As the internal rifts continue in Jamaica’s opposition, the People’s National Party (PNP), senior member and re-elected member of Parliament Lisa Hanna says that it is imperative that the party “find a new gear”.
Hanna, who is being touted as the next president of the party, has kept quiet about the internal affairs of the party since PNP leader, Dr. Peter Phillips announced his retirement. But yesterday, following an ultimatum given to Dr. Phillips from the PNPYO, Hanna publicly acknowledged that change is needed desperately.
Hanna began the 2-minute video by saying that in recent days, she has spent her time personally thanking the people in her constituency of South-East St. Ann (SESA) for electing her as MP for another term.
“In recent days, I’ve focused my time on sitting with and listening to my people in SESA. Saying thank you and reaching out to persons who have been divided for too long. There’s a reason why God has kept me here and I will continue to walk in my purpose for my people. The healing has begun and we’re making steps to restoring the relationships critical to our contribution in surviving the very difficult days ahead for Jamaica.”
At the September 3 polls, Hanna had won the seat by a thin margin of just 32 votes. The result surprised many who thought that as a high-profile candidate, Hanna would have secured her victory by a landslide. Hanna said the results are an indication that the people want more from her.
“SESA has been clear in their message, that notwithstanding the constituency projects and the infrastructure improvements that have been made over the last four years, they too need more.”
Hanna said that she remains committed to improving the lives of those in SESA, despite the challenged of COVID-19. She also stated that as a senior member of the PNP, she is also working to help the party rebuild.
“The truth is that for the last four years, the people of Jamaica and especially our young people have associated the PNP with its internal conflicts. This has distracted us from our true purpose which is to serve the people.
In 2020, we have received the resounding messages to be and become better”, she said, alluding to the party’s 48-15 election defeat.
She said it is time for the party to “tear down the walls of division and instead, build bridges of human connection and understanding.” She also stated that the rebuilding has to be done with the Jamaican people.
“Our work continues but we haffi find a new gear,” she said. “We cyaa do it the same way.” she said.