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ECJ contradicts Arscott's explanation for Portmore mayoral election delay

Published:Friday | January 24, 2014 | 12:58 PM

The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) has released information which contradicts the explanation by the local government minister, Noel Arscott, for the delay in holding the Portmore mayoral election.



The position has been vacant since former mayor George Lee died in September last year.



Arscott has said an election to select a new mayor cannot be held at present as it would require legislative changes following the revision of the constituency boundaries in 2010.



He said the matter was to be discussed by the Cabinet after which it would be taken to parliament.



But in a release yesterday, the ECJ said this was not necessary.



It notes that there is an issue which has seen the Greater Portmore North and Portmore Pines divisions falling within the St Catherine Parish council under the new constituency arrangements.



But it says if the government wants to hold the by-election it can have a petition signed by at least seven per cent of the electors in the Municipality and then have the new boundaries gazetted.



It says the Government could also hold the election using the existing boundaries which will see the councillors for both divisions still unable to sit in the Portmore Municipal Council.



The ECJ notes that the latter arrangement was used in the 2012 local government elections.



The Electoral Commission says it has informed the Local Government Ministry of all the facts in relation to the matter.



The Ministry has responsibility for setting municipal boundaries.



The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre was unsuccessful in its efforts to reach Arscott for further clarification of his position on the issue.



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