Scores of disgruntled Peoples National Party, PNP, supporters in Western Westmoreland on Wednesday, staged a major protest in the Little London community to register their dissatisfaction with the party’s choice of the candidate for the next general election.
PNP deputy leader Ian Hayles is the party’s choice but the supporters want Garfield James, who is the sitting Councillor for the Sheffield Division. They are also up in arms with the new polling method being used by party leader Mark Golding to determine their candidate.
Joy Gordon, a female supporter, said it is alleged that the delegates’ system was tampered with and that their leader is forcing them to accept a representative that they do not want.
“It is alleged that the delegate system was tampered with, it is alleged that the delegates that Mr. James had; they were taken off the list and new delegates were placed on the list, the new process that they brought into play now Mr. James won all three, and they found out that they couldn’t get rid of Mr. James that way because integrity and all a that, he passed all a them,” Gordon said.
She also declared that they are of the belief that the delegates’ system has been corrupted and is now being used as one of the major tools to determine their candidate.
Another PNP activist, Cleon Tomlinson, said Western, Westmoreland supporters are in favour of Garfield James, and not Hayles.
“Ian Hayes must go back to Hanover because James is the people’s choice. Hayles mash up Western Hanover and start mash up Western Westmoreland and him don’t tun MP yet, so this is a message to Mark Golding, to the General Secretary, Dayton Campbell, we do not want Hayles,” Tomlinson belted.
“If Hayles come down here, Western Westmoreland will remain green, I am giving them a warning, tell them no, James, no vote.” The placard bearing protestors painted the Little London square orange, and as they blew their trumpets, several members of the Westmoreland police stood on hand to ensure a peaceful demonstration.
The supporters also threatened their leader, Mark Golding that they will be switching floors if he signs off on Hayles being their political representative, over James.
They pointed out that James, who is also the Principal of the Little London High School, is someone that they have built trust in, but that Ian Hayes, who is a former Member of Parliament for Western Hanover, has failed in that constituency, and they are not prepared to take the same chances with him in Westmoreland.