|Profile - Trelawny
figures in yesterday's Profile of Northern
Trelawny had some errors. Below we publish the
article and the corrected figures.
Trelawny Northern was
among the 32 constituencies fixed in the new
constitution granted to Jamaica in 1944. During
the period 1944 - 1993 there has been 11
contested Parliamentary General Elections in
Trelawny Northern, the JLP winning seven times to
the PNP four. In 1944, while the JLP candidate
Clement Mullings Aitcheson had an absolute
majority of 15 over two independents and Luther
Wakeland (PNP) he started a 28 year dominance by
the JLP in Trelawny Northern.
The JLP won in 1944,
1949, 1955, 1962 and 1967, six consecutive terms.
The PNP tasted victory for the first time in 1972
when the veteran Allan Douglas who won the seat
for the JLP in 1949 and 1955 was defeated by
Desmond Leakey who polled 5,998 votes to Allan
Douglas 5,070, a majority of 928. Desmond Leakey
retained the seat for the PNP in 1976 polling
8,777 votes to Leon HoSang, JLP 6,584 a majority
of 2,193. Keith Russell won the seat for the JLP
in 1980 by polling 8,986 votes to Desmond Leakey
(PNP) 7,864 and Stephen McDonald, IND 199 -
majority over PNP 1,122. In 1989 Keith Russell
lost the seat to Desmond Leakey by a massive
3,229 votes. In 1993 Desmond Leakey once again
defeated Keith Russell by a reduced majority of
1,374. Desmond Leakey has passed on the PNP
mantle to his successor Wendel Stewart while
Keith Russell resigned from the JLP to assist in
the formation of the National Democratic
Movement. The JLP candidate is newcomer Charles
HoShing, the NDM candidate is Phillip Service,
Keith Russell having decided to give up
So with all three
candidates relatively new to the political arena
the Trelawny Northern seat could prove quite
competitive. However, based on the voting pattern
1972-1993, the PNP winning four times to the JLP
one it seems a straight fight between Wendel
Stewart PNP and Charles HoShing, JLP; the NDM is
not a factor in this constituency. Trelawny
Northern is a marginal PNP seat which the PNP
will retain in the next General Elections.
1944-1993 TRELAWNY NORTHERN
Aitcheson, JLP 2,759
John William Maxwell,
Alfred Nelson McDonald,
Wakeland, PNP 619
Allan Douglas, JLP 4826
Victor W. Gentles, IND
Cedric Oswald Titus,
Wakeland, PNP 2,948
Allan Douglas, JLP 5,749
Wakeland, PNP 4,530
Cedric Oswald Titus, PNP
Elliston H. Wakeland ,
Albert Uriah Belinfanti,
Elliston H. Wakeland,
Cedric Oswald Titus, PNP
Elliston H. Wakeland,
Allan W. Douglas, JLP
Desmond M. Leakey, PNP
Leon HoSang, JLP 6,584
Desmond M. Leakey, PNP
Desmond M. Leakey, PNP
Stephen McDonald, IND
Keith E. Russell, JLP
Keith E. Russell, JLP -
R/B 1 73
Desmond M. Leakey, PNP
Keith E. Russell, JLP
Desmond M. Leakey, PNP
Keith E. Russell, JLP
NB: E/L: Electors on
B/C: Ballots Cast
A/B: Accepted Ballots
R/B: Rejected Ballots
Voters list withheld
for detailed checks November
The first draft of the
new voters list was not issued to the political
parties yesterday as was expected, as the
Electoral Office of Jamaica said it decided to
carry out more detailed checks in the next few
EOJ public information
officer Neville Graham said "the interim
report of electors entered for processing the
list" is tentatively scheduled to go to the
major political parties tomorrow (Friday).
"We have a crack team at the EOJ looking
over the list to make sure that when it is given
out, there will be as few complaints as possible
from the parties," he said.
Mr. Graham said the EOJ
was doing whatever it takes to make the list
ready "so that whenever the Prime Minister
exercises his right to call elections we (the
EOJ) will be ready."
General Secretary of the
Jamaica Labour Party, Mr. Ed Bartlett, in
commenting on the distribution of the list, said
yesterday that he was advising the Electoral
Advisory Committee (EAC) against setting
deadlines "in sync with political
undertakings" given by the Prime Minister or
any other political leaders.
