Thu | Sep 21, 2017

#LocalGovtElection: ECJ expects incident-free polls

Published:Monday | November 28, 2016 | 11:50 AM
Early voters and members of the security forces on the ready at the Mountain View Primary School in St Andrew Eastern. The constituency was the scene of some ugly incidents during the general elections in February - Arthur Hall Photo

The Electoral Commission of Jamaica  (ECJ) say it is fully prepared for today's Local Government elections set to begin at 7 o'clock this morning.

Some 489 candidates are vying for the votes of approximately 1.9 million electors in 228 electoral divisions.

In addition to the election for 11 municipal corporations and the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, there will also be an election for councillors in the Portmore municipality and electors will vote for a mayor.

Chairman of the ECJ Dorothy Pine-McLarty said she is expecting an incident-free day.

Meanwhile,  Director of Elections, Orrette Fisher has warned voters to observe all voting rules.

The People’s National Party (PNP) currently holds majority council seats, and has been controlling all councils since the 2012 Local Government Elections.

The PNP also secured the Portmore Municipal Council.

Electronic voter identification will take place in Kingston Central, Kingston Eastern, Port Royal, St. Andrew Western, St. Andrew South Eastern, St. Andrew Eastern and St. Andrew West Central.

The Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown says she has had various complaints from a number of sources, some more serious than others.

However, she says those matters may not be addressed until after the elections.

Despite the issues, she commended the candidates for carrying out decent campaigns.

A bush-clearing programme by the Jamaica Labour Party administration has been the source of much controversy in the days leading up to today's polls.