Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Back to the polls soon

Published:Monday | February 29, 2016 | 2:00 AM

I would like to implore the Jamaican diaspora to play an active role in Jamaica?s political affairs.

It is estimated that over one million Jamaicans reside in various countries overseas and on all continents.

The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) should find a way, through the Jamaican embassies, consulates and missions, to register Jamaicans to vote in general and parochial elections.

It is to be noted that at one stage of the country?s economic life, remittances were the number one foreign- exchange earner, ahead of tourism and bauxite.

Many Jamaicans residing, overseas yearn for the day when they can return to Jamaica and it will be the best, place to live, work, invest, and raise families.

In addition to remittances, food, clothing, electrical appliances, books, motor vehicles, etc, are sent to Jamaica annually to relatives, friends, and organisations.

The EOJ must amend the laws to allow for verification of addresses and Jamaican citizenship through diplomatic channels.

The political climate is changing and more Jamaicans are playing an active role in the country?s political affairs locally and internationally.

It is well and good to engage Jamaicans residing overseas, but the Jamaicans overseas must send a clear signal to the Government that it is not business as usual, and if you can?t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen.

After all, you are servants of the people. You are the CEOs of plant Jamaica, and you must govern in such a way that the country enjoys a high level of prosperity and maintain it.

No laws should be passed to derogate from the sovereignty of Parliament, which would take away the rights of Jamaican citizens residing locally and abroad.

Constitutional reform must be a top priority on the list of the new Government, but in order for this to become a reality, a two-thirds majority is needed by the Government to bring out the necessary amendments.

In a Parliament where the Government has 32 seats and the Opposition has 31 seats, it might prove impossible to achieve much-needed constitutional reforms.

I see Jamaicans going back to the polls very soon as the margin of victory for the Jamaica Labour Party is very slim; and if they fail to get the support of the Opposition, it will be very difficult to govern.

Portia Simpson Miller has pledged her support to the new Government to be sworn in shortly.

I am looking forward to seeing some changes in the leadership of the PNP, given that the current president is 70 years old.

My old friend Olive, who resides in Leeds, St Elizabeth, days before the election, quoted a popular Jamaican saying: ?Tan an see no spoil no dance, a interference.?

As the Chinese would say, we are living in interesting times.

Joseph M. Cornwall

(Snr) JP

Managing Director/ CEO

House of Tranquility

tranquillityfh@yahoo.com