He warned that this
creates confusion and gives the country a sense
that the EAC is not sure about what it is doing.
"The undue pressure being placed on the EAC
to deliver this list short of all the refinements
which guarantee a free and fair election, is
nothing short of scandalous and somebody needs to
tell the powers that be, (who are) putting on the
pressure, that the legal responsibility of the
EAC will be discharged in good time so that
elections can be held in the constitutional
period," Mr. Bartlett said.
"If, on the other
hand, the EAC cannot deliver, it must say so. The
period of uncertainty is not good for the
pre-election season," Mr. Bartlett said.
Mr. Graham said the
proposed locations as polling stations and
polling clusters were being vetted for their
suitability on an inter-party basis, at the level
of the Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC).
He said although the
National Democratic Movement (NDM) was not
represented on the EAC, that party was involved
in the process of vetting polling stations, as he
said the NDM was in touch with the returning
officers in the various constituencies.
Mr. Graham also noted
that the EOJ was doing an inventory of ballot
boxes in preparation for the elections. Prime
Minister P.J. Patterson said at the weekend that
he intends to "fly the gate" this year,
a comment taken to mean that the elections will
be held before year end.
The EOJ officer said he
was disappointed with the number of persons
applying to work as presiding officers and poll
clerks on election day. "We will be relying
mainly on the 4,500 enumerators to be presiding
officers and poll clerks," he said. "We
are more than a little disappointed that those
people who have been most critical of the
electoral system and the competence of the people
working here, have not come forward to make it a
better place," he added.
Mr. Graham said the EOJ
was in the process of drafting a list of security
companies from which security guards will be
drawn to work as special district constables on
election day. "We're in discussion with the
police as to the modalities involved. The
proposal has received the full endorsement of the
EAC," he said.
James - Central St. Mary November
'Too nice to be an
He is said to be too
nice for the job for which he is aspiring -
Member of Parliament for Central St. Mary.
Sutcliffe Haughton James, the Jamaica Labour
Party's (JLP) candidate, is learning the hard way
that a squeaky clean reputation is not always the
best springboard to success.
They say he doesn't
"flex" like other politicians generally
do, meaning he is not a "rootsman".
Neither is he expected to break any rules in his
bid to unseat People's National Party (PNP)
strongman, Horace Clarke, who has not lost a
contest in the parish since 1972 and who
literally crushed his JLP opponent the last time
Haughton James has no problem being single, with
no children and living with his mother, this
combination does not sit well with some in the
constituency who clearly believe it will take a
real "macho" man to give Clarke a good
run for his money.
Haughton James is well
aware of the notion. But with faith in his own
reputation and a belief that he should be judged
solely on his commitment to the area where he has
spent all his life, the 46-year-old candidate is
pressing on in his quest for victory.
A full-time farmer with
a diploma in Agriculture, the former civil
servant recalled his many years with the Ministry
of Agriculture, serving in Port Maria and
Highgate, during a recent interview with The
Gleaner. From as far back as 1975, when his
father, Harold Haughton James died in the Deputy
Mayor's chair at a council meeting in Port Maria,
young Haughton James said people in the area have
been prodding him to enter representational
politics. Even Opposition Leader Edward Seaga was
a part of the call then, Haughton James said,
indicating that he however, declined a request
for him to run at the parish council level.
But that did not keep
him from political involvement behind the scenes,
something he first got involved with in 1969, in
support of his late father. In between, a brother
of his, Richard Haughton James, got chewed up in
his bid against Horace Clarke in the then West
Central St. Mary constituency.
decades of backstage involvement, Sutcliffe
Haughton James, in finally deciding to test the
waters, entered the ring with an air of
controversy. Only earlier this year he was named
as a late replacement for Garth Martin, who was
unceremoniously dropped from the JLP's slate of
general election candidates. This was at a time
when Martin, a civil engineer, had been gaining
increasing prominence nationwide for a series of
analytical releases he had issued on behalf of
the party, criticising Government policies and
actions. For this there was initial resistance to
the candidate change in the constituency, but
Haughton-James said this has since been resolved.
