anger among People’s National Party (PNP) supporters in St Catherine South Eastern over the party’s choice of Dr Alfred Dawes as its standard-bearer for the next general election, Councillor Fenley Douglas (Waterford Division) expressed confidence that Comrades will eventually calm down and support the physician.
Douglas gave the assurance Friday after the PNP constituency office in Independence City, Portmore, was damaged by fire Thursday night.
Firefighters were unable to say what caused the blaze. They said that they received a call about 7:52 pm that a building was on fire and that a unit from the Portmore fire station responded.
On Thursday night as well, some comrades who were not pleased that the PNP had chosen Dr Dawes over long-serving Councillor Alric Campbell burned T-shirts bearing Dr Dawes’ image and vowed to vote for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) at the next election.
Party insiders say that Campbell, who had also applied to become the PNP candidate for the seat, had topped Dr Dawes in an internal poll and, had the party hierarchy put the contest to a vote, in keeping with its stated mode of choosing candidates, the councillor would have won.
“Alric’s supporters are disappointed by the announcement that Dr Dawes was selected. They are people, and they will feel distraught now, but as time passes the wounds will heal and everybody will fall in line behind Dr Dawes,” Councillor Douglas told the Jamaica Observer.
“They will, and it is the comrade thing to do. It is the right thing to do. By virtue of doing so we stand a chance of winning the next election and taking Jamaica out of the abyss that was created by this current Government,” Douglas said.
“I don’t know what caused the blaze, but it is unfortunate that there was a fire because the office belongs to all of us as Comrades. It will be Dr Dawes’ office when we win this constituency from the Jamaica Labour Party. We must win this constituency because the people are suffering from a lack of representation,” Douglas added.
When the Observer contacted Campbell for a comment he condemned the torching of the constituency office, adding that he doesn’t support any resistance to the leadership’s choice.
“Whoever burned the constituency office, whether it was JLP supporters, supporters of the Dawes team, supporters of the Alric team, it is something that is wrong, it is something I do not condone and it was not done on my behalf,” Campbell said.
“It is actually something that is negating the respect that I would have developed over the years and I just want to tell my supporters, generally, that you know Alric, and you know that is something I would not have supported.
“We are all Comrades, at the end of the day,” he said.
A female constituent told the Observer that no matter who the candidate is, she will be voting for the PNP.
Waterford resident and PNP supporter Anthony Wheeler said that Dr Dawes was the man for the job and that “he is here to stay”.
“Somebody tried to light the PNP office. I want to see that somebody go to jail for it. The fire brigade was there early to control it so it didn’t burn down. The people who don’t want Dr Dawes are some little bags and pans. Good people want him because him have projects set out for the constituency. What the man put on the table is what the people want. This man come to the constituency with a plan to uplift. The elders are not making noise. The noise is coming from the bag and pans who will take a $2,000 and carry on with foolishness,” he said.