|PNP candidates who don't sign code will be disqualified, says Patterson
Saturday, September 07, 2002
PJ Patterson yesterday said that his People's National Party (PNP) would cancel the candidacy of any of its contenders who refused to sign a code of political conduct for the upcoming general election.
"Any candidate who refuses to sign the declaration before nomination day will be automatically disqualified," Patterson announced at a function at which he officially opened the Negril to Montego Bay leg of the North Coast Highway.
Patterson also added that any candidate who signs and commits a breach after nomination day "will be subject to disciplinary action by the party and by the penal consequences which flow from it".
The PNP president made the announcement against the background of the action of PNP supporters at a party rally in Four Paths, Clarendon Wednesday night that embarrassed the party and forced it to apologise to the Jamaica Labour Party leader Edward Seaga and his pregnant wife, Carla.
The PNP supporters had hoisted a makeshift green coffin on their shoulders, featuring a drawing of a baby and the words: "Pampers, Seaga baby, dead."
Maxine Henry-Wilson, the PNP's general-secretary, wrote directly to Carla Seaga yesterday, apologising for the action which she described as insensitive and "totally out of keeping with accepted standards of decency".
Patterson, in making reference to the incident, said it does not accord with the tone and spirit of the campaign that he wants to run.
"Constituency leaders and campaign managers must take responsibility for the conduct of the people in the campaign," Patterson said. "And anybody who is misbehaving can have no part to play in the campaign.
"I have invested a great deal of my own political time as prime minister and a great deal of my own political capital in trying to ensure that civility is returned at every level of Jamaican behaviour," he said. "And we in the political directorate have a responsibility to set the tone and to lead by example."