Golding pushes for ‘best chance’ to win Manchester seat

CHRISTIANA, Manchester – With a display of unity between former aspirant Ethnie Miller Simpson and Valenton Wint, People’s National Party (PNP) President Mark Golding has urged supporters to make use of the party’s “best chance” to regain Manchester North Eastern in the next general election.

The constituency, dominated by the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Audley Shaw for 30 years, is being eyed by the PNP with growing speculations as to whether the incumbent will contest the next parliamentary election. Shaw is yet to say publicly if he intends to remain in the seat.

“Long time North East Manchester don’t get a PNP MP. Long time! Me see dem give Audley the Order of Jamaica, OJ, and Audley, you know him nuh suh mobile again and him a get on in years, and me seh allright, dem a gi him a good, goodbye present and me seh yeah man, because time come. We want somebody young and youthful and full of ideas and full of energy and strength to represent the people in North East Manchester,” Golding said while addressing PNP supporters in Christiana last Wednesday.

“I say to the people of North East Manchester, Comrades and friends, this is the best chance we going to have in a long time fi tek this thing from dem, but unno know seh it not going to come easy, because you have been through it many times and you don’t cross the finish line. This time unno a go cross the finish line enuh, because unno know seh inna unno heart of hearts, you going to give North East Manchester back to the People’s National Party,” Golding added.

He expressed confidence that Wint can win the seat at the next parliamentary election.

“Val Wint is a businessman. He is a contractor. He understands how things fi run and him will do the thing the right way for the people,” Golding said.

Wint has thrice contested parliamentary elections on behalf of the PNP. He lost each time. He was defeated by Shaw in Manchester North Eastern in 2011 and 2016 and by Zavia Mayne (JLP) in St Ann South Western in 2020.

Wint said he is focused on mobilising the PNP base in the constituency in unity.

“In North East Manchester we are one happy family. There are times you may notice the great preferences and sometimes you have a little shuffling up, but nevertheless Comrades, we are one party. We are one team. We are forging together as one,” he said.

Member of Parliament for the neighbouring constituency of Manchester North Western, Mikael Phillips, criticised the Andrew Holness-led Administration over the pace of development in Manchester.

“The Prime Minister came to my constituency a couple months ago and what I said then I am going to say it [again]. For the seven years that the Jamaica Labour Party has been in power, Andrew Holness, they have not done anything to uplift the parish of Manchester,” he said.

Phillips, in response to comments by the JLP that the party will be going after all four constituencies and the municipality in Manchester, and without naming her, appeared to point his response at Manchester Central Member of Parliament Rhoda Crawford.

“They came to Mile Gully last week Sunday and I see people from other parts of Manchester a come talk about them a come tek me out a North West Manchester. You see when fire deh a muss muss tail, him think a cool breeze. Nuh worry bout north west, deh fi guh worry bout dem owna yard,” he said.

Phillips, the only Opposition MP in Manchester, expressed confidence in retaining his seat.

“I want the whole a dem come a north-west, because the next victory will be sweeter, because the PNP will be in Government the next time around,” he said.