Portmore bill to be sent to parliamentary committee
Political commentator Kevin O’Brien Chang says the Government’s failure to have a bill tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday smacks of disorder in the Andrew Holness-led Administration.
The bill, the Local Governance (Amendment) Act, would split the Portmore municipality from the St Catherine Municipal Corporation.
However, the Government had to relent and agree to send the bill to a committee, after the Opposition insisted there should first be consultation with the people of Portmore and the Electoral Commission of Jamaica.
IN PHOTO: Chang
Chang says the Government has only itself to blame for not being able to pass the legislation ahead of the local government election on November 28.
He says the Government should have brought the bill long before giving a date for the election.
If successful in Parliament, separation of Portmore would make it advantageous for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to control St Catherine in the local government elections.
St Catherine comprises 41 divisions, 12 of which are from Portmore.
The separation would leave it with 29 divisions, 15 of which were won by the JLP in the 2012 election.
Chang says it should have been expected that the Opposition People’s National Party would press its advantage and block the bill.