It is now official. The People’s National Party (PNP) has chosen John Paul (JP) White as the caretaker for Northern Trelawny. White’s selection was announced at a meeting in Martha Brae on Tuesday.
Who is John Paul (JP) White?
John Paul White is a graduate of Jamaica College and the University of the West Indies. There he attained both a BSc and an MSc and in Civil Engineering. Has been operating his own consulting firm for the past 20 years. He sits on five boards including the Chase fund, Rural Water , Petrojam and Jamaica College. He is married and has four children.
Water to Section of Rio Bueno
White’s popularity shot when he was credited with providing a section of Rio Bueno with the precious liquid: water. He shook up the traditional JLP bedrock that JLP residents there like to call ‘Little Tivoli.’ He now enjoys good support in that town, even before he was elected as caretaker. Atkinson supporters say he should not have been credited with the conceptualisation nor the implementation of the project.
It has been a tussle in the parish between PNP supporters, polarised between wanting sitting MP Patrick Atkinson to remain as caretaker and those who wanted him to go. Atkinson has been criticised as a non-performer in his first term as Member of Parliament.
Supporters of JP White had been vilified as seeking to bring the party in disrepute, for pushing to unseat Atkinson. White’s supporters claimed that if Atkinson goes up for re-election, he would be in danger of losing the North Trelawny seat.
North Trelawny is considered a safe seat for the PNP, who have comfortably won it uninterrupted since 1989. This battle between both camps led to a fight between Atkinson and White supporters and a demonstration by Atkinson supporters who chanted, “No Atkinson, No Vote!”
Now the tables have turned and many are saying that JP White is another ‘import’ into the constituency and that he is now likely to lose.
Views Expressed on Social Media
On social media today, supporters of White have been doing damage control, introducing White to angry comrades and making a claim for his selection.
Here are a few comments, It was difficult to find a solid statement in support of White:
This is oné young mán that wont be voting am from Rio Bueno and all my mom family lives in Falmouth and strong PNP background. I am from but I don’t know the man who planning to run he was never introduce to mě; young brilliant young people including myself don’t even know what is going on in the PNP North Trelawny.
Here is another:
Why are we importing all these foreigners to take over safe seats. They will very soon become unsafe seats.
A fool dem tek we fa, to bring in someone who them can manipulate. What guarantee do we have that he is going to perform? (kmt) It is time we stop this party loyalty and vote for people who we know will help the people.
Watch the hypocrites them. Them never walk with the MP but quick fe walk with new man. Mek sure you can win in the division you represent
A supporter of White responded:
The past Member of Parliament was not road worthy to walk with. He came in the constituency at nights when we all gone to bed so they’re was no time to walk with Nicodemus!!!!
White vs White
The selection had come down between JP White and a Trelawny resident Patrick White who was originally from St Mary.
North Trelawny Last to Decide
Northern Trelawny is the last constituency to elect both PNP and JLP caretakers. In fact, the JLP has still not announced it’s choice for caretaker. It is expected to be a choice between Dennis Meadows and Jonathan Bartley.
From all indications, JP White will have to spend a lot of time in the constituency doing damage control. There are a lot of disgruntled party workers as well as supporters. It will be left to see how soon Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller calls the General Elections, widely expected to be held before the end of the year. He may just have enough time, considering the JLP has still not announced a candidate. Remeber too, that the JLP always starts at a numerical disadvantage in the safe PNP seat of North Trelawny
From The Gleaner
The People’s National Party (PNP) has announced that JP White will replace Patrick Atkinson as the party’s candidate in North Trelawny for the upcoming general elections.
Deputy general secretaries Julian Robinson and Wensworth Skeffrey, made the announcement at a meeting in Martha Brae, Trelawny Tuesday afternoon.
This triggered chaos among some PNP supporters saying they were not consulted.
They rejected White because they say he is a “non-performer.”
“We do not want JP White; he cannot win. Give us a compromise,” Colin Campbell, the constituency secretary, demanded in an interview with The Gleaner.
He insists that if there is no change, the Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, should “think again” if she intends to call general elections this year.
“I have never seen this party in such disarray,” said Campbell who is also the principal of the Falmouth All-Age school.
The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre sought to get a response from the PNP officials in Trelawny but they said they could not comment as they were trying to resolve the issues.
The PNP has been faced with a series protests by Comrades over the selection of several proposed candidates for the next general elections.
Curated from The Gleaner