21 Jul STATEMENT TO THE MEDIA FOLLOWING A SPECIAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING OF THE PEOPLE’S NATIONAL PARTY HELD JULY 20, 2017 RE SOUTH WEST ST. ANDREW
The Party’s Executive Committee at its meeting this evening, after careful deliberations, unanimously decided to recommend to the meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) on July 22, 2017 that:
(i) a Selection Conference be convened for the S. W. St. Andrew Constituency on Sunday July 30, 2017, at which Cdes Audrey Smith-Facey, Karl Blake and Angela Brown Burke will be the contenders to become the Constituency Representative, and
(ii) the nomination procedures and selection process be established and supervised by theParty Secretariat, with the General Secretary being mandated to ensure a fair and transparent selection process.
This is in keeping with Rule 88 of the Constitution of the People’s National Party which gives the NEC the authority to determine the procedures governing the selection of candidates. This has not yet happened in this matter.
On Monday, June 19, 2017, the General Secretary requested expressions of interest from comrades interested in succeeding Cde Portia Simpson Miller as the Party’s candidate in the South Western St. Andrew constituency. Responses were requested by Friday, June 23, 2017 and two comrades, Cdes Audrey Smith-Facey and Karl Blake, responded by expressing an interest.
There have now been two further developments in relation to the succession process. On Monday July 17, Cde Portia Simpson Miller, the former Member of Parliament and former Party Leader, endorsed Cde Angela Brown Burke to be her replacement South West St. Andrew. In addition, by letter dated July 17, 2017 to the General Secretary, the Constituency Secretary for South West St. Andrew advised that the “vast majority of the Executive and Officers support the view of the former MP and Party Leader Portia Simpson Miller that Comrade VP Angela Brown Burke is the most suitably qualified person to succeed her and carry on her legacy in the Constituency.” The Constituency Secretary indicated that this was the culmination of a series of consultations that the Executive has been undertaking from March 2017.
The Officers of the Party (in the absence of Cde Brown Burke) have considered these developments, and in particular the endorsement of the former Member of Parliament and Party Leader who has served the constituency for over 40 years, and the stated position of the Executive in what is a Recognised Constituency.
In these circumstances, the Officers proposed to the Executive Committee this evening that, in the interest of allowing all interested comrades the opportunity to contend and all qualified comrades in the constituency to exercise their right to choose a representative in a democratic manner, a Selection Conference be convened in which Cdes Smith-Facey, Blake and Brown Burke will be the contenders to become the Party’s candidatefor South West St. Andrew.
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.
Cde Brown-Burke agreed to recuse herself from the meeting of the Executive Committee this evening and was therefore not a party to the deliberations or decision taken.