Calm day in western Jamaica

Published: Friday | December 30, 2011 Comments 0

It was a relatively quiet day of voting in western Jamaica, which accounts for 16 of the 63 parliamentary seats across the island.

Five of the western seats - namely South St James, West Central St James, Eastern Hanover, Western Hanover and South East St James - were closely monitored, as they were considered marginal.

The new constituency of Central St James was contested by the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Heroy Clarke and Lloyd B. Smith of the People's National Party (PNP).

Homer Davis, of the JLP, challenged five-term PNP member of parliament for South St James, Derrick Kellier.

In the 2007 general election, former mayor of Montego Bay Noel Donaldson, of the JLP, polled 5,802 votes behind Kellier's 6,051 votes.

There was an estimated 60 per cent voter turnout in West Central St James where Clive Mullings faced off against the PNP's Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams.

There were minor glitches in that constituency, as there was a mix-up with the names of the polling stations where constituents should vote.

In the communities of Mount Salem and Glendevon, there were accusations of bogus voting, which the police said they could not verify. During voting at the Granville All-Age School, the lock on a ballot box had to be replaced after it broke.

It was a case of mixed emotions in Eastern Hanover where the PNP's Dr D.K. Duncan and the JLP's Paula Kerr-Jarrett did battle.

Moments of tension

While it was a festive mood for the greater part of the day, there were moments of tension, the first sign of which came when Kerr-Jarrett arrived at Sandy Bay Primary and Junior High and objected to a vehicle with a wrap bearing the image and party slogan of Duncan being parked too close to the voting centre.

Later in the afternoon, there was a stand-off between Kerr-Jarrett and PNP supporters, who said she had exhausted her allotted time and blocked the JLP candidate's entry to Sandy Bay Primary.

In Western Hanover, the day was uneventful as there was a steady turnout of voters in the constituency which was contested by the PNP's Ian Hayles and the JLP's Donovan Hamilton.

Franklyn Witter, of the JLP, enjoyed a strong voter turnout in South East St Elizabeth as he attempted to stave off a challenge from Richard Parchment, PNP councillor for the Myersville division.

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