a meeting last Thursday, the executive committee of the PNP said a recommendation would be made to the NEC for a candidate to be selected for the constituency that was recently vacated by Simpson Miller.
The selection process, for what is said to be one of the “safest” seats for the opposition party, has been a source of controversy following Simpson Miller’s public endorsement of Brown Burke to replace her.
This drew the ire of Smith Facey who recently complained that she had met the June 23 deadline for submission of her application to contest the seat and was expecting the party to formally announce her as the candidate.
The PNP responded by saying that Simpson Miller’s endorsement of Brown Burke and a July 17 letter from the constituency secretary, also endorsing the former mayor, were among matters taken into consideration that led to its decision to have a selection conference.
“The executive committee believes that this approach is in keeping with the principles which underpin the constitution of the PNP. The eligible Comrades in this recognised constituency will choose their standard-bearer by way of a democratic process,” the opposition party then said. (CMC)