Now he is on to the real
business at hand - wooing the voters through
daily campaigning in between his farming
activities. Key for him is his closeness with and
high regard from much of the predominantly
farming population in the area. Being a
long-standing and active agriculturist in the
area, he has found it relatively easy to be
accepted by the local population.
Mr. Haughton James also
has his eyes set on tourism development,
targeting in particular, places like Pagee in
Port Maria and Robin's Bay, where he believes
infrastructural development will go a far way in
enhancing tourism in the parish.
Thirdly, he sees a need
for an industrial estate in Port Maria, something
he intends to strive for in Gordon House. This,
along with improved water supply, especially in
Port Maria; along with road improvements and
youth opportunities across the constituency, are
all high on his agenda.
Ambitious plans, really,
considering that Clarke has won in all of five
general elections before. But Haughton James in
fact has good reason to be optimistic. Firstly,
it is widely felt that the constituency has not
seen anything near enough development from
Clarke's 16 years in Parliament. Even PNP
supporters regularly admitted during recent
random talks with The Gleaner, that this has been
So after only months on
the JLP ticket in the area, Haughton-James is
already a fixture on the minds of the general
public there. He is however, mindful of Clarke's
long-standing dominance and his awesome victory
in 1993. Also, there is National Democratic
Movement (NDM) deputy general secretary, Larry
Robertson, whom, based on the public perception
gleaned, does not appear to be figuring
prominently in the race at the stage.
"I figure people
here want a change and they will put in Haughton
James. But Horace Clarke still strong and is
capable of winning," suggested Maxton
Menzie, a 34-year-old unemployed man from Port
"I see Horace
Clarke winning again," said 31-year-old
taximan, Ricardo Henry of the same town, who said
he only knew Robertson from former days, but had
not seen him campaigning.
"Mr. James is
popular, but him have some handicaps," Henry
elaborated. "People don't see him so much as
an effective politician, but as the gentleman he
has always been. He is just too nice to be
effective at that (politics). He needs to get to
the grassroots more."
The latter sentiments
ran throughout most of the communities visited in
the constituency. Another widely held perception
is that some people intend to switch their
loyalties from Clarke to Haughton James, but are
awaiting possible benefits to accrue from the
incumbent's campaign, before making their move.
However, even the JLP candidate acknowledged that
it will take a massive switch to overhaul Clarke.
Haughton James believes
his loyalty to the constituency should not be in
question. He said he had been encouraged to vie
for an easier seat before, but opted only for the
seat in which he has and "will always live,
no matter what position Mr. Seaga gives me after
On a matter of conflict
between his party and constituency positions,
Haughton James said he would simply apply a
conscience vote "in favour of what I believe
to be the correct procedure or principle."
This, he said, fits in well with his known
approach to life.
Evidently not one for
mud-slinging, Haughton James limited his
criticism of his main opponent to a view that the
latter has done little for the constituency
during his many years in power.
Hyacinth Knight -
Western St. Mary November
'I've faced more
For a person who was
soundly beaten at the polls in her last two
outings, the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP)
Hyacinth Knight is in high spirits going up
against even worse odds in upcoming general
In 1989 and 1993, all
she had to contend with in Western St. Mary, was
the heat being generated by the baker, Terry
Gillette, of the ruling People's National Party
(PNP). However, this time around, it's a
three-way contest, with the National Democratic
Movement's Austin Lee, a newcomer at this level,
already figuring heavily in the rankings.
But with full-time focus
on politics at present, 55-year-old Knight, a
real estate developer and retired educator, told
The Gleaner in a recent interview that she is in
with a live shot at winning the seat. The woman
who claims to have ridden out more difficult
days, said her faith is based mainly on her
conviction to national development.
"difficult" times, she pointed to the
1970s, "when things were rough and so many
political and social changes were being
made." Then she said she insisted on
remaining in Jamaica, unlike others who sought
greener pastures overseas.
It was during that
period that she linked up with the JLP to help
bring about some changes to the political order.
Her efforts helped Talbert Forrest to take the
Western St. Mary seat in 1980, following which
Knight was prompted to run for and succeeded in
taking home a Parish Council seat a year after.
