The Opposition Minister of Finance and St. Andrew Southern Member of Parliament (MP), Mark Golding has been elected as the new leader of Jamaica’s People’s National Party (PNP).
Golding, an attorney-at-law, defeated South East St Ann MP Lisa Hanna, in the PNP presidential elections on Saturday.
Golding was declared as the winner by Julian Robinson, General Secretary of the PNP, at their Old Hope Road Headquarters, receiving 1740 votes to Lisa Hanna’s 1444. More than 3,300 delegates were eligible to vote in today’s election. Robinson said that the voter turnout was 96%.
In a five minute speech to supporters of his campaign and Party members, Golding thanked Lisa for an intense campaign and assured Party members that inclusivity would be a forefront feature of his leadership.
“I am ready to sit with Comrade Hanna to share my vision and hear her own vision so we all can work together as a party to rebuild and refocus our efforts as a stronger PNP,” said the new Comrade Leader.
“We are ready to bridge the gaps of disunity and discord, I’m inviting all comrades to come under this big tent for a stronger movement, ” he continued.
Throughout his campaign, Golding promised to rebuild the party and bring back unity to the PNP – the lack of which was highlighted as one of the main reasons for their 49-14 crushing defeat in the September general election.
He has pledged to provide support through an endowment fund for party workers, to provide inclusivity in decision making, to strenghten the organisation structures through a robust political education programme, to provide mentorship for the youth organisation, technical support for groups and affiliates, and charting a path to stability for the party’s finances.
Golding will take over from Dr Peter Phillips, who had been the leader of the party since 2017. Dr Phillips had been challenged for leadership of the party in 2019 by Peter Bunting.
Golding is the sixth president of the 82-year-old party. The other presidents were Norman Manley, his son Michael Manley, Percival James (PJ) Patterson, Portia Simpson-Miller and Phillips.