Newly elected People’s National Party (PNP) president Mark Golding has already extended the olive branch to Lisa Hanna, after narrowly defeating her in Saturday’s internal election.
Golding, in his first speech as party leader at the PNP headquarters, expressed thanks for the confidence placed in him by the party delegates following the election, calling the win “a bold, new era of leadership”.
“It is with a deep sense of humility and gratitude that I stand before you this afternoon—having been duly elected as the sixth president of our great movement, the People’s National Party,” Golding noted.
The Opposition Leader-designate further thanked his campaign team and his family for guiding him through the leadership bid, adding that their support and encouragement contributed to the auspicious moment.
Continuing, Golding congratulated Hanna and her #BringBackDiLove team for a spirited campaign. The South St Andrew Member of Parliament added that time has finally come for the PNP to heal and rebuild.
“To Comrade Lisa Hanna, thank you for a strong but collegial campaign [however] this party will be a big tent for all of us. I am ready to sit down with you and your team to share our vision for the People’s National Party,” he said.
“Comrades, this is a new era; the world is different from what we knew it a year ago. Indeed, the PNP is different from what we knew it to be a month ago,” the new Opposition Leader contended.
Golding, who strongly believes in the principles of the organisation he now leads, further remarked there is still need to “bridge the gaps of discord” within the PNP and hopes to sow the first seeds of harmony.
“I respect the foundation on which we stand. The foundation of our unity will be respect and love. I too am passionate about rebuilding our party—so that once again, we are given the confidence of the Jamaican people, and ready to assume responsibility of governing Jamaica,” Golding argued.
“I am committed to the struggle for social justice and the creation of a society with equal access to opportunity for all Jamaicans. Comrades and friends, this is our victory,” he added.
Coming from a place of genuine love for people, Golding argued that Jamaica deserved a hardworking, committed leader—and a united PNP by extension.
“This is a new dawn of leadership. Comrades, our task will not be easy. The road will be dreary and the barriers strong, but at the same time, Jamaica is also facing unprecedented challenges, untold hardship and the government is already struggling under the weight of the challenges,” the 55-year-old PNP leader said.
“It is clear that the Jamaican people will soon be looking at us to lead the country out of this crisis. Our immediate task is to get our party fit and ready for the Jamaican people,” Golding added.
Golding won by a 296-vote margin against Hanna, having secured 1,740 votes from PNP delegates. Hanna, MP for South East St Ann, collected 1,444 votes.