Voting gets underway
Claudine Housen/Noel Thompson/Adrian Frater
Voting continues in Eastern Westmoreland to elect a new Member of Parliament to replace former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson who resigned in March.
Three candidates, the Peoples National Party\'s (PNP) Luther Buchanan, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Don Foote and independent candidate of the Jamaica Alliance Movement (JAM), Astor Black are vying for the seat, which the PNP has lost once since 1944.
Dr. Daphne Johnson, Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) Returning Officer for the Eastern Westmoreland Constituency said that voting commenced at 7:00 a.m. and that the proceedings were flowing smoothly.
â€œAll the polling stations were opened on time but there were only a few hitches but everything has been going smoothly,â€? Dr. Johnson told Go-Jamaica.
Don Foote voted at 8:03 a.m. in the company of his wife Marcella, his sons Ian, 18 and Able-Don,14 and Opposition Spokesman on Tourism, Edmond Bartlett. Mr. Foote voted at the Content All Age School in Content district, Westmoreland.
Luther Buchanan, accompanied by his wife Bobbette, his mother Joyce and uncles, Senator Noel Monteith and Member of Parliament Donald Buchanan, voted at 10:25 a.m. at the premises of Luther Beckford in New Roads, Westmoreland.
Astor Black, unlike his contenders, has no vote in the constituency and is now playing music from his motor car, which is parked in Darliston square.
The total number of voters listed is 21, 876 across 130 polling stations. EOJ officials estimate an upwards of 50 percent voter turnout, despite heavy rains that have lashed the area since the start of the week.