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Gov't fears losing local government elections - Chang

Published:Wednesday | July 1, 2015 | 7:13 AM
Kevin Obrien Chang ... successive administrations have postponed local government elections whenever they feel they are not able to win.

Political analyst, Kevin Obrien Chang, says the government’s decision to postpone local government elections shows it is not confident it can win.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed two bills which could see local government elections being held as late as December 2016.

Local government elections have been due since March 3, and yesterday was the latest date by which it must be held.

Local Government Minister Noel Arscott told the House of Representatives that the delay was necessary as more time was needed to implement elements of local-government reform.

However, Chang says successive administrations have postponed local government elections whenever they feel they are not able to win.

Chang says it is time to entrench local government and fix the date of the polls, so that politicians are not able to change it whenever it suits them.

 

Political analyst, Kevin O'Brien Chang

Chang also says fixing the date would empower Jamaicans, who have become apathetic in relation to local government and other governance issues:

 

Political analyst, Kevin O'Brien Chang

The bills passed yesterday are the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation General Election (Postponement) Act, 2015 and the Parish Councils General Election (Postponement) Act, 2015.

Local Government elections were last held in March 2012.

The opposition has described the latest move by the Portia Simpson Miller-led administration as a dark moment for local government.