Nominations in North West Clarendon still hush-hush

Published: Wednesday | August 19, 2009

At least two persons are set to be nominated today as candidates for the North West Clarendon by-election, scheduled for September 4.

Director of Elections Orrette Fisher told The Gleaner yesterday his office had handed out two sets of nomination forms and a third person had contacted his office.

Fisher declined to divulge the identities of the individuals who had expressed an interest in being nominated.

"Anyone can come in and collect nomination papers ... the returning officer will then indicate what time individuals may be nominated," explained Fisher.

Ready for the unexpected

Fisher told The Gleaner that his team is prepared for the unexpected as, under the law, potential nominees are not required to serve notice of their intention ahead of the day.

With the People's National Party announcing that it will not field a candidate, the attention is likely to be focused on the Jamaica Labour Party's Michael Stern.

As was expected, last week, leader of the JLP, Prime Minister Bruce Golding officially announced that Stern would be the party's standard-bearer in the constituency.

Stern had defeated the PNP's Richard Azan in the 2007 general election, but was disqualified by the court because he held a United States passport.

Stern has since renounced his US citizenship and is on course to be duly nominated today.

Azan, a former member of parliament for the constituency, had brought the dual-citizenship case against Stern.

PNP not contesting

However, he announced that he would not be contesting the by-election and the PNP opted not to field a candidate in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling that a by-election should be held in the constituency.

The PNPYO had voiced disagreement with the decision not to field a candidate, however, in a release yesterday, the group indicated it would stand by the decision's party.

Nominations are scheduled to get under way at 10 a.m. at the Frankfield Primary School and conclude at 2 p.m.