Thu | Jan 18, 2018

Green remains ... PNP candidate wins St Mary South Eastern by five votes in magisterial recount

Published:Saturday | March 5, 2016 | 2:28 PM
Dr Winston Green of the PNP (right) speaks with Dr Norman Dunn of the JLP after the magisterial recount outside the Sutton Street Resident Magistrate's Court - Norman Grindley Photo
Greeen declared the winner ... This is the first time since 1976 that the MP for St Mary South Eastern will not sit on the Government side in the House of Representatives.

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

People's National Party (PNP) candidate Dr Winston Green has been declared the winner of the St Mary South Eastern constituency following a magisterial recount.

The declaration came at the Sutton Street Resident Magistrate's Court in downtown Kingston a short while ago.

Green's lead attorney K D Knight told The Gleaner-Power 106 News Centre that his client won by five votes.

It's reported that Green polled 7,324 votes to the 7,319 for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP's) Dr Norman Dunn.

According to Knight, this could be the second lowest margin of victory in Jamaica's parliamentary elections.

Dr Dunn was first declared the winner by 127 votes after the preliminary count on Election Day.

That decision was, however, reversed after the final count, gave Green the seat by 9 votes.

Director of Elections Orrette Fisher had explained that the turnaround was due to a "simple transposition error" with the figures being placed in the wrong column during the preliminary count.

The victory by Green in this his second election means that the overall seat count in Parliament remains at 32 for the JLP and 31 for the PNP.

It is also the first time since 1976 that the St Mary South Eastern MP will not sit on the Government side in the House of Representatives.

Then, when Michael Manley's PNP was re-elected for a second term, the people of St Mary South Eastern voted for the JLP's Alva Ross over the PNP's Keith Bailey by 851 votes, making him a third time MP.

Ross was again elected in 1980 in an election which the JLP won.

That's when the trend of St Mary South East voting for the winning party began.

When the PNP won state power in 1989, the constituency voted for Harry Douglas as its MP and kept him in Parliament until 2007 when the PNP lost power.

In 2007, the JLP's Tarn Peralto won over  Douglas by 34 votes in a closely contested national election which saw the JLP forming the government after winning 32 of the 60 seats in the House of Representatives.

Green in 2011 won by 420 votes over the JLP's Richard Creary to help the PNP to a 42-21 seat win for Gordon House.