The dispute surrounding the selection of candidates to represent the People’s National Party (PNP) in two parish council divisions in St. Catherine North West has ended, according to Hugh Graham, the party’s general election candidate in the constituency.
He told The Beacon that, as announced before the contention emerged, Donald Tinling Jr has been finalized as the new candidate in Ewarton Division, and Moneque Brown in Lluidas Vale Division.
When Graham first announced those candidates in June, there was an uproar by other aspirants. One main reason for the discord is that the PNP, citing the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, did not allow internal voting to determine candidates.
Some of the aspirants complained to the PNP secretariat, and to the party’s Region 4 executive, which wrote a letter effectively declaring that the announcement of Brown and Tinling was premature.
In response, Graham, along with other members of his constituency executive, convened a meeting with aspirants at Lluidas Vale Primary School.
Giving an update on the matter, he, a few days ago, told The Beacon: “Regarding Moneque Brown and Daniel ‘Donald’ Tinling, that issue has been settled…”
Graham added that all the processes have been completed.
“In terms of the process, Daniel and Moneque made their interest known to the executive body – the leadership of the constituency, which gave them the blessing. The executives of the divisions also gave them the blessing, and then they went to the region and presented themselves to the region for the region to interview them – as the process dictates. The next process is that you move on to the fit and proper processing… All the processes are completed.”
Healing is now taking place, Graham said.
“In politics, it’s like a family. There are always going to be disputes; there are always going to be disagreements. People are independent thinkers and people have their own opinions…” he continued.
“Healing is being done and, as leaders, you know that you are the first one to stretch your hand out to your enemy or someone who you think is your enemy and welcome them and say ‘that is over; we are all working together; we all need to work to the same cause’. In the end, it is not about us as individuals; it is about people and the people we want to lead. Once that is at the centre, then I believe everything else becomes secondary.”
In the meantime, Graham advised the aspirants who were not selected to avoid becoming disheartened.
“I believe persons who are really interested in the process of politics need to continue showing their interest, doing the work, and I am sure that they will be paid or rewarded,” he further said.
Graham thinks the matter should also be seen as a teaching experience for the aspirants.
“I had no doubt that the process that Moneque and Daniel took was the right way. If I want to represent a community, I, Hugh Graham need to go into the community and express that and ask the persons to support me. I don’t think the way is to go to the prime minister or go above. If you want to represent people, you go to the people and say ‘this is what I want to do’. You go to the constituency; you go to the division and you build to the region. You don’t go from the region and from the General Secretary’s office and the people you know, and then come down,” he further opined.
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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