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JM | Dec 2, 2020

Bunting heading to Senate

Robert Hart

Robert Hart / Our Today

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Reading Time: 2 minutes
Peter Bunting will take the only available seat in the Senate. (Photo: Facebook @PeterBuntingJA)

Peter Bunting is back!

Our Today understands that the former member of parliament for Central Manchester, who was booted from Parliament at the September 3 general elections, will return to Gordon House via the Senate.

It was not clear whether the confidant and business partner of Opposition Leader Mark Golding will be appointed in time to take his seat this week.

Bunting had been, in September 2019, dealt a fatal blow to his own People’s National Party (PNP) presidential aspirations when he led a failed attempt at dethroning incumbent Dr Peter Phillips.

He had taken the gamble for the party presidency on the basis of Phillips’ perceived inability to bring the required energy to the PNP to make it a viable alternative to the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

Bunting is a confidant and business partner of the PNP’s new president.

But with Bunting polling 1,351 delegate votes to the incumbent’s 1,427 in the divisive election, the internal split became another hurdle Phillips was unable to overcome before a crushing defeat to the JLP last September.

Both Bunting and Phillips became casualties of the 49 to 14 seat general elections loss – Bunting losing to neophyte Rhoda Crawford and Phillips resigning as president shortly after.

Before Phillips departure, however, he named a new slate of senators for appointment by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen.

The move led to a furore within the party with some arguing that whoever Phillips’ successor would be should have had a free hand to determine their own team of senators.

One of Phillips’ prospective members of the Upper House, Norman Horne, agreed with the sentiment and decided to forego appointment.

Mark Golding, People’s National Party president and opposition leader.

With Golding defeating Lisa Hanna in the internal party election on November 7, tongues were sent wagging as speculation grew that he would place his old friend in the only Senate seat available.

Now Golding, who has declared he is no figurehead for Bunting, will be bringing the former national security minister back into the spotlight to assist his shadow government in holding the JLP administration to account.

Golding, since joining the race for party presidency in September, has insisted that he will take advantage of the expertise available. It appears that any discomfort among Bunting’s detractors within the party will not prevent its leader from making use of his talents on the public stage.

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