Saturday 24 October, 2020

Lisa Hanna calls for unity, love within PNP amid signs of division

Lisa Hanna

Lisa Hanna

Amid a controversial call for the People's National Party (PNP) leader, Dr Peter Phillips, to step aside, senior party member, Lisa Hanna, recently called for party unity, claiming that internal conflicts have caused the PNP to become distracted from its true purpose.

She made her views known to the public in a video that was posted on her social media platforms last week.

"For the past four years, all Jamaicans and especially our young people have associated the PNP with its internal conflicts. This has distracted us from our true purpose, which is to serve people," Hanna stated.

"In 2020, we have received the resounding messages to be and to become better. It is therefore time for us to look forward, bring back the love, tear down the walls of division, and instead build bridges of human connection and understanding," she added.

To achieve those actions geared towards ending the division in the PNP, the former Cabinet minister said: "This must be done with the people, where together we will build a future for Jamaica; one of monumental transformation for the benefit and dignity of all Jamaicans."

In continuing, she explained: "Our work continues, but we (the PNP) have to find a new gear. We have to meet this moment together. We can't do it same way."

Hanna is viewed by some as a prospective president of the Opposition party.

The party's hierarchy has already indicated that the process has begun to find a new PNP leader following Peter Phillips' commitment to step aside from his leadership roles if the party lost its bid to form Government.

Hanna in high spirits at the PNP's 2019 annual conference, a totally different posture from her reflective stance since the close shave she experienced on September 3. (File photo)

But the PNP Youth Organisation (PNPYO), led by Krystal Tomlinson, in a letter released in the public sphere last Monday, called on Phillips to resign within 30 days.

The 70-year-old party president has not publicly responded to the caustic letter.

Meanwhile, despite her absence from social media, Hanna assured her supporters that she had not gone anywhere, adding that she "will be in this fight with you all for the long haul".

It is the second time that the third-term South East St Ann Member of Parliament (MP) has addressed her social media followers since the PNP's bruising defeat to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in the September 3 General Elections.

The JLP took victory by securing 49 seats to the PNP's 14.

Hanna was last week declared the winner of the South East St Ann seat following the completion of a magisterial recount at the St Ann Parish Court.

Senior Parish Judge, Vaughn Facey, handed her the victory with a count of 5,150 votes, 31 more than the 5,119 votes that were tallied by Delroy Granston of the JLP.

And even before the determination of her victory, Hanna explained that she has "focused" her time since the elections on "sitting with and listening to my people in SESA (South East St Ann), saying thank you and reaching out to persons who have been divided for too long."

She added that "There is a reason why God has kept me here (in South East St Ann), and I will continue to walk in my purpose with the people.

“The healing has begun and we are making steps to restoring the relationships critical to our contribution in surviving the difficult days ahead for Jamaica."

While declaring that the people of the constituency are committed to working together with her, Hanna did not shy away from the fact that the constituents have sent her a clear message.

"SESA has been clear in their message that notwithstanding the constituency projects and the infrastructural improvement that have been made over the last four years, they too need more," she said.

At the end of the magisterial recount, Hanna, who published a statement, thanked God for her victory.

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