Opposition party “renewed and ready” for government

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Leader of the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP), Dr. Peter Phillips, on Sunday declared that the 80 year old party is “renewed and ready” to take over the leadership of the nation.
Addressing party supporters at the PNP’s annual conference at the National Arena on Sunday, Phillips pointed to several issues which he said are plaguing the country as a result of the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) “mismanagement”.
The opposition leader in his address outlined controversial issues affecting the country under the Andrew Holness led administration.
These included, the acquisition of used police cars, massive bills and a debushing programme.
“Lack of accountability is bad, the corruption is bad, the false promises are bad. But what is even more threatening to our very existence is that they just cant manage. They don’t know what they are doing and because they don’t know what they are doing, they are putting every single Jamaican at risk,” Phillips told supporters clad in orange – the colour of the party.
One of several issues addressed by the opposition leader was that of negotiations with public sector workers.
“They have been treated shabbily and with disrespect. Negotiations stalled for two years and even then, the depreciation of the Jamaican dollar has taken away benefits.”
Concerning the police, he said they are being asked to work “day after day and night after night” without a contract.
“Not only is it not fair, but it is destroying their morale ..”
The rapid slide of the local currency was also addressed, with Phillips saying that small businesses are being affected and life is harder for consumers.
“One (government) Minister said he was going to stablise it, the new Minister says something else and these were the same people who protested to the IMF (International Monetary Fund_ about the continued depreciation of the Jamaican dollar.”
“Is there a government police or a Minister policy? It’s not that we don’t have reserves….it’s that they don’t know what they are doing.”
The opposition leader also outlined the party’s plans for the country as it positions itself to form the new government whenever a general election is called.
“Our mission now is to break down the structures of inequality and exclusion… our vision is of a party mobilising the entire country to join in the mission of nation building,” Phillips said.
He said integrity and accountability is also at the heart of the PNP’s vision.
“We may not be perfect, but we hold people accountable… at the heart of it, we are about the people, they (JLP) are about self and friends while the majority suffers.”
The opposition leader said the party has a new covenant with the people, noting that the key areas including the elimination of poverty and the divide of society between first class and second class citizens.
“The PNP’s new covenant speaks to many other areas, solutions that we believe are key to building a New Jamaica,” Phillips said while adding that discussions will be held at all levels of the party and with Jamaicans across the country.
“The conversation will inform our party’s political platform and manifesto for the next general elections and give life to our vision of a Jamaica that works for all and not just a few.”
On Saturday, the party selected four Vice Presidents with Damion Crawford coming out on top in the vice presidential election.
The other three successful candidates are Mikael Phillips, Dr Kenneth Wykeham McNeill and Phillip Paulwell.

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