Sun | May 28, 2017

MPs upset by ‘flippant” treatment of boundary anomalies in some constituencies

Published:Wednesday | May 13, 2015 | 5:00 AMGary Spaulding
Michael Peart

Some parliamentary representatives served notice yesterday that they were perturbed by the "flippant" treatment of the ills of boundary anomalies marring some of Jamaica's 63 constituencies.

Parliament's Constituency Boundaries Committee gave the green light to the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) to use the global positioning system (GPS) to fix more than 90 anomalies unearthed across the island.

"With the use of established technology, the ECJ is establishing firm boundaries where there are anomalies and imaginary lines dividing constituencies or parishes," said committee Chairman Michael Peart.

Peart said that in order to establish boundaries, the ECJ had requested the approval of the committee to proceed with its submission of individual polling divisions.

"I am recommending that where the GPS shows any anomaly that needs to be addressed, they have permission to proceed," said Peart, who is also the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

With members failing to receive satisfactory answers to queries, Peart suggested that a technical team from the ECJ be invited to shed light on the process.

Opposition Member Delroy Chuck raised queries about the significance of the boundary anomalies even as Everald Warmington raised the issue of the accuracy of the GPS.

 

not significant

 

Government member Dr D.K. Duncan, who is an elected member of the ECJ, representing the governing PNP, said he was not under the impression that the anomalies were significant.

"Apart from the constituencies that might be in breach in terms of the numbers, the focus was on those areas where constituencies cross parish boundaries, and, in most cases, they were minor," said Duncan.

Warmington sought assurance that the technology being utilised was effective. "I am not objecting to the move, but I am asking, how accurate is it?" Warmington said.

Another Opposition member, Karl Samuda, suggested that boundary treatment with respect to legal requirements of upper and lower limited were being handled too casually.

Samuda complained that in the ensuing boundary adjustments, the North Central St Andrew constituency that he represents stands to lose some "critical polling divisions" to neighbouring North East St Andrew, represented by Chuck.