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Trelawny ‘comrades’ drop opposition to JP White… Say hopeful ‘labourites’ in for a big spanking

Published:Thursday | January 28, 2016 | 12:00 AMMark Titus
JP White

Western Bureau:

After months of defiance, People's National Party (PNP) supporters in North Trelawny have decided to fall in line with the wishes of the party's leadership and will support the candidacy of civil engineer John Paul White, who has been selected to represent the party in the impending general elections.

Colin Campbell, the PNP's North Trelawny constituency secretary, said that the Comrades, who were adamant that they would not support White, have now decided to drop their opposition to him.

"I firmly believe that Comrades are ready to support the candidate," said Campbell. "We have been doing one-to-one with the dissenters and they are coming to the realisation that the objective is winning the seat, and we will be putting all the support behind him to meet the objective."

Continued Campbell: "J.P. is an ideal candidate. He now has about 90 per cent of party supporters in his corner, and we are working to get the other dissenters on board. I want to send a message to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) that they are in for another political thrashing in North Trelawny, and this time it will be by an even bigger margin."

For several months, irate Comrades have been up in arms over the party's decision to replace incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) Patrick Atkinson, who lost in two parliamentary elections representing the JLP before joining the PNP and defeating the JLP's Dennis Meadows by 2,321 votes in the 2011 General Election.

In their anger over the party's decision to replace Atkinson with White, the irate Comrades publicly burnt party shirts with the portrait of party leader Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, claiming that she was not listening to them.

"This is all behind us now," said Campbell, who is a school principal. "The fact that the NEC (National Executive Council) has made its intentions known is enough for me. J.P. White they (NEC) say, then J.P. White it is."

The Gleaner understands that the constituency executive has already put machinery in place to identify individuals to understudy White as, according to them, they are not prepared to take instructions from any 'outsiders' in the future.