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Election petition hearing against JLP councillor stalled

Published:Tuesday | April 25, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

The hearing of the election petition filed against Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Councillor Dean Jones failed to get underway today because of an "administrative oversight".

Supreme Court judge Martin Gayle, who is to preside over the hearing, explained that the matter could not be heard because of an administrative oversight.

"Certain things that should have been done were not done," said Gayle, while acknowledging that election petitions should be treated with urgency.

He did not go into details about the administrative glitch, but said "it appears that those things are mandatory."

Jones, who won the Yallahs Division during last November's local government polls, is one of five JLP Councillors elected to the St Thomas Municipal Corporation.

The People's National Party (PNP) also has five Councillors in the corporation.

However, defeated PNP candidate Constantine Bogle wants the court to declare Jones' electoral victory null and void, a move that could shift the balance of power in favour of the PNP.

Bogle is contending that at the time Jones was nominated he was employed in the public service, which would have made him ineligible to contest the poll.

Bogle also contends that Jones had not lived in the parish for 12 consecutive months before the elections as required by law.

The petition is now scheduled to be heard over three days, starting May 17.