Prior to its launch, the PPP had its first milestone as Rev Dr FG Veitch won a legislative council by-election in Hanover seat in April 1929. He won by a margin of 46 votes, defeating an opponent whose campaign promised to save the parish from Garveyism. The second victory followed two months later, when John Coleman Beecher won in another by-election for a seat in the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation council, with a victory margin of 131 votes over his closest rival.
Garvey also tasted victory that October, when he when elected to the Kingston and St Andrew Council. However, he had been imprisoned and could not take up his position. After serving his sentence, he was allowed to take his seat, but it was declared vacant and a by-election was ordered. On nomination day, Garvey was returned to the council unopposed.
Eighty-six years after it was founded, the PPP still has a presence on the local political landscape, although it has not had any successes since its early days. Now under the leadership of attorney-at-law Miguel Lorne, the Garveyites are in a ‘transformational phase’ and is gearing up to be able to wrest political power from the hands of the two main parties by 2020.
Read more about the PPP’s early days in this excerpt from Martin’s book The Pan-African Connection: From Slavery to Garvey and Beyond.