Wed | Oct 28, 2020

Our numbers were right from the start – Henriques

Published:Monday | September 21, 2020 | 12:09 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Richard Azan.
Richard Azan.
Phillip Henriques
Phillip Henriques
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The judicial recount for the Clarendon North Western constituency ended on Saturday with the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Phillip Henriques emerging as the winner over Azan.

The recount ended with Henriques amassing 6,075 votes, up from an official count of 5,630, and Azan with 5,936, an increase from 5,547. Independent candidate Merrick Cohen, losing four votes, ended with 47.

The judge ruled that 276 ballots were rejected – 831 less than the returning officer’s count.

Henriques had been expressing confidence of winning since the start of the recount.

“I’m feeling great. It’s been a long five days of count, and very tense. It’s also been a long few weeks getting here, but everything is great now, I feel good … finally victorious,” he said, following the end of the judicial process at the Chapelton Family Court on Saturday.

“I was very confident. Our numbers were right from the start. We had no doubt that this was going to be the outcome after the magisterial recount.”

The new member of parliament–elect told The Gleaner that first on his agenda are the plaguing issues of poor road conditions and the lack of water. “Those are two primary things that many of the people in North West say are critical go their lives, and we need to get to work and start taking care of those things.”

TIME TO DELIVER

Confident, too, was Clive Mundle, May Pen’s deputy mayor and councillor for the Frankfield division. “I was confident from the beginning that we were going to secure victory. The people have spoken, and the task is now for us to go out there and serve the people.”

“This victory is a long-awaited one in North West Clarendon. The people have spoken, and it’s time to deliver. It is an awesome feeling,” said Collin Henry, councillor for the Thompson Town division.

Frankfield resident Howard Dellevante chided Azan for lack of representation. “We don’t have no representation from Mr Azan. Only time we had representation was when Mr Stern was here and from 2007 when Azan take over, that’s it.”

The incumbent Azan said the results simply mirrored the decision of the electorate. “The outcome is what the voters voted for. It is the wishes of the people. The people voted for a new member of parliament. I believe that I was there to look about development. I deal with development, I don’t know what they voted for now.”

While noting his contributions to schools and infrastructural development across the constituency, Azan admitted that a plethora of issues were yet to be addressed, citing the size of the constituency as a hurdle. “We have many more things to do in North Western Clarendon. We have done some, but we have plenty more to do because the constituency is wide.”

When asked of his intentions of contesting in the next parliamentary election, Azan said it was “early days”.

Some 27,407 Clarendon North Western residents were enumerated. Of the total, 12,334 voted in the September 3 election. Forty of the ballots were reported as spoiled.