Tue | Mar 31, 2020

No by-election bash - Quieter-than-usual nomination day expected in Clarendon SE

Published:Wednesday | February 12, 2020 | 12:30 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer
Pearnel Charles Jr
Pearnel Charles Jr

Today’s candidate nomination for Clarendon South East is not expected to have the buzz and political flair as was the case with the previous two by-elections that have been held in recent times.

That’s because, the People’s National Party (PNP) will not field a candidate to go up against the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Pearnel Charles Jr, who yesterday resigned from the Senate ahead of today’s nomination activities.

Charles Jr should have little trouble in this round to rally the Labourites in the constituency vacated just last week by Ruddy Spencer.

He is expected to face at least one independent candidate, Derrick Lambert, who ran on the PNP ticket back in 2011.

That year, Lambert polled 8,736 votes to the 8,843 tallied by the JLP’s Spencer.

The Electoral Office of Jamaica said it was fully prepared to receive nominations of candidates for the by-election in the constituency of Clarendon South Eastern.

The nomination exercise will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Vere Technical High School.

It’s expected to cost about J$25 million for the EOJ to arrange the March 2 by-election.

The EOJ said that following nomination day, a decision will be made whether to use the electronic voting system for the election.

The PNP, whose caretaker for the seat is Patricia Duncan Sutherland, said that its eyes was focused on preparing for the next general election, which is constitutionally due by 2021.

But the party has come in for backlash from the JLP and even within its own house.

Keisha Hayle, a former PNP candidate in St Andrew North West, said the party was signalling to the electorate that it was weak and not as prepared as it has been touting.

And JLP Chairman Robert Montague said that the PNP had been caught flat-footed.

“The duty of a political party is to win elections, and you cannot win elections unless you run elections. And if you are a political party and, rather than run election, you run from the election, yuh not a political party, you are a social club,” he asserted.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com