On the heels of the People’s National Party losing another election to the Jamaica Labour Party after declaring Jamaica “PNP country”, is another issue that has cast a bad light on the party.
Outgoing PNP General Secretary Paul Burke released a letter from Member of Parliament of St. Ann South Eastern Lisa Hanna’s lawyer.
According to Burke, Hanna is demanding an apology from from Burke for his comments published on December 1 in response to statements made by Hanna in an interview with Nationwide radio on November 30.
Lisa Hanna stated that she appealed to the party leadership to consider issues affecting the party in her constituency and she was ignored. Paul Burke had commented that no such ignoring took place.
The letter from Hanna’s attorney accuses Burke of libel and demands an apology within 72 hours of receipt of the letter.
It hasn’t been an easy year for the party, but especially for Burke as the bulk of the blame for the party’s loss of the general election was put on him. Many called for his resignation.
The party has been plagued with issue after issue with many calling for the party’s renewal starting with new leadership.
In February, the then reigning PNP lost the general election with JLP claiming 33 of the 63 constituency seats. Members of the public and political commentators suggested the defeat was due to the then Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller’s refusal to participate in the debates.
Soon after, news that should have remained within the party was being reported in the media with there being thoughts of a ‘mole’ within the party.
On November 28, the Jamaica Labour party won the local government elections controlling 129 seats to PNP’s 96.
The party leader, Portia Simpson-Miller, was missing from the party headquarters that night and the conceding was done by party’s Deputy General Secretary Julian Robinson, the afore mentioned Burke and his wife Dr. Angela Brown-Burke, then mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC).
Brown-Burke lost her mayoral seat in the elections. The EOJ has since stated that they have been summoned three magisterial recounts.