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Tufton claims voting irregularities in West Central St Catherine run-off, complains to JLP

Published:Thursday | October 1, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Dr Christopher Tufton greets some supporters Saturday's contest for the right to represent the JLP in West Central St Catherine.

Dr Christopher Tufton feels he won the Jamaica Labour Party's selection contest in West Central St Catherine by at least five votes, and that the results which saw Devon Wint declared winner by 15 votes was tainted by vote buying and several other irregularities.

In a letter to JLP general secretary, Dr Horace Chang, Tufton, a former JLP deputy leader and Minister of Government, said there were at least eight instances where Wint got an unfair advantage.

Two of those instances, he said, saw people who were never party workers in the Constituency  being placed on the voters list.

Tufton said people voted in the Point Hill division, an area represented by Wint in the St Catherine Parish Council.

"Both were taken to vote by the Wint team," he said of a man said to be bed-ridden for ten years and another who uses a wheelchair.

Based on arguments presented by Tufton, he was deprived of at least 12 votes because the process discriminated against his supporters.

Tufton alleged that three people were allowed to vote in the Point Hill Division although they did not present the agreed identification.

He said instead, they came with a photograph signed by a Justice of the Peace.

"Accordingly, there was no way of knowing that they were the persons listed on the Voters' List as being entitled to vote. All three were supporters of Devon Wint," Tufton said.

He said too that the name of one of his supporters, Ricardo Johnson, was left off the list on grounds that he lived in the neighbouring constituency.

At the same time, according to Tufton, three other persons who lived in the same area as Johnson, who are supporters of Wint, were allowed to vote.

In addition to allegations that fertile ground was laid for the stuffing at ballot boxes and the padding of voters list, Tufton said he was robbed of votes because people put the wrong mark on the ballot.

"While in national elections it is mandated that the mark of the voter must be an 'X', in internal elections it is the practice to allow votes, once the intention of the voter is clear.

Six  ballots cast in the Red Hills Division were rejected because they bore a tick beside the name of the candidate.

Four were in favour of Tufton and two in favour of Wint, Tufton said.