PNP’s Stephenson reveals he did cancer surgery

BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — Ewan Stephenson, the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) flag bearer for St Elizabeth South Western, has confirmed persistent reports that he recently did surgery in a bid to correct stomach cancer.

“Yes, I did surgery for stomach cancer,” Stephenson told the Jamaica Observer by telephone. “They (doctors) did a good job and I am very optimistic. I have all confidence that my medical team has done a good job,” Stephenson emphasised.

He said he was hopeful that he will be in a position to take his place as the PNP candidate in the next general election, which is constitutionally due early next year, but which many analysts say is likely to be called by Prime Minister Andrew Holness within a few months.

PNP President Dr Peter Phillips was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer earlier this year.

St Elizabeth South Western is currently held by Floyd Green of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), who comfortably defeated then incumbent Hugh Buchanan of the PNP in the 2016 General Election.

The JLP won at the national level by just one seat to take charge of Government back then, but has increased its parliamentary majority with by-election victories since then.

Buchanan’s loss in the 2016 poll followed a challenge from Stephenson in 2015. Buchanan, son of the late legendary Donald Buchanan, a long-standing Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth South Western, held on as the PNP’s candidate after winning the delegates’ selection by 14 votes.

Stephenson told the Sunday Observer last week that he was recovering well from surgery done in early June and was feeling “good, very good”.

He noted that while he had to be careful because of the COVID-19 contagion, he had a “very good team on the ground that was keeping constituents and party workers in touch” with plans and programmes going forward.

— Garfield Myers

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