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New Political Ombudsman by year end

Published:Thursday | September 25, 2014 | 9:00 AM

A NEW Political Ombuds-man is expected to be appointed by year end, as the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party begin to oil their election machinery to do battle in the Local Government polls due by March 2015.

The minister with responsibility for electoral matters, Phillip Paulwell, told The Gleaner the appointment of a Political Ombudsman was under active consideration by the Cabinet.

"I would expect that the appointment will be made by the end of the year, long before the start of campaigning for Local Government, due in March 2015," Paulwell assured.

He disclosed that some names have already been suggested for the job of Political Ombudsman, but noted that talks would be held with the JLP and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Peart for their inputs.

At the same time, Paulwell said that Cabinet recently rejected a motion from South West St Catherine Member of Parliament Everald Warmington for the Electoral Commission of Jamaica to perform the role of the ombudsman.

He said the Cabinet recommended that a new ombudsman be appointed.

In 2012, a parliamentary committee engaged lengthy debates and deliberations on a private member's motion, which examined the relevance of the office and whether it had outlived its purpose.