Dr. Peter David Phillips to be crowned as Opposition Leader tomorrow April 2, 2017. This will complete the transition to new leadership in the 78 year old People’s National Party (PNP) Opposition leader Portia Simpson Miller as promised is expected to hand over the final reins of leadership to complete the transition from the 4 th President to the 5th President.
it is widely believed that Portia was pushed as sources close to the party said Portia Simpson Miller, the first female president of the PNP would have preferred to have been handing over to Dr. Phillips her successor as PM instead of as Opposition leader. Sister P as she is affectionately called had every opportunity to do so, but for her own reasons refused to do that which PJ Patterson, the 3rd leader did when he retired as Prime Minister and Party President and handed over the position of Prime Minister to Portia Simpson Miller in 2006.
Opposition Senators have no legal reasons to resign, but in accordance with tradition are expected to offer their resignations so as to allow the newly sworn in Opposition Leader to select his own team.in
the Upper House.
Phillips has publicly stated inter alia, that he will not be asking any of them to do so (resign) …but if they did voluntarily he would take it from there. Senators KD Knight, QC, and Dr. Angela Brown Burke have said they would tender their resignations. It is left to see if they will in fact follow through with their stated intention.
Interesting times are ahead.
You will recall that as Opposition Leader Andrew Holness was deemed by the Court to have breached the Jamaican Constitution when he forced Opposition Senators to resign by pre-signed resignation letters. The Court Ruling effectively reinstated Senators Tufton and Arthur Williams. It was a major embarrassment for Holness. The holder of the position of Opposition leader is a Constitutional Officer. To be found to be in breach of the Constitution was quite a big deal. Holness resisted calls for his resignation.
Stay tuned to vision newspaper for the latest in this unfolding drama.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie, SIC and Photojournalist for Vision Newspaper.