Monday 26 October, 2020

Lisa Hanna announces bid for PNP presidency

Lisa Hanna on the political stage.

Lisa Hanna on the political stage.

Lisa Hanna, the four-term Member of Parliament (MP) for South East St Ann, has announced her candidacy for the presidency of the Opposition People's National Party (PNP).

The decision came on Sunday when the PNP's National Executive Council (NEC) announced that the delegates of the party will select a new president on November 7 of this year.

In a release, Hanna said she is ready to offer herself to become PNP president.

"After careful consideration, prayer and discussion with my family, constituents and fellow comrades, I have decided to offer myself in service of the PNP as its president," she said, adding that "I know the challenges ahead, but I am ready".

The senior politician further stated that "the PNP is at a crossroads and Jamaica expects us to meet the moment.

"The party must begin the internal healing process immediately and move forward together in unity, if we are to be the strong Opposition the country needs now," she argued.

Hanna postulated that the strategy of moving forward for the PNP must include "the widest consultation and inclusiveness to shape the future of the people's party and the future government it will form."

Hanna was declared winner of the South East St Ann seat by a margin of 31 votes after a magisterial recount that was requested by Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate, Delroy Granston.

But despite her meagre victory margin, she has affirmed that "not only am I the person (who) can lead the party to regain the confidence of all our people, but the woman (who) will."

The more businesslike side of Hanna. 

Hanna's statement cited that she was recently named in a national poll as the frontrunner for the presidency of the PNP by a double-digit margin.

She also said since the September 3 General Elections, she has been active with her councillor candidates in her constituency.

"The people of SESA (South East St Ann) and I are committed to working together in building bridges and improving our foundation. This I believe may serve as a catalyst in improving and transforming the party, as I must lead by example," she asserted.

Hanna further argued that the party had been "distracted by internal conflict for too long, and it has kept us away from our purpose, and the people of Jamaica have seen that, they have told us so loudly.

"Let us bring back the love and reimagine the party's purpose and chart our path collectively for 2020 and beyond," she charged.

She joins Mark Golding in signalling an intention to bid for the presidency of the 82-year-old political party.

Last Monday, the latter told his supporters on his social media platforms to get "On your Mark", which was clearly symbolic of his leadership intentions.

Mikael Phillips, a PNP Vice-President and son of outgoing party President, Dr Peter Phillips, is also expected to signal his intent to vie for presidency.

Other names, such as senators Norman Horne and Damion Crawford, the latter also a Vice-President, have been suggested as potential PNP presidential candidates.

The developments in the PNP follow the party’s bruising defeat to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in the September 3 polls, in which the JLP claimed 49 seats to the PNP's 14 seats.

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