Friday, 29 February 2008

Dealing with a Crisis

The PNP could not face a bigger set of challenges at this time! It is in Opposition after 18 years in government with a new leader. It is trying to heal after a bitter leadership contest. It has several first time MPs, one of whom has been charged with nine counts of fraud, corruption and money laundering. This according to the political fact files, is the first time a PNP MP is charged for a crime and I dare add not just a simple crime these are serious charges.

These issues are not matters for delegates and supporters. These, especially the criminal matter, are issues for strong, decisive and strategic leadership. There have been criticisims that the Party seems to be fumbling but I can understand the delay. You have to be sure of all the things involved and consensus on these matters is not easily achieved especially since this is the first time such a burden is heaped onto the PNP. Had I been the leader of the Party, I wouldnt issue a statement! After assisting Mr. Spencer to take up his bail, (yes I said assist because up until the time of his arrest he remains a member of the team you lead and failure to help will be seen as casting him out and I do understand the thin line between embracing and sending a message) I would call a press conference.

The issues to be discussed would be:
  1. The Party's position on corrupt practices
  2. The process that has been involved in dealing with the matter
  3. Acknowledge Mr. Spencer's right of innocent until proven guilty
  4. Make it clear that the he can avail himself of leadership and advice from the Party
  5. State the plans are in place for the constituency
  6. Announce his resignation, but I caution let this not be at the surprise of the constituency executive, you will need them for the by-election that will be rather quick.

The Party leader must guard against being defensive or highlighting the media's involvement. The question of Paulwell is going to be raised. He has not been charged so there is really no issue.

It will require tact in answering the questions which should last for no more than 30 minutes.

After the conference, it should be only the General Secretary that does further follow up interviews. Too many spokespersons make the issue untidy and at time they speak with different emphases.


Carole Beckford said...

Strategic leadership and direction is what is required at this point.
The team should also appoint ONE spokesperson to deal with media at all levels, but it has to be an agreed position.
The party's constitution will have to be used as a guide in determining
1. unlawful behaviour
2. criminal offences
3. disruptive behaviour

Otherwise the party will be faced with a dilemma. Stick to the rules/law...and let the justice system prevail


FYAHBOX said...

The party is caught between a rock and a hard place - damned if it does,damned if it doesnt. It faces being seen as leaving Kern out in the cold by distancing itself from him and on the flip side as hugging up corruption if it comes to Kern's defense. I think the Party is also taking on board the lessons learned from the early statements on the Tragigura matter. I dont think the Leader need to come on and issue any statement, The Party's Chairman was there for his bail, Party members played a significant role in making his bail possible.

On the matter of the Press Conference Peter Bunting the General Secretary who is effectively the CEO has made a statement outlining the Party's positon on this matter, why do we need another statement? Overkill.

Let the chips fall where they will ...

FYAHBOX said...

Why would a by-election be quick, will a quick one benefit Golding?

Didnt the report clear Paulwell?

Marlon said...

Fyah I believe in times of crises the leader has to take the reigns and demonstrate the ability to deal with the issues. It goes to the heart of what leadership and crisis management are about!