PNP region shoots down ‘selection’ of candidates in two divisions

By Horace Mills, Journalist

The Chairman of the People’s National Party (PNP) machinery in St. Catherine North West, Hugh Graham, is being accused of prematurely naming persons as being selected to represent the party in the Ewarton and Lluidas Vale Divisions in the constituency.

Graham this week told The Beacon that the constituency executive has selected Donald Tinling Jr to be the new PNP candidate in the Ewarton Division, and Moneque Brown as candidate in the Lluidas Vale Division. A ceremony was even held to officially name Tinling. Photos from the event were also published on Graham’s social media pages.

The announcement, especially regarding the Lluidas Vale Division, sparked major controversy.

Graham had explained that, as a result of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the PNP executive had scrapped all election conferences where delegates usually vote to elect candidates. That was the reason the constituency executive went ahead and selected the two candidates, Graham indicated.

The PNP Region 4 in which the constituency falls is however declaring that no candidate has been selected formally for either of the two divisions.

It appears the two persons announced by Graham were not even among the aspirants who formally submitted applications to compete for the right to become candidates.

The PNP Region 4, which is headed by Denise Daley, raised its concerns in a letter dated June 23 and addressed to Graham.

It was also copied to seven people including PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson, as well as the four aspirants who already applied for the positions – two in Lluidas Vale and two in Ewarton.

Those aspirants are:

Kayon Page – Lluidas Vale Division

Camaleeta Harris – Lluidas Vale Division

Marlon Garvey – Ewarton Division

Kamal Thompson – Ewarton Division

This is the full letter sent to Graham:

“We are hoping that the information posted in The Beacon which has been circulating on social media has erroneously represented your interview statements regarding the selection of candidates to represent the Lluidas Vale Division and the Ewarton Division respectively.

Please note that there are a number of protocols to be adhered in choosing candidates. Let me remind you and the team that there should be the submission of applications to the Regional Secretariat, followed by an interview by the Selection Panel, then further discussion with the constituency and ratification by the Integrity Commission.

The Region had informed the leadership of the constituency and the Regional management Committee of the receipt of two (2) applications for the Ewarton Division where both parties were interviewed by the appraisal panel. We also received two (2) applications from Lluidas Vale where one individual was interviewed.

Please note that the Region was in the process of doing due diligence based on the Party’s recommendations at the recently concluded meeting of the Party’s executive when the Member of Parliament, Cde. Pickersgill called indicating that he had two (2) additional aspirants who were interested in the divisions respectively; we await those applications with a view of setting up the interview and starting the process of selection.

Be further reminded that the Region has a responsibility to maintain the orderly conduct of the affairs of the constituencies within the region and should be given that opportunity to do so.”

The Beacon has been trying without success to get a response from Graham.


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