Kari Douglas and political commentator Jaevion Nelson
Kari Douglas, Councillor for the Trafalgar Division in the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation, has revealed that for several years she had considered supporting the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
Ms Douglas crossed the political aisle to join the JLP on Tuesday.
She said she was contemplating leaving representational politics before being approached recently by the JLP to become a member.
"I think that may have come about because persons got information that I was not going to have any involvement in representational politics subsequent to this term and they felt that I had so much more to offer, so much more to contribute to the national landscape, and so I was engaged and encouraged that I should be recruited by them," she revealed Wednesday morning on the Morning Agenda on Power 106.
Ms Douglas said it is likely she would have remained in the PNP if Peter Bunting had been successful in last year's leadership challenge, however, that would not have fixed many of the challenges within the party.
"Given some serious thought and consideration, you come to the realisation that the issues go far deeper than just the leadership and especially having some of the experiences of that presidential challenge and knowing that the party will remain the same when Mr. Bunting or had Mr. Bunting become leader; I would still have to contend with some of the energy and elements coming from another side, which I had grown very uncomfortable with."
Asked whether she was aware of other persons planning to switch allegiance to the Jamaica Labour Party, Ms Douglas said she had "heard quiet utterances" but was not sure who these persons were.
However, she revealed that, on the ground, "there are many persons, including younger members of the People's National Party, who are fed up, who feel hopeless in the system, who don't think that the leadership of hierarchy respects their views... who feel like the PNP is disconnected from the masses and so they are prepared to either sit out the next election in terms of giving the support to the People's National Party or to come over and try something new and different, which would be to support Prime Minister Holness's prosperity team."
In the meantime, political commentator Jaevion Nelson, has said Kari Douglas's departure from the PNP should send a big message and be a wake-up call for the party.
Mr. Nelson said Ms Douglas's stated reasons for switching allegiance are worth considering by the PNP because "these are things that people have been talking about for some time and despite an election to re-elect and re-energise the party on September 7th last year, there seemingly has not been much work in that regard to ensure that the party is in a better position with the electorate and with the members of the party core, in fact."