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Golding accepts resignation of PNP vice presidents, chairman

K.D. Knight, Maxine Henry Wilson and Helene Davis Whyte
 
People's National Party (PNP) President Mark Golding has said while he is saddened four of the party's executives have stepped down, their resignations are accepted.
 
The PNP has been plunged into crisis with vice presidents Damion Crawford, Dr. Wykeham McNeill and Mikael Phillips and Chairman, Phillip Paulwell, resigning their positions.
 
In a statement released to the media Friday afternoon, Mr. Golding said discussions were attempted with the four, "but unfortunately these did not lead to consensus."
 
He said he remains willing to work with them in the best interests of the party.
 
However, Mr. Golding has taken issue with some of the allegations made in the men's resignation letter, saying they are "not accurate."
 
The release did not specify the problematic statements, but said they will be "dealt with in the appropriate party forum."
 
The four party officials on Friday announced that their resignations were with immediate effect.
 
Mr. Phillips has also withdrawn his nomination to be a vice president.
 
At the close of nominations on Friday afternoon, the nominees for the four vice presidential posts were Richard Azan, Eugene Kelly, Norman Scott and Ian Hayles - all supporters of Golding in the last leadership challenge between himself and Lisa Hanna.
 
 
'Not earth-shattering'
 
Senior PNP member K.D. Knight has sought to downplay Friday's resignation of the four party executives, saying it is not earth-shattering for the party. 
 
Mr. Knight, who spoke on Radio Jamaica's Hotline on Friday afternoon, contended that the resignations are well thought out and well-meant.
 
"If one finds that one is likely to be more effective other than being an officer and one resigns then that is in the interest of the party and so it not really an earthquake, it is not earth-shattering. It is a sign of the resolve to ensure that the party is rebuilt," he reasoned.   
 
Mr. Knight added that he has no problem with the statement made by the men that the disunity and display of underhandedness have crippled the spirit and effectiveness of the Unity Committee. 
 
He argued that their statement was "admirable" because they decided to clearly outline their issue, instead of keeping it to themselves and having a "credibility problem." 
 
 
'Unfortunate'
 
When contacted Friday afternoon, a member of the PNP's Unity Team, Maxine Henry Wilson, said the four resignations were unfortunate.
 
Mrs Henry Wilson said, while the party is "accustomed to events like this," it must now focus on uniting and "build back what may have been eroded." 
 
She said the process will be challenging but the party is committed. 
 
 
Decisive action needed 
 
Political commentator Helene Davis Whyte said decisive action must now be taken to prevent further cracks from developing in the PNP.
 
"I think this last incident shows that the issues and concerns were not settled with the leadership elections last year. It is very clear that there are persons who do not wish to have the party operating in a unified fashion and it is spilling over or it has spilled over into what we are not seeing." 
 
She said the PNP must "move quickly" to address the issues. 
 


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