Dr. Phillips extended thanks and appreciation to all candidates for having offered themselves on behalf of the Party and the work and sacrifice made by each of them in what was a difficult campaign. He acknowledged that the Party, as well as each candidate, must now undertake a review of what transpired in the campaign and what contributed to the results.
The Party Leader noted that he had taken the decision that in the interest of the Party, he would vacate the offices of Party President and Leader of the Opposition as soon as a new Party President was chosen and he had written to and asked the Chairman of the Party to make arrangements for that transition to take place as soon as is practicable.
He expressed the hope that such a transition will occur without disruption and disunity within the Party. He emphasized that the protection of the Party’s reputation must be paramount at all times, particularly as the Party embarks on a rebuilding mission once more to become the Party of choice for the Jamaican voter.
Dr. Phillips also acknowledged that it is natural that candidates, particularly those who were unsuccessful, must now undertake an introspection and determine their future political activities and aspirations. These are personal decisions, and he encouraged them to do so and for the new candidates, especially, to seek advice from possible mentors. He counselled that whatever their decision, it should be in their best interests and the interest of the Party and that, even if representative politics was ruled out, he encouraged them to continue to support and work for the Party actively.
General Secretary Julian Robinson mentioned the establishment of an evaluation committee to undertake a review of factors which contributed to the Party’s loss at the polls. He emphasized that the committee would be comprised primarily of persons not involved in Party activities and encouraged all candidates to participate by providing their views and important happenings and information to aid the process.
Party Chairman Fitz Jackson reminded the meeting that Local Government elections are due between November 2020 and February 2021, and appealed to all the recent general elections candidates to render support, guidance and assistance to the local government candidates as best as possible in what is expected to be also a tough election.
Change management consultant, Leachim Semaj facilitated a discussion on the factors that might have led to the Party’s defeat. There was general agreement that the candidates would make submissions to the evaluation committee. Candidates further expressed the hope that the evaluation committee would make a dispassionate and unbiased assessment and that the findings and recommendations would be appropriately addressed as part of a wider Party rebuilding and renewal exercise.
Before concluding, the participants agreed and committed to broadening the consultative process within the Party to include views from communities and constituencies, which impacted the results in some key areas.
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