PNP retains Eastern Westmoreland seat
Thirty-eight year old Luther Buchanan has been declared the winner of todayâ€™s Eastern Westmoreland by-election, soundly defeating his two contenders, Don Foote of the Jamaica Labour Partyâ€™s (JLP) and independent candidate, Astor Black of the Jamaica Alliance Movement (JAM).
In what was easily characterized as an election with low voter turnout, Mr. Buchanan, a 38-year-old mechanical engineer and Westmoreland Parish Councillor for the Leamington Division polled 6400, while the Jamaica Labour Party\'s (JLP) candidate, Don Foote, a 49-year-old attorney-at-law polled 3300. Independent candidate Astor Black polled 44 votes. There were 17 spoiled votes.
The low voter turnout was not given any prominence by Danville Walker, Director of Elections, who contended that Jamaicans are generally apathetic to by-elections.
The total number of votes polled, represented just over 45 percent of the total electorate.
News of Mr. Buchananâ€™s victory, which nullified the JLPâ€™s bid to win the constituency for the second time-the JLP won the constituency for the first and only time in the 1980 General Elections, was greeted with wild celebrations by hundreds of party supporters, who were clad in orange shirts and PNP paraphernalia.
Jammed into buses, trucks and cars, they drove around Darliston singing party songs and waving party flags.
â€œThe people are eager to continue the progress in Eastern Westmoreland and tonightâ€™s result is a clear indication of their desire,â€? a jubilant Luther Buchanan told The Gleaner. â€œI am elated and I am now certain that the progress will continue. The people have shown confidence in me and I am going to ensure that the legacy of PJ Patterson remains safe.â€?