PNP says Peter Phillips has not resigned
Having retired Portia Simpson Miller, Jamaica Labour Party leader Andrew Holness appears set to send another People's National Party (PNP) president to the political graveyard.
And after a 'resignation letter' appeared on social media shortly after Ann-Marie Vaz captured the before-now safe PNP seat of East Portland on Thursday, it appeared another Holness challenger, Dr Peter Phillips, had fallen by the wayside.
The letter, which has turned out to be fictitious, quoted PNP president Dr Peter Phillips as saying he has resigned from the party with immediate effect. However, the PNP says Phillips, who took over from Simpson Miller in 2017, is still in charge of the party.
The PNP said the letter, which has a forged signature of the Phillips is the work of those who wish to destroy the PNP and bring the leadership into disrepute.
"The efforts of those who would wish to inflict injury, by whatever means, upon the good character of party president and create division will not be allowed," the PNP said.
After leading his party to a shocking upset over Simpson Miller's PNP in the 2016 general election, Holness has since carried his JLP to victory in the local government elections as well as two by-elections in parliamentary seats that were won by the PNP.
Meanwhile, Damion Crawford, the losing candidate in the by-election, has expressed thanks to the people who "believed in my vision and had confidence in my abilities."
"We fought like soldiers and fell short. I am very grateful to you all and will be visiting you over the next two weeks to express my gratitude," said Crawford.
Crawford, who secured the most vote by any PNP candidate in the history of the seat, lost by 306 votes after polling 9,611 votes.
"Please remember an idea never dies ... You can still buy your own she [doe] goat, go into ornamental fish farming, coordinate your chicken houses to supply restaurant's weekly and more than anything make education for yourself and your child a priority. Regardless of the outcome I hope East Portland will become a group of educated, profit seekers that remain committed to making the life experiences of their children better the ones they had to endure."