Tue | Nov 21, 2017

By-elections were peaceful, says CAFFE

Published:Tuesday | October 31, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Dr. Lloyd Barnett

A virtually trouble-free by-election process was how Dr Lloyd Barnett, chairman of the election watchdog group Citizens Action For Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE), described the process to elect new members of parliament in three constituencies yesterday.

He said, however, that observation suggests an extremely low voter turnout in St Andrew South West, where the People’s National Party’s (PNP) representative Angela Brown Burke contested the poll against the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Victor Hyde.

The St Andrew South West constituency has been represented by the PNP for several decades, with former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller controlling the MP’s chair for nearly 40 years before stepping down.

Barnett said that a similar situation existed in the St Andrew South constituency, where Mark Golding of the PNP was challenged for the seat by the JLP’s Dane Dennis to replace retired MP Omar Davies.

“It was a peaceful day; the process was good for a by-election. Our observers in all three constituencies have reported no noticeable issues, except that the turnout was pretty low, barring the St Mary South East contest. It was really a quiet day and generally a smooth process, with nothing major to report,” said Barnett.

The PNP’s Dr Shane Alexis went up against the JLP’s Dr Norman Dunn in St Mary South East.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com