PNP decision on St Ann South East by Monday

OCHO RIOS, St Ann – The People’s National Party (PNP) is expected to decide by early next week who will represent it in St Ann South Eastern in the next general election.

After a clear winner failed to emerge during an initial internal poll, the party’s Election Monitoring Committee was tasked with finding a resolution.

“I anticipate that by Monday they will make a recommendation to the executive because that’s what they are to do: deliberate about it,” PNP General Secretary Dr Dayton Campbell told the Jamaica Observer on Thursday.

“They met with the region yesterday (Thursday), there are some other meetings for tomorrow (today), and I’m anticipating that they will have a recommendation to the executive for Monday night’s executive meeting,” he added.

On Sunday, 778 delegates cast ballots at Ferncourt High School in Claremont, St Ann. Dr Kenneth Russell got 358 votes, Wavell Hinds received 245, and Patricia Duncan Sutherland 171. Four votes were rejected.

There have been rumblings among Russell’s supporters who believe he was the clear winner; however, the party’s rules require the winner to get at least 50 per cent plus one of the votes.

On Thursday Russell remained confident that he will ultimately prevail.

“I remain very confident that the party is going to confirm me as the candidate to represent the constituency,” he told the Observer. “The evidence from Sunday’s selection exercise was quite clear. There is absolutely no doubt when you look at the numbers, when you look at the difference between myself and the other aspirants, zero doubt as to who the preferred candidate is.”

Saying he is looking forward to being given the nod, he appealed for cooler heads to prevail while the procedures are followed.

“I am aware of the levels of anxiety across the constituency and I’m continuing to appeal for us to be calm, to be patient. Give time for the process to run its course. I know in due course the monitoring committee will complete its work and make its recommendation. So until then, [let’s] be patient,” he urged supporters.

The constituency is presently represented in the House by the PNP’s Lisa Hanna, who will not be seeking reelection.