Election controversy continues at JTA
Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter
THE PRESIDENTIAL election of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) has been thrown into controversy once again, as another candidate prepares to mount a legal challenge to yesterday's results.
Following yesterday's recount, Norman Allen, principal of the Four Paths Primary and Junior High in Clarendon, was announced the winner ahead of Georgia Waugh Richards, Principal of Harmons Primary School in Manchester, who was initially, declared the winner of the same election on July 1.
However, Waugh Richards' camp indicated that the recount was not the end of the election, as she would be contesting the results, coming out of the recount.
Ian Williams, her campaign manager, said there are discrepancies with the number of ballots that were counted and as a result, she will be taking legal action.
"Based on the total number of ballots that were counted here today (yesterday) it's far less than what was counted on the first of July, close to 200 less, and there are many other things which I don't wish to speak to now. I will give that information to the lawyer," Williams said.
However, the outgoing JTA president, Dr Mark Nicely, said the association fully accepts the result.
"The association accepts these results at this time. Naturally, if there is any kind of a challenge we will treat with it. But these are the results now," Nicely said.
The JTA said Waugh Richards received 5,798 votes, while Allen polled 5,977.
Allen had demanded a recount after it was first announced that Waugh Richards had received 6,079 votes and Allen polled 5,996 votes.
Principal of Iona High in St. Mary, Melva Humes-Johnson came third with 2,025 votes; followed by Merlene Dawes, a teacher at Inswood High in St. Catherine, who received 1,009 votes. Denham Town High's Claudette James received 718 votes.
Some 15,092 votes were reportedly cast across the island in the June 16-20 election.
Nicely told The Gleaner earlier this week that, in the more than 80-year existence of the association, this was the first time a recount had been requested.
Reports were that disharmony had developed within the governing body of the JTA, as some of the union's top brass were not happy with Waugh Richards' win.
However, Nicely said this was not the case, as the decision for a recount was made by all the parish leaders of the association and the majority voted in favour of the recount.