Addressing members of the PNPs National Executive Council (NEC) at Cedar Grove Academy in Portmore, St Catherine, Mrs Simpson Miller told the members that she will be departing soon to give the new president enough time to rebuild the party to win the next general election.
“Earlier this year, I signalled to the Party that I wanted to see us through the Local Government Elections. There was a reason for that,” she said.
“I never wanted a new leader of this movement to commence their term with an election loss which we expected in the Local Government election. I wanted to give that person a clean slate on which to build.
I have given over 40 years of selfless and dedicated service to this great Party and country. I have been through some tough battles for this party. I have witnessed many Comrades fall.
There were times along the way when only a few brave souls were left standing. The only thing we had was courage but we were fighting for a cause and we were never going to quit on the people.
In you my Comrades, I see the best of humanity – You are resilient and hopeful, caring and strong. These virtues give me an unshakable faith in the future of the PNP.
With courage and confidence in our ideals, this great party will never tire, never falter, and never fail. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your President,” Simpson-Miller declared.
Sunday's announcement came amidst calls for Mrs Simpson Miller to step down, in light of the defeats suffered by the PNP in the February 25 general election and the November 28 local government election.
Portia Simpson Miller was first elected PNP President in February 2006. In that contest she prevailed over three other candidates - Dr Peter Phillips, Dr Omar Davies and Dr Karl Blythe.
In September 2008 she was challenged by Dr. Peter Phillips, after leading the PNP defeat in the September 3, 2007 general election, but was able to stave off that challenge.
She first ran for the post in 1992, but was defeated by P.J. Patterson in that contest to succeed Michael Manley.
Following today's NEC meeting, the party's new General Secretary Julian Robinson said the Party Executive will hold meetings to discuss the new developments and a special delegates conference will be held early next year to deal with the expected change in the leadership of the Party.
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