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EOJ blasted for errors in rejected Realignment of Boundaries report

Published:Tuesday | September 12, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
Everald Warmington

Members of the Human Resource and Social Committee of Parliament yesterday unanimously rejected the Realignment of Boundaries report from the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (EOJ) on the grounds of inaccurate, contradictory and confusing information, and directed that the EOJ return to Gordon House on the morning of September 26 to provide the necessary clarification.

"They need to explain more to us before we can send to Parliament (and) accept this report. I have grave concern, having gone through it. I don't believe I can, with justification, sign off on the report from the Electoral Commission," committee Everald Warmington, advised speaker Pearnel Charles.

Describing the document as "ridiculous", Karl Samuda, member of parliament for St Andrew North Central, weighed in on the issue with the following directive.

"We need to instruct the Electoral Commission to go back, do some work and present us with a PowerPoint, with a level of expertise that can satisfy the membership of this committee."

This follows a presentation by the EOJ to the committee on March 22, 2016, but Warmington, member of parliament for South West St Catherine, told yesterday's committee meeting that the document presented then was fundamentally different from the one they were being asked to endorse, and it was riddled with glaring errors.


Many inaccuracies


The lawmaker displayed what he said was a compilation of the many inaccuracies uncovered during weeks of meticulous review of the EOJ report.

"I make my notes, PD (polling division) by PD, parish by parish, constituency by constituency. That's how I find that these things were incorrect. (So) we need to invite them to come back here with the same presentation PowerPoint they gave us the last time to see if they can convince us or to tell us how they arrive at some of these because it cannot be as it is."

Warmington said that in its present form, the report was contradictory. The type of shifting around of PDs from one constituency to the next was not practical, nor was it possible.

Opposition committee members supported Warmington's action, with Fitz Jackson, member for St Catherine South, declaring: "The member from South West's request is most reasonable in the interest of accuracy ... ."

In fact, Warmington has insisted that the EOJ return with the exact presentation it made last March and not be allowed to make any amendments before returning to the House.