These two men from Highgate, St. Mary obvious supporters of different political parties, came together yesterday to repair the roof of a house after the island was hit by the dangerous Hurricane Dean, on Sunday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
Governor-General Professor Kenneth Hall is expected today to announce a new date for the holding of the general election, following the unanimous recommendation by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) yesterday, to postpone the August 27 poll.
The ECJ made the announcement in a press statement last night. The decision to postpone the date of the election means the security forces and election day workers will not vote today as previously scheduled.
Earlier yesterday, Information Minister Donald Buchanan told reporters at Jamaica House that following an emergency meeting yesterday, the ECJ "gave full consideration to the passage of Hurri-cane Dean, its impact on Jamaica (and) the capacity of the Electoral Office to hold fair, good, efficient elections under the prevailing conditions".
Speaking at the post-Cabinet press briefing, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller stressed that the decision to maintain or postpone the date of the election was for the Electoral Commission and the Governor-General to decide.
"It is out of the hands of the Prime Minister and politicians now," she said. "If the commission and the Governor-General said the election will continue to be on the 27th, then I will get myself tunedto going out on the 27th. If (it is) not the 27th, then I will have to apply myself and ensure my party will do the same," she added.
Section 20 of the Representation of the People Act empowers the Governor-General to adjourn "polling day" in the event of an emergency including the: country at war proclamation of a State of Emergency occurrence of any earthquake, hurricane, flood, fire, outbreak of pestilence likelihood that the official lists for all constituencies or any particular constituency will not be printed before election day.