Hanna's move not a sign of PNP disunity - Golding

PNP President Mark Golding, political commentator Damion Gordon and Councillor Ian Bell, of the Beecher Town Division in South East St. Ann
People's National Party (PNP) President Mark Golding says the decision of Member of Parliament for St. Ann South East Lisa Hanna to step away from representational politics is not a sign of disunity in the party.
Mr. Golding is adamant that the PNP has been growing stronger.
Speaking Wednesday on TVJ's Smile Jamaica programme, Mr. Golding said Ms Hanna's decision not to contest the next general election has nothing to do with his leadership of the PNP. 
"The resignation has to do with Lisa's own issues and where she wants to go with her life," he insisted. 
Mr. Golding said the party has been building "real" unity and members have all "committed ourselves to making it stronger". 
He added that the PNP was enjoying the positive energy that is being created and would keep that positive momentum "so that Jamaica can see that we're ready to be given the responsibolity of running the country again". 
Social commentator Latoya West-Blackwood has said Ms Hanna's signal on Tuesday is a sign of deeper issues within the PNP which remain unresolved.
She has concluded that the MP's statement has a wider interpretation and should be carefully examined.
In her statement, Ms Hanna suggested that change and attracting new talent were essential for organisations to survive.
Constituency challenges                                                  
But political commentator Damion Gordon believes the impending departure of Lisa Hanna from representational politics was influenced by the challenges in her constituency and personal ambition.
Mr. Gordon does not think disunity in the PNP was a factor in the decision because it appears "the party has made some gains in terms of bringing those factions together". 
He pointed to the fact that some of Ms Hanna's supporters in the 2020 PNP leadership contest have been included in the Shadow Cabinet and have "public positions within the party's hierarchy" under Mark Golding's leadership.  
But he said Ms Hanna's personal challenges in relation to the stewardship of her constituency as well as her falling-out with councillors and other top brass of the St. Ann South Eastern constituency may have been the source of lingering concerns. 
'Writing on the wall' 
Councillor Ian Bell, of the Beecher Town Division in South East St. Ann, has claimed that the writing was on the wall for Ms Hanna's departure from representational politics since June 2021 when he resigned from the constituency's executive committee.
Mr. Bell said he was the last of the four councillors to end their support for the MP.
He believes Ms Hanna's indication at this time of her intention to leave representational politics is only in her best interest and not in the interest of the party. 
In an interview with Radio Jamaica News, Mr. Bell said he believes Ms Hanna will resign her seat and make way for a by-election because "it would be in her mind that the seat might go away from the PNP to the Jamaica Labour Party". 
Still, Mr. Bell said her departure will be to the benefit of the constituency, as constituents will finally be able to get a representative "they can talk to... and that they see on the ground that is working with them and they will work with". 
At the same time, he hopes that her move will not cause further division within the PNP.
Constituents react 
There were mixed reactions from residents of Ms. Hanna's constituency, following her announcement to leave representational politics after the current parliamentary term. 
Some of her constituents believe she should have demitted the post already based on the results of the last general election, where she marginally held onto the seat with 32 votes after a magisterial recount.
"Lisa shoulda go like from the last election because the last election, people dem never really turn out and vote and it's like fi har fault. So fair enough, she shoulda go from then" one resident suggested.
He was not satisfied with the job she had done in the constituency and claimed she was only seen "one or two" times per month.  
But while her stewardship as an MP is under scrutiny, some constituents described her as down to earth and a "people person". 

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