Party leaves NEC Negril meeting with a new focus on reconnecting with the grassroots.

KINGSTON, (PNP HQ). 2004 March 28

At the recently held National Executive Council meeting of the Peoples National Party, held in Negril on Sunday March 28th 2004, a number of important issues relating to the party were discussed.

Our General Secretary the Hon. Burchell Whiteman gave an update of the status of the organization within the party.

The NEC was also kept up to date on the Regional Organising Seminars. The first in a new series of Regional Organising Seminars “Organise to Transform” took place in Montego Bay on the 27th of March. The seminar was oversubscribed, as there were 180 participants, of which over 60% were group leaders and group members. All 17 constituencies from regions 5and 6 were represented, and all Members of Parliament were represented. The Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller gave an inspiring and motivational presentation that left the participants feeling energized. The message transmitted was for the participants to engage in the groundwork necessary to transform and rebuild the PNP. It was tremendously well received by the participants who filled out an evaluation assessment. Additionally, an accountability team was established in each constituency.

Regional Organising seminars are also planned for regions 1 to 4 for the month of April.

The Party chairman spoke about the commitment to implement the Electoral Advisory Committee recommendation of increasing the number of parliamentary seats from 60 to 63, and a possible further increase to 65. The Chairman of the party also spoke to the launching of the Montego Bay Chapter of the PATRIOTS, the Prime Minister’s broadcast to the nation on the economy, and praised the Prime Minister for his principled position on the Haitian crisis and Aristides temporary accommodation in Jamaica.

A number of members expressed the view that the party needed more aggressive public relations, as many of the solid achievements of the ruling Peoples National Party government were not being filtered to the public.

The party leader in his presentation indicated that in the upcoming budget for the financial year 2004-2005, the tax package would not be a difficult one. He warned however not to expect a “Bonanza” budget as the budget had to be credible, in order for us to maintain our credibility and credit worthiness within International Capital Markets and among Multilateral Institutions.

The party leader challenged the party to promote the positive accomplishments of the government, such as in housing, education, and the productive sector.

The party leader then gave an extended lecture on the Haitian crisis, our humanitarian assistance to the Haitian refugees and the current status of former President Aristide’s temporary stay in Jamaica.

The Party leader concluded his presentation by expressing his commitment to having a smooth leadership transition within the party, and his expectation that party members at all levels; Members of Parliament, councilors, group leaders, group members…will increasingly engage in the current process of reconnecting with the grassroots.

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People's National Party

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