November 19, 2020 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |
With Lisa Hanna’s heavy loss to Mark Golding in the November 7, 2020 internal party presidential race for the presidency of the People’s National Party (PNP) there has been speculation about the political future of defeated candidate Lisa Hanna 45. Reports that she became ill with an undisclosed medical condition … seems to be stress related. She did not attend the swearing in of victor Mark Golding, now Opposition Leader.
There has been utterances and accusations of betrayal and backstabbing which could further cause division in the already fractious and politically damaged Opposition PNP in Jamaica W.I. It was hoped that the internal elections would settle that score of division once and for all. Alas! There seems to be new holes opening up in the hull of the PNP ship. For example the Mayor of Mandeville, head of the scandal scarred PNP controlled municipality in Central Jamaica, has cried foul. It is being alleged by Mayor Mitchell that delegates numbering 173 who pledged to support Hanna defected due to alleged inciting by former MP Peter Bunting and instead voted for Golding. Was this a classic case of cash rules and empty pocket is rejected? Those 173 votes were critical for success.
Insult To Delegates
For anyone to view delegates as if ranchers gone to a cattle show to select the best looking herd is demeaning, distasteful, disparaging, disgusting if not downright disappointing to say the least. These delegates were likely impressed by Hanna’s beauty and her trademark brand of known charisma. They were looking beyond those attributes. They were chosing a solid leader with cherished values. Values beyond look of skin and colour of hair. They were looking for a role model that their children and grand children could emulate.
They were tired of claims, counter claims of lack of integrity of our leaders. Those to whom money was allocated to carry out public services could not properly account for such funds. With tongues wagging due to lack of or perceived lack of accountability and transparency in their public life. They were looking for a steady pair of hands to steer the PNP ship to once winning ways.
A steady pair of hands that could guide the PNP to electoral success.
A leader with less baggage that could retard the future of the party’s chances of regaining state power. To all we say, do not insult the intellectual acumen or plain intelligence of the delegates. They should not be seen as sheep who can be led to the slaughter as if a mindless herd.
Seen And Heard
They have seen and heard enough to be in a position to make a sound judgement about Hanna. They heard of Prickly Pole School, they heard of Probe by Contractor General and their findings of wrongdoing. They also heard of the dilemna faced by Prosecutor, DPP Paula Llewellyn, as to whether to exonerate Hanna or lay criminal charges in relation to allegations of impropriety in the handling of the financial disbursement of public funds under (Hanna’s) leadership in her Southeast St. Ann constituency. Should she be further trusted on a national scale? This must have weighed on the minds of delegates.
The delegates in their collective wisdom were looking for a new leader to cast a new and fresh image of the PNP going forward. The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has a young vibrant leader who has wide popular support among especially, young voters. He is very visible on social media and has fresh ideas. JLP’s Fresh Prince who has emerged on the scene is Andrew Holness aka Bogard.
Defeated PNP leadership candidate Lisa Hanna has reportedly resigned as treasurer of the PNP. Reports further are that Dr. Angela Brown Burke, MP and a Mark Golding supporter will likely be Hanna’s replacement. Hanna resigned by letter to the leadership of the PNP and has reportedly indicated that she was not available for reappointment.
Dr. Dayton Campbell, defeated MP in the September 3, 2020 General Elections which were won 49:14 by the JLP. Dayton Campbell who is a strong Golding supporter is being considered to lead the Secretariat of the PNP as General Secretary. He is likely to replace Julian Robinson who will resign a day before the National Executive Council meeting of the PNP set for November 29, 2020. The powerful NEC is the highest decision making body outside the Party’s Annual Conference.
As we speculate on the future of the discarded presidential hopeful Lisa Hanna, we are of the view that her future is most uncertain if not on political life support. As MP for South East St. Ann, her future in that position may also be in doubt. Opposition and Party Leader Hon. Mark Golding may decide to select a new representative to replace her for this constituency. She won her seat which is a usually safe PNP seat by only 32 votes. Mark Golding has a very difficult decision to make. He has to consider also alleged integrity Clouds Overshadowing Lisa Hanna. It is our perspective that Lisa Hanna’s future does not look bright going forward. Does she really have a viable future in the PNP? We are sitting at the edge of our seats to see what will emerge of the unfolding events which could seal Lisa Hanna’s political future. This is our perspective. As is usual the verdict is yours.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a veteran journalist who has a passion for politics with an international exposure & perspective in such matters