In a statement issued by Team PNP on behalf of the first-time member of Parliament, Pryce said he took the decision to withdraw his name from the selection process.
This he said was because of "recent developments within the political organisation of the constituency of North Eastern St Elizabeth and the serious implications that have arisen".
"I will therefore not be available to stand as a candidate for the People's National Party when the next general elections are called," Pryce said in the statement.
However, he also said that he remains loyal to the People's National Party and subscribes to its principles and ideals.
"I thank the people of North East St Elizabeth for their support and will continue my strident representation on their behalf and in their interest until a new representative is elected," the statement read.
The incumbent Pryce was facing a challenge for leadership of the constituency from Santa Cruz businessman Evon Redman.
Last week, an injunction was secured by former Mayor of Black River Daphne Holmes, a Pryce supporter, barring the party from holding a conference to select a candidate in the constituency.
Just yesterday, an OBSERVER ONLINE source disclosed that Mayor of Black River and chairman of the St Elizabeth Parish Council, Everton Fisher, has been tipped to become the PNP's standard bearer in the constituency.
This election cycle look so iffy as to who will win as so many distractions and sideshows seem to cloud the view. Will the silent majority finally rise to vote on issues?
This entry has been sitting in draft as the weather changes rapidly. So I'll still keep aspects of my original post for historical tracking.
Wow it getting hard to keep up with the developments in the PNP I had prepared another draft for this part in terms of the economy but since part two of the series where I zoomed in on the Pryce factor Mr Raymond Pryce’s court action may have damaged the very People’s National Party, PNP image as he is well liked by no other than the President of the party Mrs Simpson Miller, he writes her speeches, assists her with some administrative issues and he is a key chair of the party machinery in St Elizabeth.
Supporters of the challenger Devon Redman illegally blocked the main road in the area in protest of the postponement of the selection process even though the seat is considered a safe seat for the PNP no matter who sits there but will the JLP get it as what happened in South East St Ann. Or even nearby Tufton vs Buchanan South Elizabeth which was considered a safe seat for the JLP then but was lost to the PNP by 12 votes suddenly the seat looks attractive to the PNP. This is the third time that the selection process has been postponed and with threats to switch or revenge voting. Why the headquarters or the heads of the PNP has have not said much yet? Even NEC members of the party on the ground in the area are up in arms. After what happened to the JLP in the 2011 polls with them thinking they would win with sheer arrogance got a surprise. Lest we forget the Trinidad elections also showed us that; opposition parties seem to be overturning incumbents as the People’s Partnership also may have thought they were safe.
We must remember rural folk do not really engage authority as authority really does not engage them. The slated selection process in Pryce’s constituency on September 12 was thwarted by Pryce himself via a court injunction successfully gained for twenty eight days until thus delaying the date for the perceived announcement of the elections, some were saying November or December but if this matter and others that are still not settled drag out we may very well rule out an polls for this year again. The aforementioned ageism issue combined with the so called labourization of the party as complained by Dr Dayton Campbell at a function in the embattled Lisa Hanna who is also youth minister. Those who have crossed from the Jamaica Labour Party, JLP either as supporters or power houses (Mrs Gordon Webley) have had a hard time but the history of politics in Jamaica is frothed with crossing more so from the JLP to PNP, Madame Rose Leon comes to mind from way back in the days and even the founder of the JLP itself was a former PNP member when he left to start his own outfit. The very Bustamante trade union was a staunch PNP backer prior to sojourning to the new entity. How people relate to politicians and real social issues in rural Jamaica especially has become so skewed that it plays out the way it does with this matter clearly shows. Lloyd B Smith who also ran a JLP ticket lost his bid to run for his current seat.
