Four-term People’s National Party (PNP) member of parliament for South East St. Ann, Lisa Hanna today confirmed that she will be running for president of the party.
“After careful consideration, prayer and discussion with my family, constituents and fellow comrades, I have decided to offer myself in service of the PNP as its President,” Hanna said in a letter, adding that, “I know the challenges ahead, but I am ready.”
Hanna, who is the current Party Treasurer and Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, said she had reflected with humility on the message of the people following the party’s election loss, and wished to affirm that “not only am I the person that can lead the party, to regain the confidence of all our people, but I am the woman that will.”
Following the bruising defeat at the September 3 polls, the majority of Jamaicans have been calling for an entire rebuilding of the PNP, which has been regarded as an “old people’s party”, particularly among Jamaica’s youth.
Hanna says that the party is now at a crossroads, and the internal healing must begin if they are to form a strong opposition.
“The strategy of moving forward must include the widest consultation and inclusiveness to shape the future of the People’s National Party and the future government it will form,” she noted.
If Hanna is successful, she will be the second woman to lead the PNP, behind former Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.
So far, the opposition finance minister Mark Golding is the only other PNP member that has officially launched a campaign for the presidency. Other names being touted include Damion Crawford, Peter Bunting and Phillip Paulwell.
At a PNP National Executive Council meeting today, PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson proposed November 7 for the date of the PNP Presidential Election, with the nomination period being October 19 to 23.