KINGSTON, Jamaica July 16, 2021 - As the disunity that has rocked the People's National Party continues to buffet the 83 year old organization, the party's chairman and three vice presidents have tendered their resignation with immediate effect. The resignation they say, is in order to avoid a further widening of the internal rift that has crippled the spirit and effectiveness of the party.
In a statement on Friday, Vice Presidents Damion Crawford, Dr. Wykeham McNeil, Mikael Phillips and Chairman Phillip Paulwell, said they had engaged the wider leadership of the PNP in good faith, to avoid a further widening of the internal rift, recognising that President Mark Golding had declared publicly that the party could not countenance another divisive internal election at this time.
The four said they arrived at their decision to resign recognising the risk of another internal election before the wounds of the last presidential elections were adequately healed.
The statement said the disunity and display of underhandedness have crippled the spirit and effectiveness of the Unity Committee.
Responding to the resignations, Party President Mark Golding said “Discussions with respect to the three Vice Presidential candidates as well as the Chairman were attempted, but unfortunately these did not lead to consensus. It seems that the response of these four Officers was to resign en bloc. While I am saddened by this action, their resignations are accepted. Nevertheless, I remain willing to work with these senior comrades in the best interests of the Party.”
“I also reaffirm my commitment to building unity in the Party, acknowledging that we all have important roles to play in achieving this. Jamaica needs the PNP more than ever, as hardships and insecurity stalk this land under the JLP Government. I will continue to stride forth with all willing comrades as we build back our party, ready to deliver competent, caring and honest government for our beloved Jamaica whenever we are called upon by the Jamaican people,” He concluded.
The following the text of the statement from the party’s Chairman and vice presidents:
The People's National Party's vice presidents Damion Crawford, Wykeham McNeil and Mikael Phillips and party chairman, Phillip Paulwell, have resigned their positions with immediate effect.
Vice President Mikael Phillips, who was recently nominated, has also decided to withdraw his nomination to be a vice president.
We had engaged the wider leadership of the Party in good faith negotiation to avoid a further widening of the internal rift, recognizing that the party leader had declared publicly that the Party could not countenance another divisive internal election at this time.
We arrived at this decision today recognizing the risk of another internal election before the wounds of the last presidential elections were adequately healed.
The discussion within the party continued for more than three weeks, with some officers volunteering to step aside for the sake of unity. However, we concluded that the sincerity of certain members of the leadership was not forthcoming and that the minimalist effort towards unity was a charade that is inimical to a genuine pursuit of unity.
Despite all the reasonable efforts to broker a platform of unity, there were otherwise covert attempts to sabotage the goal of peace and harmony with a plan to horde the available positions in line with previous public statements made by the leader, who pronounced a lack of trust for persons who did not support him in his campaign leadership and his preference to surround himself with only individuals who overtly endorsed his candidacy.
Therefore, to continue our sincere efforts to preserve our beloved party, which has served this nation well and has been at the forefront of much of its development, we have decided to resign from our current positions and turn our efforts towards rebuilding the constituency organisations.
The most recent achilles heel of the PNP has been the disunity that has plagued the Party. The level of disunity has deepened since the most recent internal election, where the victor has seemingly NOT acknowledged that unity is ultimately the responsibility of the victorious.
We further believe that the disunity and display of underhandedness have crippled the spirit and effectiveness of the Unity Committee.
Despite this unfortunate development, we are committed to the continued progress of the party. To that end, we will work to advance the constituency organisations and develop ideas, policies and programmes around which the society can coalesce to address the issues and serve the Jamaican people.