Mon | Oct 26, 2020

Henriques confident of holding lead as Clarendon NW recount continues today

Published:Saturday | September 19, 2020 | 9:30 AM
The Jamaica Labour Party's candidate for Clarendon North Western, Phillip Henriques

Anxiety is high as the judicial recount in Clarendon North Western continues this morning at the Chapelton Family Court. 

When the court adjourned shortly after 5 p.m. on Friday, the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Phillip Henriques was in the lead with 5,035 votes to the People's National Party's (PNP) Richard Azan’s 4971. The judge has so far ruled 215 ballots as rejected.

Ballots in 80 of 107 boxes have been recounted.

At 1 p.m. on Friday, Azan, who initially cited no interest in the recount, had polled 4,231 votes to Henriques' 4,043. At that time, ballots in 68 boxes had been counted. 

Henriques, acknowledging some irregularities in the voting process, said, “I don’t want to blame the Electoral Office of Jamaica. (EOJ) or anyone, but considering the number of rejections, it shows that something isn’t proper.”

Henriques expressed confidence that the results would be in his favour when the recount ends. 

“I feel good … feeling good,” he added. 

Pierre Rogers, one of the attorneys representing Henriques, is also confident of victory. 

“We are seeing the same trend from the PDs (polling divisions.) If the trend continues, we will come out with a majority,” he told The Gleaner.

Some 1,107 ballots in the Clarendon North Western constituency were rejected by the returning officer.

Rogers said a significant number of said ballots have now been counted as valid.

“A number of the rejected ballots have been validated and both candidates have gotten more votes from those. When the returning officer was asked why he rejected some of the ballots, there was no clear response,” the attorney said.

Prior to the judicial recount, Henriques had been declared the constituency winner with 5,630 votes to Azan’s 5,547.

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