Soon she was Deputy
Mayor and ultimately Mayor of Port Maria, a
position she held up to 1983, when she
steamrolled an independent candidate to become
Member of Parliament for the West St. Mary
constituency. This, of course, was with
involuntary support from the PNP, which boycotted
the 1983 general elections.
But come 1989, Terry
Gillette arrived and took the reigns in what
Knight described as a fair contest. Her opinion
of their meeting in 1993 differs somewhat, but
the critical factor is that Gillette is the West
St. Mary man in Gordon House.
Now Knight, though
outwardly enthusiastic, is mindful of her likely
fate in the upcoming polls. Her strength, she
indicated, is a lifetime of service to the area,
"sharing in almost every facet of life
here". Her family, she said, has been
totally integrated with the people over the
Her main focus for the
constituency is education, especially for the
young; low income housing and house repairs;
continuous minor road repairs; a new police
station/courthouse building at Gayle; and
establishing an agricultural tool and input pool
to assist small farmers.
While declaring her
first loyalty to the people of West St. Mary,
Mrs. Knight said this does not detract from her
loyalty to the JLP. "One must bear in mind
that I was elected Councillor and Member of
Parliament on a JLP ticket. I carried the party
flag and was elected through that
institution." Had she gone the independent
route, she said "many of the people who
voted JLP, would not have voted for me."
She said while she is
mindful of supporting her constituency's interest
first, she believes it is her duty to accept any
party decision after proper deliberations and a
democratic vote within the organisation.
Knight just wouldn't
allow the interview to end without expressing
strong support for her party leader, Edward
Seaga, "from whom I have learnt a lot".
She also said she
believes Jamaica has reached the stage where each
Member of Parliament should have a public office,
instead of the partisan political offices which
now dominate the political landscape.
Part 2 - Duties Of
The main duties of the
two primary election officers - the Presiding
Officers and the Poll Clerk are to carry out the
statute requirements of polling as outlined in
the election laws and to ensure that voting is
conducted in an orderly manner.
The jobs carried out by
Presiding and Returning Officers are required to
be fair, unbiased and just. Persons holding such
positions are in breach of the law if they are
* Canvassing for votes
on behalf of any candidate or political party;
* Addressing any meeting
on behalf of any candidate or political party;
* Actively associating
himself in any way with the election campaign of
any candidate or political party.
Any of the officers
found in breech of the law shall be guilty of an
offence and on summary conviction before a
Resident Magistrate, shall be fined between
$20,000 and $80,000 or serve a prison term of
between three and five years. The Resident
Magistrate can, along with the imposition of the
fine or sentence, order that the offender be
disqualified from any post of election officer
for a period not less than seven years from the
date of conviction.
The first official duty
of the Presiding Officer and Poll Clerk is to
swear his oath of office. This should be due on
receipt of the official appointment with which
the form is enclosed. The oath is sworn before
the Returning Officer.
There is an allowance
for person who are averse to taking oath. They
are required to make a solemn affirmation.
The Presiding Officers
are, under the law, required to open polling
stations to facilitate voting between 7 a.m. and
5 p.m. but all election officers are required to
report on duty no later than 6 a.m.
This is to ensure that
the requisite preparation is in place at the
polling stations to accommodate voters. Apart
from a package containing things which will
facilitate a smooth electoral process, the
Returning Officer will add to this rather large
list of election materials, the Voters' List,
electoral ink, the integrity kit and registration
record for polling stations.
The Presiding Officer is
asked to provide a bible, pen, eraser and watch.
If the Presiding Officer
dies or become incapable of performing his duties
during the voting on Election Day, the Poll Clerk
would assume the duties of Presiding Officer and
shall appoint another person to act as Poll
The Electoral Advisor
Committee is empowered to relieve a Presiding
Officer of his duties if he considers it
necessary to do so.
The Presiding Officer on
the day before the General Elections, if possible
should ensure that satisfactory arrangements are
in place. They include the placement of furniture
to be used on Election Day and voting booth
- says political
scientist Rupert Lewis
At least one political
scientist is expressing doubts about the
likelihood of a coalition government at the end
of the next general elections, constitutionally
due by July 1998.
