PNP discloses appraisal committee findings on election defeat

The People's National Party (PNP) has made public the results of an assessment of some of the issues which led to its poor showing in the February 25 general election.
The findings are based on a review of the party's campaign machinery, stewardship and related activities. 
Julian Robinson, Chairman of the 13-member appraisal committee, in a press briefing Thursday, highlighted arrogance among some key Party functionaries as a contributory factor to a breakdown of the PNP's election machinery.
"Among the findings indicated by post election polls and focus groups, the decision not to participate in the national debate was a fatal error. It contributed to the impression that the party was arrogant and took the electorate for granted. 
"Our findings also indicate that there was a breakdown of trust among elements of the leadership, leading into the campaign. This was never resolved and led to the campaign being dysfunctional and divided," shared the appraisal committee Chairman.  
Mr. Robinson highlighted other areas where the Party fell flat, noting that its message did not communicate hope and was incoherent. This, he said, was exacerbated by the decision to raise the issue of then Opposition Leader Andrew Holness' house during the campaign.          
"It was clear that the Party's organisation was not election ready due to low worker morale, unresolved candidate selection issues, problematic issues between some Members of Parliament and Councillors, among other challenges," Mr. Robinson pinpointed as other problems which led to the party's defeat.   
On-the-ground campaigns

The Secretariat of the People's National Party (PNP) has admitted that there were other on-the-ground campaigns within the party for the February 25 polls, which did not fall under the central directorate.

Appraisal committee Chairman Julian Robinson indicated that these were being run by persons not connected to the official team.

"What I would say came up was that it was apparent that there were different centres within the campaign management structure and there was a lack of coordination in the fundraising effort...but it was clear that there wasn't that central coordination of all the funds that came into the PNP as a whole," the Chairman outlined.  

Mr. Robinson said this approach by other PNP members led to undesirable outcomes.

And PNP President Portia Simpson-Miller was among persons interviewed by the Appraisal Committee. Mr. Robinson says Mrs. Simpson Miller was instrumental to the proceedings.

"The Party Leader was interviewed as she was the Chair of the National campaign committee and, obviously, as the Party leader, played a major role.... We had a very frank session with her and she didn't hold back in terms of her own views about some of the things that may or may not have been done well," he said of Mrs. Simpson Miller's participation.  

Mr. Robinson revealed that members of the National Campaign Committee, certain candidates, campaign managers, constituencie teams as well as supporters contributed to the process. 

In the meantime the PNP secretariat outlined the next move following the receipt of the appraisal report. It will be presented to the National Executive Council (NEC) on June 26 for deliberations and full discussions. 

Mr. Robinson says the Secretariat expects a final sign off at a subsequent two-day NEC meeting. This meeting is the preparatory NEC prior to the Party's annual conference. 

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