(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Lisa Hanna, the St Ann South Eastern Member of Parliament who on Saturday lost in her bid to lead the People’s National Party (PNP), says she is ready to work with victor Mark Golding to rebuild the fractious Opposition party.
In a statement posted on her social media pages following the election, which saw Golding securing 1,740 delegates’ votes to her 1,444, Hanna said, for her, it was an extraordinary campaign.
“I have loved every moment of the journey. Walking with you and talking with you. I’ve called Comrade Mark Golding and congratulated him on his victory. I committed my continued service and support to party, and to him as our new leader. We have much work to do, and must come together in love, and choose unity,” Hanna said.
“To my indefatigable campaign team — and Comrades in arms that worked tirelessly to bring us together and make this campaign possible across the length and breadth of Jamaica — thank you for everything you have done. To my family, with their love and support, I have walked through countless fires with you. To my wonderful husband Richard [Lake], and my son Alex [Panton], thank you for standing by my side every step of the way,” she added.
She also thanked her constituents in St Ann South Eastern.
Golding, in his acceptance speech, thanked Hanna for what he described as a “strong but collegial contest”, and emphasised that he was ready to sit with her and her team.
“I want our teams to meet and have a good heart-to-heart, authentic communication about how we are going to build our party and make it strong,” Golding, the St Andrew Southern Member of Parliament (MP), said on Saturday at the PNP headquarters in St Andrew.
“We need to have a process that brings everybody together. It must be very deliberate and we need to communicate it right down through the party — from top to the base — that we’re now one family under a big tent, united and strong, moving forward together,” he added.
Golding came out on top at seven of the 12 polling locations, while Hanna managed to top five.
The new PNP president, who replaces Dr Peter Phillips, won in St Ann with 124 votes to Hanna’s 88, Trelawny with 70 to Hanna’s 23, Clarendon with 201 to 60 for Hanna, St Elizabeth with 108 to 52 for Hanna, Manchester with 173 to Hanna’s 73, St James with 131 to Hanna’s 128, and Hanover with 49 to Hanna’s 33.
Meanwhile, Hanna carried St Mary with 71 delegates’ votes to Golding’s 46, St Thomas with 101 to Golding’s 78, Kingston and St Andrew with 498 to Golding’s 486, St Catherine with 235 to Golding’s 194, and Westmoreland with 82 to Golding’s 80.
On Saturday, outgoing chairman of the PNP Fitz Jackson encouraged delegates to show up and vote, noting that the internal election was critical.
He said it was important to have a good showing “so that the leader that is selected reflects the delegates’ preference”.
Voter turnout was 96 per cent, with just over 3,500 delegates eligible to vote.