Some have said only a losing candidate would have launched a court injunction and all the time doing so Pryce is not engaging either the delegates who really are the ones who decide who runs and even who holds the seat of President of the PNP itself but there seems to be a bypassing of their votes so much so that delegates openly have said they will vote JLP; a call comrades do not make so easily. The buggery law is almost nowhere in sight in this election campaign and side shows thus far. However Mr Pryce has been the subject of snide remarks laced with homophobic undertones however both on social media most disgustingly and in his constituency from the supporters of the challenger; the usual battyman worded comments come flowing and even at a street dance the disc jocks on a sound system were very deliberate in spinning the usual ‘bun out’ murder music tracks while not naming Pryce directly throw words at the ‘MP’ and that he must go. The other minister who has direct responsibility to the law reform needed via the sexual offences bill under its four year review has basically said he will not cross it and the joint select committee report is not out yet. Speaking at a function in another parish he said it would be foolish to vote otherwise than the PNP but will the LGBT vote respond to this when it sees hardly any signs of change in the law?
Word has come that neither Pryce or his challenger Redman maybe around if said word on the ground materialises but one Wentworth Skeffrey who would be parachuted in as the PNP President evoke powers to overrule the machinery and delegates wishes as what was done with Raymond Pryce himself when he was parachuted in as well much to the unease of the delegates. Pryce in effect sealed his doom via the court action. He has alienated powerful factions and he has not endeared the constituency population. If Pryce is well established in the seat why has not Pryce engage the delegates he should say to them bring it on and ones work would speak for itself.
Is the PNP on the international front trying to present a more neo-liberal front to gain the benefits had chiefly the grant aid from the likes of the EU and the US but has a challenge of the political realities on the ground, politicians literally dread being sent into the wilderness or desert if they touch the buggery law to decriminalize or repeal the sections in the articles. The JLP in the meantime is clinging to a more conservative agenda namely responding positively to a call from the religious right on a referendum on the buggery law but reticent on the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ which the PNP has some support in having the court as our final court. Only this week the three bills were tabled for voting in the upper house, what perfect timing some say as clearly it will be an election issue as the JLP is viewed as wanting to hold on to some old colonial elements and the twinning of the old issue of the JLP’s non support of federation choosing independence instead and their present stance on CARICOM claiming it was not beneficial to small island states in any real tangible forms.
With social media having far more say in what affects politics and the galvanizing of same since the snide remarks made by the PNP’s party Chairman and Minister of Water Bobby Pickersgill calling persons who use social media the “articulate minority” but said minority has been able to sway some of the what was considered the silent majority who in times gone by were docile politically. The unravelling of the constituency races in so many PNP seats is unprecedented and leaves many pondering are we seeing a sweeping change in how we do business or a an awakening of the said silent majority via the local levels with objections to non performing members of parliament who think it is a smooth ride once in the seat. After all nationally the two terms or multiple terms in for the incumbent died in the last elections where the JLP in arrogance thought they would win have learnt from that round and are out selling their achievements from the one term 2007 – 11 in the present campaign. This election seems so iffy as the eligible voters position is unclear despite the polls suggesting that cohort is still disillusioned by general malaise and lack of national improvement in their lives from policies or lack thereof to effectively make growth impactful.
The Lloyd B Smith race and claims of a flawed delegates list has come as he has lost to the challenger and he has now threatened to go public with the details he says he has in his possession if the party machinery does not act, sigh, what is this? Lloyd B is also one of those voices on the fringes when it comes to some sort of buggery review although his newspaper the Western Mirror via an editorial and letters etc reflect otherwise, he has also hinted at some referendum of sorts on the law as well but now he is out of the representational leagues after this administration’s life ends what will happen when he departs his position also as deputy speaker of the house?
The apparent settling of the JLP seems calming thus far but will that be enough for them to win and will the PNP get over their infighting whilst convincing a embattled hold strain nation? The Minister of Education Reverend Ronald Thwaites spoke to the ism and schisms in the party as it it spoiling the image of the party, speaking at a PNP meeting in Mrs Simpson Miller’s constituency he also blasted Bruce Golding for lying to Jamaica and supporting Dudus Coke, the obvious twinning of the issues to make the PNP look good has been pulled off there.
Peace and tolerance