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Waite wins PNP NE St Elizabeth run-off

Published:Sunday | May 20, 2018 | 12:00 AM
A supporter embraces Basil Waite at the St Elizabeth Technical High School.

Basil Waite has been declared the victor of today's run-off to decide who will take over the reins of the constituency of St Elizabeth North East for the People's National Party (PNP).

He was challenged by Everton Fisher, the former mayor of Black River.

At the end of the ballot counting process, Waite amassed 576 votes while Fisher polled 271. Two ballots were spoilt.

The director of today's party election made the announcement a short while ago.

Waite's victory this afternoon will get him one step closer to Gordon House, as he is likely to be the next candidate for the PNP going into the next general election constitutionally due in just over two years.

He will replace Evon Redman who has declared he will not seek re-election as he needed time to focus on his Santa Cruz-based business.

But long before the polls closed, jubilant Waite supporters commenced celebration outside the gates of the St Elizabeth Technical High School where the voting was taking place.

A sound system erected outside the the school gates blasted tunes of victory as the orange-clad supporters danced.

Waite's victory follows a tension-laced election, which was evident from the start of the process this morning. Minutes after the polls were opened a brawl erupted with Fisher's supporters accusing the leadership of the PNP of siding with Waite.

The supporters complained that there were not being allowed to vote freely as they were being asked to present multiple identification.

Despite those accusations and allegations, General Secretary of the PNP Julian Robinson said it was a smooth day.