Sat | Sep 19, 2020

PNP row brews as Tomlinson, Banks jostle for power

Published:Thursday | October 24, 2019 | 1:28 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer

A deepening rift is emerging among People’s National Party (PNP) factions in the West Rural St Andrew constituency, which was vacated by Jennifer Housen, who last week blasted the secretariat for its administration of the seat.

Rohan Banks, one of the political figures who is trying to replace Housen, has criticised partisans loyal to PNP Youth Organisation President Krystal Tomlinson of seeking to subvert the party’s protocol and foist her on constituents.

Banks told The Gleaner that forces have been trying to have Krystal Tomlinson installed as the standard-bearer for the constituency without facing a run-off.

“It undermines the democracy in the party, and the people on the ground tell me that they don’t want anyone forced on them,” Banks, who was himself defeated in a run-off against Housen in 2018, told The Gleaner yesterday.

He argued that the PNP, which lost national and municipal islandwide polls in 2016, should be wary of major political disruptions with a general election due by 2021.

“Miss Housen was victorious in that election, but I was still in the constituency and I have been in the constituency for over a year now. So if that is the case, then I should be the person,” said the aspirant, adding that he had applied to represent the seat after the Housen fallout.

Banks said a run-off would be the ultimate validatation for any parliamentary hopeful.

The current chairman of the constituency for the PNP, Garth Walker, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The Gleaner understands that a meeting will be convened by the executive of the constituency today, with both Tomlinson and Banks being invitees.