North Trelawny Boycott Imminent?

According to a group of North Trelawny comrades, they plan to boycott the polls if John Paul (JP) White remains the candidate for the constituency. They say they stand resolute on a matter of principle, because of the high-handed approach of the party, through its General Secretary, Paul Burke.

JP White
JP White

They say JP White was thrust on them by the party, without any consultation on the matter. The constituency at the time, was not recognized. According to the constitution of the PNP, the party therefore had the right to chose the candidate. The constituency is now ‘recognized’ as they have reportedly created the required amount of groups to attain that status.

Sitting MP Patrick Atkinson was then left unchallenged, but was subsequently replaced by White.

A representation to party headquarters by the disgruntled comrades was futile, as it was reported that Paul Burke embarrassed them and told them to go back to Trelawny.

Comrades Determined

This has seemingly added spark to the fire and the comrades say they remain resolute. They are prepared not to vote in order to set a precedence in the party. They say they have nothing to lose, as their slogan is, “If you go White, you go green.” This means if White is the candidate, then the JLP, will win, through their candidate, Dennis Meadows.

North Trelawny JLP Split Over JP White SelectionComrades argue in Falmouth’s Water Square, as JP White opposition lingers.

Posted by Falmouth on Sunday, January 31, 2016

According to an anonymous source among the dissidents, “We were further incensed today (Friday), when the Gleaner reported that the opposition to Mr. White candidacy has eased and that 90% of the supporters are on board. While Mr. Campbell, the constituency secretary might be on board, there is still a vast number of persons that are opposed to his running as their standard bearer for the party.”

Retain Patrick Atkinson?

The comrade went on: “The people are clamoring for the retention of Mr. Patrick Atkinson for their candidate in the upcoming polls or at least be given an opportunity to chose their candidate. Instead the party has forced Mr. White on them. We are however resolute that they will boycott the upcoming polls to show the Party that we are the ones who will decide the ultimate outcome at the polls.

JP White PNP Workers Meeting
JP White PNP Workers Meeting at Falmouth All-Age School Dec 30, 2015.

Initially, pro JP White supporters had said the protest of the disgruntled members would be a 9-day wonder. They will just fall in line ‘when the trumpet sounds’ (this term refers to the party tradition of sounding a trumpet at election time to rally their supporters).

Opposition to White getting Stronger?

The dissidents say 9 days are long gone and they are only growing stronger. They claim more and more persons are joining the call to boycott the polls. They compare members’ meetings called by JP White and those they have called, showing photos that theirs far outnumber those of White’s camp.

Anti JP White Meeting at William Knibb

Party Says No Change – White Remains

They were however dealt a blow last Sunday at a meeting in St. Ann. They were told that the party could not roll back White’s selection, as this could have a snowball effect. Other constituencies would then protest for the same candidate removal. It could turn into total chaos for the party so close to an imminent election.

Similar moves were made by the party in NE St Elizabeth and Eastern Portland. In the case of Portland, Moore beat the incumbent MP Bloomfield in a delegate vote, but Moore was replaced by the beaten Bloomfield for the upcoming election.

pnp atkinson protest falmouth
File photo: No Atkinson, No Vote.

JP White Confident

JP White on the other hand says there is no threat from what he called the small amount of persons opposed to him in the constituency.. He is confident that he is gaining ground. He says they are a handful and he is gradually winning them over through dialogue. Indeed, his detractors acknowledge that they are being contacted by persons in White’s camp, but still stand firm on their conviction that they are doing the right thing.

White’s detractors also want to make it clear that they have nothing to do with the JLP. They are taking a stand for their party, against persons in leadership that they think have ulterior motives.

Detractors Confident They Have Enough Support

The disgruntled comrades who feel disrespected, are confident that they have enough support to cause a PNP loss in the polls if White is not removed. Indeed, several of those known dissidents are seasoned campaigners and workers for the PNP, who have ensured victory for the party in the constituency since 1989.

TVJ Interviews

Last Saturday, TVJ was in town hearing the views of both sides, and there were some heated exchanges. One of the exchanges almost got physical.

TVJ Reports on the PNP Split Surrounding Candidacy of JP WhiteAmateur footage from a TVJ broadcast interviewing persons about the current impasse that has split the PNP camp in North Trelawny.

Posted by Falmouth on Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Future for North Trelawny?

How will this all play out? Are the White detractors as strong as they claim to be? Will they give up? Will JP White be removed? If he is not removed, will the comrades really boycott the election, knowing doing so could mean a JLP victory?

What will the party do? Will it hold to its ruling? Is it confident that it can still retain North Trelawny? If not, is it willing to sacrifice North Trelawny?

These and many more questions linger as the North Trelawny standoff continues. Interesing times are ahead and Falmouth News will keep you abreast of happenings in this affair.

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