Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Warmington blasts Fisher, ECJ for 'incompetence'

Published:Wednesday | September 27, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
With map in hand, Everald Warmington points out issues he had with the ‘Realignment of Boundaries and Correction of Anomalies’ report presented by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica during Tuesday’s meeting of the Constituency Boundaries Committee in Parliament.

Lawmaker Everald Warmington on Tuesday accused Director of Elections Orrette Fisher of misleading the Constituency Boundaries Committee during its weekly meeting at Gordon House.

In challenging the accuracy of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica's report to Parliament titled 'Realignment of Boundaries and Correction of Anomalies', the member of parliament for South West St Catherine charged that moving the original number of polling divisions from the 90 contained in the original report to Parliament on March 30, 2015 to 153 in the amended report a year later smacked of impropriety.

"My position on this is it's the height of total ineptitude and incompetence on the part of those who prepared the request to us. When you complete your report, you exceed that by 70 per cent. Seventy per cent above what they said they were going to do. Is only two ways of saying it, ineptitude and incompetence or something definitely underhanded was going on there. Maybe they had some ulterior motive why it went up by 70 per cent," Warmington declared.

In response, Fisher explained that despite improved technology such as satellite imaging and global position systems, which was a marked improvement over traditional methods of measuring, there was still room for error but not so much to totally invalidate the report. In fact, it was for this reason that the wording of the last report included the term "suspected anomalies".

He explained that the increased number of polling divisions represented the benefit of the due diligence employed in the field, which pick up on other inaccuracies that were not necessarily glaring or substantial.

Despite this, Warmington was unrelenting in his assault on the integrity of the information contained in the report, insisting that his detailed analysis of the document proved that it far from accurate.

 

Majority of constituency realignment report rejected

 

In defending the information contained in the 'Realignment of Boundaries and Correction of Anomalies' report presented to Parliament on Tuesday, Director of Elections, Orrette Fisher, said that political representatives from both the People's National Party as well as the Jamaica Labour Party were afforded ample opportunities to participate in the field work and discussions to inform the process.

Member of Parliament for South West St Catherine, Everald Warmington, has challenged the accuracy of the report, telling Fisher that it was "Totally incorrect, totally incorrect, I don't know if it's deliberate or what but it is not the truth. It is the furthest thing from the truth that political representatives were a part of the process."

After more than an hour of deliberations, the Constituency Boundaries Committee decided to accept the findings in respect of St Andrew North East and Trelawny Southern. It was noted that the realignment of those constituencies was necessary to correct several breaches, causing both of them to be short of the lower limit of electors.

However, the rest of report was rejected unanimously by the committee, with a recommendation that the necessary corrections be debated elsewhere.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com