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Several JLP delegates not eligible to vote in leadership contest

Published:Wednesday | September 4, 2013 | 8:00 AM

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

The controversy that has engulfed the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has taken an added twist with revelations emerging that the bulk of the delegates, who are set to be registered this month for a likely leadership contest in November, have failed to meet basic eligibility requirements.

Members of the JLP's Legal and Constitutional Committee are scheduled to meet today to thrash out constitutional discrepancies that could throw any legitimate electoral contest into question.

Information has emerged that delegates in the vast majority of the 63 constituencies across the island are not eligible to vote.

When contacted, Tom Tavares-Finson, a member of the Legal and Constitution Committee was only prepared to say that the body is looking at the constitutional requirements for the registration of constituencies and the registration of delegates.

This latest conundrum comes less than a year after an injunction scare by the outspoken parliamentarian, Everald Warmington in the lead-up to last year's nominations/elections for Deputy Leaders of the JLP.

Warmington argued that Desmond McKenzie; Shaw and Dr Christopher Tufton were not properly nominated to be elected JLP deputy leader in regions one, three and four.

The injunction was later withdrawn.

Tavares-Finson, one of the prominent legal minds in the JLP and a member of the Electoral Commission set up by the party to oversee internal elections, is suggesting that any Opposition Senator who objects to Holness' leadership should step aside.

He said eight Opposition Senators were appointed by Holness in his capacity as Opposition Leader, in accordance with subsection 3 of section 35 of the Constitution.

Against that background, he noted that those senators represent the interest of the country and the party.

He said if a new opposition leader is appointed those senators should resign, unless they are retained by the challenger.

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