Source: Jamaica Gleaner
People's National Party (PNP) leadership aspirants Mark Golding and Lisa Hanna have both pledged to run a clean and fair presidential campaign.
The two today signed a code of conduct at the PNP’s St Andrew headquarters.
Nearly 3,000 PNP delegates are set to vote for a new president on November 7 following the resignation of incumbent Dr Peter Phillips.
This is the second PNP presidential election in 14 months.
In September last year, amid a bruising challenge to Phillips’ leadership by former Manchester Central Member of Parliament Peter Bunting, PNP supporters traded insults on social media and other platforms.
The vitriol caused deep divisions in the 82-year-old political organisation which were cited among the reasons for the PNP’s landslide 49-14 seat defeat in the September 3 parliamentary election.
Seeking to avoid a repeat, party leaders arrived at a code of conduct which outlaws personal attacks, malicious statements or vulgar abuse of opponents.
“Candidates must strictly comply and ensure that their campaign teams comply with the party’s social media guidelines, which governs the conduct of members… in digital and online activities and communication,” read a section of the code.
PNP chairman Fitz Jackson noted that it is customary to have candidates sign a code of conduct after they have been duly nominated.
“However, given that the campaign is on in earnest, it is imperative that we seek to have the candidates, their supporters and their management teams be fully apprised of the guidelines,” said Jackson, explaining why the signing was brought forward.
Phillips also sounded a warning to supporters of both Golding and Hanna.
“I also want to urge all supporters of each candidacy to be mindful that the foremost interest in all of this is protection of the interest of the People’s National Party.”
After signing the code of conduct, Golding and Hanna committed to working with each other to rebuild the party.
“We intend to run a clean campaign that does not hit below the belt. Our campaign team has been very strident in that,” Hanna told journalists.
“We believe in vision not vitriol.”
Golding also appealed to his supporters to “stay high and don’t go low”.
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