Delegates within the People’s National Party (PNP) will turn out in their numbers today (November 7) to elect the sixth president of the organisation—in a choice between Lisa Hanna and Mark Golding.
The PNP says today’s election will help to heal the 82-year-old movement, however, being the second presidential election in as many years, the party is arguably as fractious as it was in 2019.
This time around, both the #GoWithGolding and #BringBackDiLove campaigns, confident of victory, are pushing for unity in face of the PNP’s identity crisis—which largely contributed to a crushing defeat in the September 2020 general election.
With the future and ideological direction of the PNP at stake, will the delegates choose between South East St Ann Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna or South St Andrew MP Mark Golding?
Nearing 100 years, the PNP has had five presidents in its rich, nation-shaping history: Norman Manley, Michael Manley, Percival James (PJ) Patterson, Portia Simpson Miller and most recently Dr Peter Phillips.
In the eyes of many, Saturday’s internal election sums up the struggle crippling the PNP; delegates will have to decide on whether to bat for Hanna’s popularity and youthful appeal or Golding’s competence and political know-how.
Faced with shrinking options against a robust and formidable Andrew Holness-led Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), can the delegates, and the wider PNP, get it right this time?
It must be a weary exercise for the PNP, year-in-year-out, amid many trials and setbacks—this evening’s results could be the lifeline the party has long-needed to invigorate forlorn supporter bases.
They say ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’, and as the choice for president rests squarely on the shoulders of the PNP, is Saturday, November 7 a turning point?
Neither Hanna nor Golding consider themselves ‘underdogs’ in the proverbial sense, and bear their strengths and shortcomings in politics proudly.
In this race of beauty versus brains, the PNP must emerge the winner, to avoid political obscurity, both candidates should be sure to acknowledge.