Lecturer in the
Department of Government, Dr Rupert Lewis says
this is most improbable, especially in the first
past the post system where the percentage of
seats matters more than the percentage votes.
"If we had a proportional representation
system, then the chance of that taking place
would be greater," Dr Lewis said.
A coalition, he said,
may happen if the National Democratic Movement
picks up some seats and if the seat allocation
between the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party and
the People's National Party is close.
"I don't see that
as likely. One would have to believe that the NDM
will get a lot of seats. That, I believe, is more
wishful thinking on the part of Dr. D.K Duncan
and Mr. Bruce Golding," Lewis argued.
A coalition government
is not without its problems as conflicts can
develop with the struggle over portfolio
allocation. "If the partner is weak, he
can't bargain for the key ministries and if he is
strong he will be able to," Dr Lewis
The question of
government policies and the matter of government
legislative agenda would be another. "If the
NDM is in a coalition, it would be concerned with
its approach to constitutional reform since it
wants to change the system," he stated.
are useful especially in countries where there
are sharp ethnic cleavages. "Where one
ethnic group doesn't win as many seats, there's
an effort to bring them into government in order
to reduce cleavages," he noted.
"Because of the
political cleavages in South Africa for example,
all parties which contested election, even those
who did not get very much were brought into
government but that's an extraordinary
situation," Dr Lewis explains.
If the JLP and the NDM
go back on their word and form an alliance before
election, there is sure to be serious fallout
especially within the NDM ranks, Lewis theorises.
"It may not help
the non-JLP supporters in Bruce's camp because
they did not come to Bruce from the J.L.P. They
came to Bruce, fed up with the two parties, so
they don't want to have too close an
identification to the JLP because they claim to
be new and different", Lewis adds.
EAC invites observers
The Carter Centre, the
United States-based election observer group, has
received an official invitation to observe the
upcoming elections in Jamaica and is looking
forward to sending a team here.
Dr. Robert Pastor,
director for Latin America and the Caribbean at
the Centre, told The Gleaner yesterday that an
official invitation had been received from the
Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC).
"We are very
pleased to acknowledge receipt of the
invitation," Dr. Pastor said yesterday.
Dr. Pastor said the
EAC's letter, sent on Wednesday, requested
information about the size of the team the Centre
would send and the work it expected to do. But he
said the details of the Centre's work would
depend on the resources it could access for its
work in the island.
He said the Centre had
submitted a proposal to the United States Agency
for International Development (USAID) for
A source at the United
States Information Service told The Gleaner that
the USAID does provide funding for election
observer groups such as the Carter Centre.
However the source was unable to confirm reports
that a grant of US$350,000 will be given to the
Centre to fund the programme in Jamaica.
"There is nothing
definite at this stage," the source said.
"The Centre would have to draw up a
programme and work out what their costs would
be." The source said the details about the
funding had not been worked out because the
election date had not yet been announced.
Meanwhile, EAC chairman
William Chin See confirmed that the EAC had
invited the Carter Centre, but said there was no
specific request for the founder of the Centre,
former President Jimmy Carter to be part of the
"I don't think it
falls within my purview to say who they should
send. It is for the council (of the Centre) to
make that decision. But if he comes with the
team, that's fine," he said.
Mr. Chin See said the
recent amendments to the Representation of the
People Act gave the Director of Elections
authority to allow persons, other than presiding
officers, poll clerks and candidates, to enter
polling stations on election day. He said
international or local observers could enter
polling stations with the permission of the
Director of Elections.
Dr. Pastor said the
programme of observing the elections would
involve sending pre-election teams ahead of the
elections to monitor all aspects of the process,
and setting up an office in the country for the
But he declined to
comment on how much time would be needed before
the elections to do so, or how much the programme
Earlier this year, Prime
Minister P. J. Patterson said he would not invite
international observers to monitor the polls as
he said it would be an affront to the nation's
sovereignty to do so.
Voters' list being
The Electoral Office
finally began printing and distributing copies of
the preliminary voters' list last night, weeks
after Director of Elections Danville Walker
withheld it from the Electoral Advisory Committee
(EAC) to carry out detailed checks.
Mr. Walker told The
Gleaner near press time last night that copies of
the list, called the "interim report of
electors entered for processing", had
already been sent to the offices of political
parties in about 12 constituencies.
