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ECJ prepared for any scenario after court ruling over Portmore boundary

Published:Wednesday | November 23, 2016 | 11:35 PM

The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) says it is prepared to deal with any possible scenario arising from yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling overturning the 2014 changes to the boundaries of the Portmore municipality.

The ruling means that the boundaries used in the 2012 local government polls will be used in Monday’s election and so electors in places like Grange Lane, Quarry Hill and Lakes Pen will not be able to vote in the Portmore mayoral election, as was expected.

Meanwhile, the ECJ says it is awaiting the advice of the Attorney General’s Office on how to proceed.

The People’s National Party Administration had extended the Portmore boundaries to include several areas that fell in Spanish Town.

However, Jamaica Labour Party Councillor Lennox Hines objected, saying, under the Municipalities Act, the Local Government Minister did not have such powers.

Hines also contended that the signatures of at least seven per cent of electors requesting any boundary change would have to be from the “proposed areas”.

The Jamaica Labour Party had insisted that the Minister sought to extend the Portmore boundaries in order to gain political advantage for the People’s National Party in the Portmore mayoral race.