Sat | Sep 22, 2018

PNP retains control of controversial Portmore municipality

Published:Tuesday | November 29, 2016 | 10:51 AM
PNP's Leon Thomas (right) and Fitz Jackson (left) walk with other party supporters at the Greater Portmore High School yesterday.

In one of the most controversial local government races, the PNP managed to retain the mayoral seat in the Portmore Municipality.

Sitting PNP mayor, Leon Thomas, grabbed 12,939 votes to defeat his JLP rival Keith Blake who got close to 11,200 votes.

The Portmore mayoral race heated up last week when a Supreme Court Judge reversed the 2015 boundaries of the municipality which were set by the PNP administration.

The judge ruled that the Portmore mayoral polls should be contested on the old boundaries used in the 2003 elections, causing almost five thousand electors to be excluded from the polls.

Late last week, the PNP opposed the court ruling and asked the electoral commission of Jamaica (ECJ) to appoint independent lawyers to review the decision.

However, the ECJ said it could not probe the matter without getting a legal opinion on the ruling from attorney general Marlene Malahoo Forte.

Malahoo Forte has since advised the ECJ that using the old boundaries has made it possible for a challenge to the election result to be mounted.

Meanwhile, the PNP ended last night with nine of the 12 divisions in Portmore after losing the Edgewater and Gregory Park divisions to the JLP.