MARK Golding, aspirant for the presidency of the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP), says he is confident of victory come November 7 when delegates of the party will select a new leader.
“Based on response that I have been getting from the delegates I have been meeting with, I am pretty confident actually that we are going to do very well. I think we are ahead and I think that the outcome will be in my favour on the seventh of November,” Golding told members of the media yesterday at the PNP headquarters in St Andrew where he and co-bidder for the post of president, Lisa Hanna, attached their signatures to a code of conduct drafted to ensure a clean and fair internal election.
“My campaign has not been in the media as the other campaign has but we have been having our meetings and the meetings have been well attended and I’ve been well received by the delegates I have been speaking to. And that will continue for the next few weeks until we get to the seventh,” Golding continued.
In the September 3 General Election, the St Andrew Southern Member of Parliament managed to increase his majority in that constituency, defeating Victor Hyde of the Jamaica Labour Party.
This, Golding said, was a tick in his book, citing his experience as a legislator, as well as his success as a corporate lawyer and businessman as markers of his ability to lead and revive the PNP.
“In the meetings I have been having with delegates, I have emphasised what I bring to the table. I haven’t really focused on the other candidate. I leave that assessment to others,” said Golding.
Acknowledging internal rifts that have dogged the party and which were made visible for public scrutiny during the last presidential face off between outgoing party leader, Dr Peter Phillips, and his opponent Peter Bunting, who failed to keep his Manchester Central seat, Golding reiterated the need to unite the PNP going forward.
“I think it is a common refrain at this time because we realise that coming out of the last election we are at a very low place in our history and that we have to revive our fortunes and we can’t do that unless we unite, come together and rally around a common purpose.
“In terms of resonating with the people, I think that the People’s National Party needs to really focus on developing a message that is relevant and will appeal to the Jamaica of today. But which is in keeping with our core beliefs and our core purpose.
“I think we need to focus on the big issues as we see them and articulate credible policies around those issues. I think that the Jamaican people will resonate with that,” Golding said.