In addition, he said,
copies of the list were being distributed to
returning officers to be posted in public places
such as post offices and churches for voters to
check if their names and other details appear.
Over the next two weeks,
competing political parties for the upcoming
parliamentary election will check to verify the
names, addresses, polling divisions and other
vital information on the list with a view to
correcting any errors before a final list is
The status of the
voters' list has stirred debate among the
political parties about its state of readiness,
with the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)
blaming the Electoral Office and the EAC for
trying to rush its preparation to meet deadlines
set by the governing People's National Party
Prime Minister P.J.
Patterson, whose party has been leading in
opinion polls for several months now, has
publicly said that he would be announcing the
date for general election as soon as the EAC
informed him that the voters' list was ready.
Last week, he said he would be announcing the
date before year end.
No elections 'till
January - Seaga November
Jamaica Labour Party
(JLP) leader Edward Seaga is insisting that the
earliest time by which the general elections can
be held is January, 1998, and not this year as
implied recently by Prime Minister P.J.
So confident is Mr.
Seaga that the election will be held next year
that he is not putting out an important party
document on the development of the economy until
January. This document, he said, was a companion
to the manifesto and would detail the party's
plans to address the country's macro-economic
problems. "It will be (published) before the
election, but in January, which will not be too
late," he said yesterday.
Mr. Seaga was speaking
at a meeting with members of the diplomatic corps
in Jamaica and officers of the party at the JLP's
headquarters at Belmont Road, St. Andrew. Party
officials said 18 countries were represented at
Mr. Seaga said the party
had always contended that the elections could not
be held until January next year. He said from as
early as January this year, the party's expert on
the enumeration exercise, Danville Davidson, and
himself were criticised because they maintained
that the firm TRW could not produce the voters'
list with the fingerprints of all persons
He said Mr. Davidson
maintained that the list would be ready in
December, despite TRW's promise that the list
would be ready in September.
Mr. Seaga said despite
all the work that had been done, the list to be
presented to the country "will contain all
the multiple registration, dual registration,
bogus registration that previous lists contained,
and therefore it will be just another dirty list
- but a completed dirty list."
Mr. Seaga outlined the
party's core plans and programmes as outlined in
the party's manifesto and answered questions from
the diplomats. He also reiterated that the plans
would cost approximately $4.7 billion to fund,
$1.3 billion being capital expenditure, and $3.4
billion on the recurrent side.
CAFFE nears 1,000
The Number of persons
volunteering to work for the group Citizens
Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) has
neared the 1,000 mark, according to CAFFE
director Col. Trevor MacMillan.
The quest by the local
watchdog group to recruit volunteers to monitor
the upcoming elections got off to a slow start,
but its directors are pleased with the turning
around and are optimistic for the future.
"I have no doubt in
my mind that by the election date we will have
anywhere between four to 5,000 volunteers,"
CAFFE director Colonel Trevor MacMillan said on
Wednesday. He was speaking at a press conference
at the Terra Nova Hotel in which CAFFE again
appealed to honest Jamaicans to fill in the forms
and volunteer to monitor the polls, expected
before year end.
thousands of application forms, but we have not
had thousands of application forms back in,"
Col. MacMillan said. He said he expected there
would be a flood of persons volunteering for the
group at the last moment.
Col. MacMillan warned
that even if the new voters' list was "the
cleanest in the world," unless persons of
integrity did not work and monitor proceedings on
election day, the exercise would not be free and
fair. He said persons would not be asked to work
in places where they did not want to go.
Col. MacMillan said
chapters of CAFFE were being launched in all
parishes of the island. He said each chapter
would manage the activities of the volunteers in
the parish, he said.
Chairman of the
communications committee Lorna Green, called for
a partnership between the media and CAFFE to
ensure the success of its activities.
Commenting on the recent
call by the Minister of National Security K.D.
Knight for demonstrations, marches and motorcades
to be banned during the period of election
campaigning, Dr. Sangster said that persons
should place less emphasis on these activities
and concentrate on the issues. "The less of
them the better," he said. But Col.
MacMillan clarified that CAFFE was not against
demonstrations held within the law.