Tue | Sep 18, 2018

Yallahs division by-election set for April 27

Published:Saturday | March 24, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Desmond McKenzie

Voters in the Yallahs division of St Thomas Western will go to the polls in a by-election on April 27. Nomination day will be on April 10, Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie announced at a press conference in Kingston yesterday.

The announcement comes days after the Supreme Court voided the election of Dean Jones as councillor for the division because as a public employee at the time of the local government elections in November 2016, he was not qualified to run as councillor. In that election, Jones defeated the People's National Party's Constantine Bogle.

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, Hubert Williams, the leader of the People's National Party caucus of the council, served notice on Thursday that he would shortly be moving a no-confidence motion against Morant Bay Mayor Lenworth Rawle and his deputy, Michael Hue. Williams contends that the mayor and his deputy both lack the integrity and accountability to preside over the parish council and, therefore, he wants them stripped of their titles.

 

HIDING THE TRUTH

 

"They all knew what was going on, and at the same time, they tried to hide and protect what they were doing. So at this time, we have no choice but to remove them from leadership," Williams said.

But speaking at yesterday's press conference, McKenzie hinted at an alleged ploy by the opposition council members to hijack the operations of the St Thomas Municipal Corporation.

"There seems to be an attempt being made to politicise and hijack the administration of the municipal corporation," McKenzie told reporters at yesterday's press conference to announce the date for the by-election for the Yallahs division. He noted that it was his duty as the portfolio minister to safeguard the integrity of local government.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com