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PNP officials mostly mum on challenge, but…

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PNP officials mostly mum on challenge, but…

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Observer staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

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Several members of the People’s National Party (PNP) emerged from last evening’s meeting of the party’s executive and councillor caucus at PNP headquarters in St Andrew tight-lipped about Peter Bunting’s declared leadership challenge to Dr Peter Phillips.

However, senior party member and Opposition Senator KD Knight said, while he has not had time to think about what is unfolding, theoretically speaking, Peter Bunting’s timing could be viewed as ill-advised.

“If I were a challenger, I wouldn’t do it now. If I’m thinking strategically I wouldn’t do it now. If I were the party leader, I wouldn’t fear a challenge at any point,” Knight said.

Bunting declared his hand in a statement to the party last weekend, ending months of speculation that he would challenge Phillips, who rose to the helm by way of acclamation.

The PNP’s Constitution permits Bunting’s decision, however it stipulates that a challenge can take place outside of the party’s annual conference, held in September if approved by the party’s president or executive.

Yesterday, former party chairman Robert Pickersgill commented that the current situation was above him, stating that “it is big people thing” before hurrying off.

Clarendon South Eastern caretaker/candidate Patricia Duncan-Sutherland declined to comment on the issue while insisting that the matter is for PNP members to discuss.

Her colleague in the neighbouring constituency of Clarendon South Western Noel Arscott, too, said he would reserve his opinion for private discussions.

Member of Parliament and former Vice-President Dr Angela Brown Burke said Bunting’s decision reflected a part of the democracy of the PNP.

“It is what it is, and I think that persons are going to eventually decide who they want to support. but I am just asking for us to just remember that it is all about the People’s National Party and what we stand for, and making sure that we come out of this stronger and better to face the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party),” she told the Jamaica Observer.

St Ann South Eastern Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna was firm in confirming that she would continue to support the party leader.

“I stated my position and I support Comrade Peter Phillips and that hasn’t changed,” said Hanna.

Councillor for the Trafalgar Division in St Andrew South Eastern Kari Douglas told the Observer that some party members are open to seeing the results of the challenge.

Douglas said she has not yet made a decision in terms of whom to support as both candidates have made valuable contributions to the PNP and Jamaica.

“Dr Phillips has made a sterling contribution to this party and to this nation during his time in representational politics, which is extensive. Peter Bunting, similarly, has been doing very well publicly recently. I think he also appeals a lot to younger elected representatives like myself and generally the younger cohort of Jamaicans. So, I’m still trying to weigh and balance, but I can’t say yet who I’m supporting,” said Douglas.

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Jamaicans help mark 230th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, French National Day

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Jamaicans help mark 230th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, French National Day

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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WAY back in 1789 France, an angry crowd stormed the Bastille, a state prison in Paris known for housing anti-government prisoners. The crowd wanted ammunition to support their cause.

But their action has come to symbolise the French Revolution, and is celebrated worldwide every July 14, including in Jamaica ,where fine French wine wet the palates of a loyal group of expats, French language and culture lovers and diplomats, commemorating one of the most significant events of world history.

The Jamaica Observer was there this year, to bring you, even if belatedly, the joyous celebrations on the immaculately manicured lawns of the French Embassy at Hillcrest Avenue in Kingston, under the gracious host, Ambassador Denys Wibaux:

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Electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF) aiding public sector reform

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Electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF) aiding public sector reform

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Principal director of the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation (PSTM) Programme, Office of the Cabinet, Wayne Robertson says the recently launched Electronic Business Registration Form (eBRF) will help Jamaica to improve its ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business report index.

The island is ranked at 75 among 190 economies, according to the 2018 Doing Business report.

Robertson said the PSTM programme at its core focuses on improving efficiencies within the public sector, in terms of operational activities.

“We want to make processes simple, so we carried out business process re-engineering and worked with the ministries, departments and agencies to build capacities generally, training workers — looking at their operations, and making recommendations,” he explained.

“We cannot frustrate the persons who do business with the Government; we must make it easier to do business. We have to look at the data and ensure that we are listening to our clients, because we also have feedback mechanisms that guide us accordingly,” he said.

Robertson noted that information and communications technology (ICT), which is another PSTM objective, has been critical to all of the project’s operations, including eBRF.

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To Prof With Love

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To Prof With Love

Wednesday Social

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

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Sybil Waller Friday, last, hosted a celebratory dinner in honour of her son Professor Lloyd Waller’s promotion to Professor of Digital Transformation Policy and Governance, The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus.

Family, friends and colleagues gathered inside the Pavillion at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel and awaited the man of the hour who arrived dressed in a green and white Bill Edwards shirt. The light blush-fabric, which draped the suite, added easy charm to the dcor and mimicked the cool atmosphere on the outside.

Waller’s BFF, Professor Donna Hope, officially started the evening’s proceedings with a playful game of tattletale. Shortly after, Andrew Holness, prime minister of Jamaica, along with a few members of his Cabinet, joined the evening’s festivities.

PM Holness — who was first introduced to Waller’s work when he used one of his texts as a reference whilst completing a master’s programme and later used said text as part of a presentation to Parliament — described Waller as “representative of the new breed of academics”. “Academics should not be kept in the university, it is very important that the new breed of academics take their knowledge and use it to support the development of the country,” said Holness. “I think what Lloyd has done is worthy of praise and commendation,” He also took the opportunity to thank Waller for assisting the Government with its review and subsequent reimaging in 2012 after taking a loss at the polls a year prior, a courtesy he admited was seven years late but right on time. Holness dubbed Waller “our leading academic mind on issues to do with e-governance” and said Waller’s work will be very important in guiding Jamaica in the decades to come.

Prayer from Waller’s cousin, Yolande Whitely, preceded an emotional tribute from his mother, Sybil, who spoke to his early struggles with education and highlighted his many achievements over the years.

Tributes continued, with heartfelt expressions from Professor Anthony Harriot and Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett. Minister of Energy, Science and Technology Fayval Williams spoke on behalf of the eGov family, where Prof Waller is board chairman.

Recording artiste Nadine Sutherland — who met Professor Waller while earning her Master’s degree in cultural studies at UWI — serenaded guests with her rendition of Etta James’ At Last prior to delivering her Billboard hit, Action.

More tributes followed from Professor Ian Boxill; Minister of Transport and Mining Robert Montague and Professor Densil Williams, as guests enjoyed dinner in-between sips of Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

In his own remarks, Waller spotlighted his struggles during his formative years and his ‘aha’ moment when his mother — in tears said, “I stop being a mother when I stop believing in you and I will never stop being that.” He’s not looked back! “Every dollar I get, I give back 50 per cent to the universe because someone always needs some help,” he said.

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