JAM | Jun 4, 2023

Day of reckoning: Can Ian Hayles take care of Westmoreland Western?

/ Our Today

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Ian Hayles of the People’s National Party (PNP). (Photo: Facebook @PeterBuntingJA)

It’s D-Day today for the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Ian Hayles as he looks to be selected as caretaker by delegates for the Westmoreland Western constituency.

All roads lead to the Little London High School where votes will be cast in what has become a fractious affair with councillors and other operatives unhappy with Hayles.

It is clear that Hayles is a divisive figure with Garfield James pulling out and urging delegates not to support him. The way many see it, Hayles is a consistent loser whose time has come and gone.

The PNP will be eager to get back on track after being obliterated in all three seats in Westmoreland and the party yet to rev up its engine under Mark Golding. Some say that if a general election was held tomorrow, it would be the same outcome in Westmoreland.

The PNP has already seen Lisa Hanna and Hugh Graham walk away and both are being courted by the JLP, who fancies its chances of inflicting even more pain on the PNP next time around.

There is a lot of disunity in Westmoreland. They just don’t fancy Hayles as a viable candidate who can win in a general election.

Hayles remains obstinate and will plow ahead, turning a deaf ear to his detractors. It looks likely that his name will be the only one on the ballot making it a shoe in for him.

He will need all his political skills to win over Westmoreland Western and apply all that he has learnt from his defeat in 2020 trying to bring home Hanover Western.

There are those who are wary of the vice-President of the PNP who has been embroiled in a forgery scandal which the Integrity Commission thinks should be further investigated by the police.

Hayles will need a broad back to come out of this well and he cannot afford to be seen as an embarrassment to his party.


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