Sun | Sep 24, 2017

PNP makes last ditch effort in Portmore municipality saga

Published:Friday | November 25, 2016 | 11:57 AM

The People’s National Party (PNP) made a last ditch effort to have more than 4,000 voters cast ballots in the poll to elect the mayor of Portmore.

In a release last night, it said this week’s ruling by the Supreme Court which overturned the 2015 electoral boundaries was flawed.

The PNP begged the independent members of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) to urgently instruct ‎independent lawyers to appeal the decision, and to seek an immediate stay of the judge's order.

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.

However, there has been no word on whether the ECJ members yielded to the demand.

Efforts to reach the Chairman of the ECJ, Dorothy Pine-McLarty and the Director of Elections, Orrett Fisher, late last night were unsuccessful.

However, the PNP maintains that the court’s decision was flawed because it failed to take into consideration statutory provisions that are directly relevant to the issues it ruled on.

It says it has learnt that the judge's ruling was based on an interpretation of the Municipalities Act.

However, the PNP argues that that Act was repealed by the Local Governance Act (LGA), which came into effect in February this year.

It further states that the LGA has an express provision preserving the Municipality of Portmore, and a savings section preserving the validity of the regulations including adjusting the boundary to coincide with the constituency boundaries.

The PNP has 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.

It insists the ECJ urgently needs independent professional legal advice.