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Battle for KSAC control heads to court

Published:Monday | December 12, 2016 | 9:03 AM

The battle for control of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation heads to court today where an application for a petition to get a recount in the Rae Town Division is to be heard.

The People's National Party (PNP) is hoping the recount will overturn the win for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and keep the corporation in its control.

In the final count following the November elections, the JLP's Rosalie Hamilton polled 1,876 votes to beat the PNP's Shawn McGregor by 21 votes.

McGregor got 1,855 votes.

With the Rae Town win, the JLP took 21 of the 40 divisions in the KSAC with the PNP taking the other 19.

However, on December 5, the PNP filed a petition against the JLP in Rae Town.

The JLP has argued, however, that the application is invalid because it was  filed outside of the four-day period after the election.

The Electoral Office of Jamaica has said it will await the determination of the court.

If the PNP wins the recount, there would be a 20-20 tie in the KSAC, but the mayor would be chosen from the PNP councillors since the party has the most overall votes in the parish.

There is a convention that where there is a tie in a municipal corporation, the mayor is selected from the party with the most popular vote and the deputy from the other side.

The JLP and PNP have agreed not to swear-in their KSAC representatives until the petition issue is settled.