Mon | Dec 18, 2017

Fisher plays it cool

Published:Tuesday | October 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju

Director of Elections Orrette Fisher played down his presence at yesterday's nomination day proceedings for the South East St Mary constituency as a sign of particular significance, even in light of the fact that similar activities took place in St Andrew South and St Andrew South West.

"When you have a general election or national election, the candidates are usually confined to their constituencies, (but) in a by-election, you find that all efforts are concentrated in the specific constituency. A lot of parliamentarians and governing ministers are usually present, and, therefore, the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) has seen it necessary in previous by-elections to assign senior staff to support the returning officer and the staff within the constituency," he told The Gleaner.

This show of support in no way undermines the authority of the EOJ constituency staff, Fisher went on to explain.

"The returning officer is the person empowered to carry out all the functions, but just to provide that necessary support, in the event of any queries. Anything that they may need to address or to be addressed, then we are here to offer that support."

The delayed nomination of People's National Party (PNP) candidate Dr Shane Alexis was not a reflection on the operations of the EOJ, its director assured.

"That is an aspect that we have no control over. I gather that there were traffic issues in the town, which I cannot speak to, but once the candidate gets here before 2 p.m., irrespective of what time was assigned, then the person would have no difficulty being nominated."

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com