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St Catherine North East candidates confident of victory

Published:Wednesday | February 10, 2016 | 2:00 AM

Only two candidates will face electors in North East St Catherine, as someone expected to run as an independent candidate failed to show up to be nominated yesterday.

When Dahlia Patterson-Mills, returning officer for North East St Catherine, closed the doors at 2 p.m., only the Jamaica Labour Party's Leslie Campbell and People's National Party's Phyllis Mitchell were duly nominated.

"We waited until the scheduled closing time and the candidate did not show. It is official that only two candidates are duly selected," said Patterson-Mills.

She told The Gleaner that the day's activities proceeded smoothly and the candidates stayed within the guidelines of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica.

"The status declaration form is new to the proceedings, as we do not want to have the problem of dual citizenship as before. The candidates signed them, and any false declaration is a criminal offence," Patterson-Mills said.

Mitchell, who represented the constituency up to 2002, said she will continue the work.

"I know the needs of the constituents, who have requested that I rescue them, so I am here to represent all to my very best and I am confident of victory," Mitchell said.

SYMBOLIC ENTRANCE

Her counterpart, Campbell, made a symbolic entrance to the nomination centre as he received the green baton from Gregory Mair, who represented the constituency from 2007 to 2016.

"I am pleased to be the receiver of the baton and I will be serving the area in all that is needed," Campbell said.

Meanwhile, Mair told The Gleaner he is delighted to endorse Campbell's candidacy.

"I see that my successor, who is a son of the constituency, will continue the work started such as road, water and other services necessary for growth," Mair told The Gleaner.

It was the consensus of residents that water is needed in the constituency, which has farming as its main income earner.

"Although they are here with the excitement, we need them to take care of the water problem and also give us good road network; that is what I will be voting for," Malcolm Thelwell, a farmer, said.

Meanwhile, the police said it was an incident-free exercise for all.

"The police took up strategic positions and we patrolled areas of concern, and everything ran smoothly," Superintendent of Police Meveral Smith said.

- Rasbert Turner