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Voters prepare for parish council elections tomorrow

Published:Sunday | November 27, 2016 | 11:23 PM

Jamaicans are set to vote for a second time this year as the country choose the candidates in the parish council elections tomorrow.

However, voter turnout is expected to remain traditionally low with pundits predicting a turnout of between 26 and 36 per cent for tomorrow's polls. Voter turnout in 2012 was under 35 per cent, down from 37.9 per cent in the previous local government elections in 2007.

Early voting has already indicated an expected low turnout, with only a tiny percentage of the 38,000 special service officers registered to vote doing so on Friday. They will not be able to vote tomorrow.

Nevertheless, come tomorrow the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) will be seeking to reverse the People's National Party's (PNP) control of the country's parish councils. The PNP took control of all 14 councils in 2012, including the Portmore Municipal Council and the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC). 

The JLP has been targeting the most influential councils, including the KSAC, the St Catherine Parish Council, Portmore, Clarendon and St James, with JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang predicting that the party will win at least nine councils.

Political watchers expect a keen race, especially for the KSAC, which political commentator Mark Wignall predicts will be tighter.