11 Feb PNP Party Leader, Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, bids farewell at the NEC
Excerpt from the Party Leader, The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller’s speech to the NEC of February 5, 2017
Comrades, it was the privilege of a lifetime to serve the Peoples National Party and the people of Jamaica, particularly the people of St. Andrew South West, for over forty years.
In 1973, I won the strongest JLP division in the corporate area. In 1976, I won the strongest JLP Constituency in Jamaica. It is now the strongest PNP Constituency. I have been blessed to serve at every level. As Councillor, Member of Parliament, Minister, President of the Women’s Movement, Vice President, President of the PNP, Leader of the Opposition and Prime Minister. Service to my fellow Jamaicans is my main purpose in life.
The journey has not always been easy and I have persevered primarily because of the love and inspiration I have received from the Jamaican people. Comrades, in making political decisions, I have always put the interest of our beloved Party before my own and that has not changed. I have always felt that in order to effect a smooth transition, and in the best interest of the Party, the period between my announcement and my demitting office should not be too long. ***I speak on March 16 in the budget debate and I will resign as President of the Party on April 2, 2017.
Following the election of a new Party President, I will submit to the Governor General, my resignation as Leader of the Opposition. I ask the party to convene a Special Delegates Conference for a convenient date, to elect my successor. I will remain as the Member of Parliament for South West St. Andrew until an appropriate time.
It is my hope that the Party will elect a leader who will build on this legacy of hope, service and selflessness. I wish for the new Party Leader success and that the person will continue to nurture and build our Party to enable it to maintain its tradition of service and performance. As I prepare to leave this stage, I do so with satisfaction and pride and with the sure knowledge that our beloved Party will continue to be a beacon of hope for all Jamaicans, especially the less fortunate. I will not fade away. I will be here for you and I will continue to find ways to inspire and help people especially the least fortunate among us.
Comrades, I have been touched by the well wishes I have received from hundreds and I thank you for the prayers that have lifted my spirits. Most of all I thank you for the countless acts of sacrifice, courage, generosity, and grace that I have witnessed from many of you especially in the dark times.
I will never forget you. You have been the wind beneath my wings as I have given the best of me to this movement.
Thank you! I love you!