Bunting gets key PNP leadership roles ahead of elections
People's National Party (PNP) leader, Dr Peter Phillips (right), alongside Peter Bunting who last year challenged for the leadership, in a show of unity at the party's annual conference last September.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Manchester, Peter Bunting, has been appointed to two key positions inside the People's National Party (PNP) ahead of general elections that are widely expected before the end of the year.
Bunting has been appointed co-director for the party’s election campaign, alongside East Kingston and Port Royal MP, Phillip Paulwell.
PNP President, Dr Peter Phillips, made the announcement in a statement on Saturday evening.
“Effective Monday, June 22, Peter Bunting, who is known for his strident interventions on crime and push for education, will also assume the role of Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives,” the statement added.
Bunting replaces Central St Mary MP, Dr Morais Guy, who held the position for eight months. Guy had replaced Paulwell who stepped aside to take on the role of director for the party’s general election campaign.
Guy had asked to be relieved of duties as Leader of Opposition Business in the House to focus on the campaign as chairman of the PNP’s Region 2, as well as the role of shadow minister of health, especially as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 crisis, according to the PNP.
Meanwhile, Lisa Hanna has been appointed the chief election campaign spokesperson for the party.
Regarding his role as co-director for the general election campaign, Phillips said “Bunting has been officially added to the team and will help to drive a sophisticated and effective campaign to lead the PNP team to victory.”
Phillips said both Paulwell and Bunting will be responsible for directing all aspects of the election campaign, and will consolidate the diverse energies and talents within the party.
The PNP president expressed optimism that with the new appointees to the team of campaign workers, the party is poised for victory at the next polls and a return to state power.
Bunting’s appointment is particularly significant as it signals that the party continues to unify around Phillips who Bunting challenged for the leadership of the 81-year-old party last September.
Bunting barely lost to Phillips in what was a bruising presidential campaign that divided the party. Recently, a majority of 15 MPs, including Bunting, demanded a meeting with Phillips who they said had not convened a meeting of the parliamentary group in months.
There are 29 PNP MPs in Parliament.
There were also talks that a plan was being hatched to have the Governor General remove Phillips as Opposition leader on the basis that he did not command the majority support among the Opposition MPs.
Following a week of tension, a meeting was held and the PNP subsequently issued a statement claiming the party was unified under Phillips’ leadership going into the election campaign.