The People’s National Party says it had a gratifying Nomination Day for all its candidates and the focus now is on the debates.
“Today we were encouraged by the thousands of supporters who turned out to accompany our candidates to their nominating centres and we are confident of victory,” General Secretary Julian Robinson said.
He said the PNP has accepted the invitation for a debate among the nominated candidates and that all three candidates are ready for the debates irrespective of the organiser.
“The RJR Gleaner Communications Group has extended an invitation for the PNP to participate in a series of debates ahead of Election Day. The PNP has accepted this offer and our candidates are ready and will show up once the date, time and location are announced.” Robinson affirmed.
The Party nominated Dr. Angela Brown Burke in South West St Andrew, Mark Golding in South St Andrew, and Dr Shane Alexis in South East St Mary.
The PNP affiliated caucus of young professional, the Patriots, called on the Jamaica Labour Party’s candidate, Norman Dunn to end the hypocrisy and shenanigans regarding the debate. The Patriots say Dr. Shane Alexis is ready to engage his opponent in a real debate on the future of South East St Mary and its residents.
While expressing hope that the National Debates Commission will take up Dunn’s offer and organize a debate, Patriots Chairman Omar Newell said it is unfortunate that Dunn appears unwilling to take advantage of the opportunities currently available.
According to Newell, “a major media organization has written to both political parties requesting that participation of their candidates for a public forum, to express their views and give the public an opportunity to be acquainted with the views of each candidate. It is, therefore, unfortunate and regressive that candidate Dunn has decided not to make use of the present opportunity available to him.
“True to form, Shane Alexis is ready, and Dunn seems to be chickening out.”
Making a case for the candidates to utilize the forums organized by the media group, Newell added that “the National Debates Commission, per their mission, organizes debates on national issues. The people of South East St. Mary should not be denied the opportunity to hear both candidates expand on their plans and interrogate each other’s plans if the Debates Commission doesn’t deem it necessary to organize a debate.”
He said it is very unfortunate that Dunn would use the media house offer to demonstrate his unwillingness to debate and is cowardly hiding behind the National Debates Commission.
The Jamaica Labour Party candidate for the South East St Mary constituency, Dr Norman Dunn, had called for a debate hosted by the Jamaica Debates Commission (JDC) before the October 30 date set for the elections.
Dr Dunn had stated that he is a firm believer in the system of democracy and is in full support of the mission of the JDC which is to strengthen and grow the democratic process.
He went on to state that he wants the people of South East St Mary to make an informed decision on election day and the best way to do this is to have both candidates debate on a fair platform.
“The people of South East St Mary deserve to see their options. I am ready to debate the issues if the candidate from the People’s National Party accepts the challenge,” he stated.
Dr Dunn, who is a pharmacist by profession, stated that he also wishes to use the proper channels established for hosting such a political debate.
“The debates commission did exceptionally well in planning the Local Government Debates and I am confident in their ability to organize a debate for the upcoming election. There is a lot of talking going around but if the PNP is willing to debate the issues then I am ready!”