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ECJ awaiting legal opinion from attorney general on Supreme Court ruling

Published:Friday | November 25, 2016 | 12:05 PM
ECJ Chairman Dorothy Pine-McLarty says the commission has already requested a legal opinion from lawyers of the attorney general's chambers.

The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) says it is still awaiting a legal opinion from the attorney general's chambers on this week's Supreme Court ruling which overturned the 2015 electoral boundaries for the Portmore Municipality.

Last year, a JLP councillor challenged the then PNP administration's decision to have sections of Spanish Town, St Catherine, included in Portmore.

A Supreme Court Judge earlier this week ruled in favour of the councillor saying that the Municipalities Act does not grant the local government minister any power to vary a boundary.

However, the PNP last night said it disagreed with the ruling and begged the independent members of the ECJ to urgently instruct independent lawyers to appeal the decision.

Speaking with The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre this morning, ECJ Chairman Dorothy Pine-McLarty said the commission has already requested a legal opinion from lawyers of the attorney general's chambers.

She says the ECJ cannot instruct independent lawyers to review the ruling until it gets a reply from the attorney general.


ECJ Chairman, Dorothy Pine-McLarty

Pine-McLarty says the ECJ will act as soon as the attorney general gives an opinion on the Portmore boundary issue.

The PNP was hoping the ECJ members would have secured a stay of the court’s decision last night. 

This would have ensured that members of the security forces and Election Day workers affected by the ruling were able to vote today.

The PNP also urged the ECJ not to accept the legal opinion of the Attorney General, Marlene Malahoo-Forte given her membership of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party.