Several senior members of Jamaica’s main opposition, People’s National Party (PNP) submitted their resignations on Friday. Vice presidents Damion Crawford, Wykeham McNeil, Mikael Phillips and party chairman, Phillip Paulwell resigned their positions with immediate effect.
Recently nominated Vice President Mikael Phillips has also decided to withdraw his nomination.
In a joint statement on Friday, they said: “We had engaged the wider leadership of the party in good faith negotiation to avoid a further widening of the internal rift, recognising that the party leader had declared publicly that the party could not countenance another divisive internal election at this time.”
They said they arrived at the decision after recognising 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,” they continued.
They said the most recent achilles heel of the PNP has been the disunity that has plagued the party, which according to them “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,” they concluded.