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in the race - Local Government nominations mostly peaceful
National Party (PNP) vice-chairman Dr. Peter Phillips (centre)
is flanked by candidates Glenford Maitland (left) of the Barbican
division and Dr. Dennis Jones of the Waterloo division after
nomination at the Girl Guide headquarters, East Central St.
Andrew yesterday. - Junior Dowie/ Staff Photographer (right)
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) supporters on a march along Spanish
Town Road yesterday after Desmond McKenzie, and Lorna Leslie,
the JLP candidates for the Tivoli and Denham Town divisions
were nominated at the Denham Town High School. - Rudolph Brown/
Staff Photographer (left).
OF candidates for the Local Government elections passed mostly
peaceful yesterday, as an estimated 495 candidates threw their
hats into the ring for the June 19 poll.
to figures released by the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ)
last night, the governing People's National Party (PNP) and
the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), fielded a full slate to contest
all 227 divisions in the island's 12 Parish Councils and the
Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC). Both parties also
put up candidates to contest the seat for mayor of the newly
created Portmore municipality.
14 candidates were fielded by the struggling National Democratic
Movement (NDM), four by the Imperial Ethiopian World Federation
Party (IEWFP) and two by the People's Progressive Party (PPP).
Twenty-one independent candidates also took the plunge.
the independents was former PNP Member of Parliament for North
Trelawny, Wendell Stewart, who was nominated for the Falmouth
division. Mr. Stewart fell out of grace with the PNP after
the party rejected him as its candidate for the October 2002
day's activities were very low-keyed, with most Jamaicans
seemingly unaware of the political event.
Ombudsman Bishop Herro Blair said he was satisfied with Nomination
Day proceedings, noting that "up until now it has gone
extremely well... no reports of any altercation".
Blair described a meeting he had with representatives from
the EOJ, including Director of Elections, Danville Walker,
at the election centre on Hope Road as very fruitful. "It
was a routine meeting, where we discussed strategies for the
coming weeks... right up to Election Day," he added.
the Corporate Area, things flowed smoothly with candidates
for the most part arriving on time for their nominations with
cheering supporters in tow. Buses, trucks, vans and carloads
of green and orange-clad persons came out with their candidates
who took photos and went speedily through the nomination process.
a number of JLP supporters had to scramble yesterday when
a barrage of gunshots were allegedly fired at them while they
were on a road march along West Avenue in the St. Andrew South
West constituency. The incident occurred after George 'Father
Binns' Duhaney, the JLP contender for the Greenwich Town division,
completed his nomination exercises at the Greenwich Town Primary
first shot was heard while the throng of flag-waving JLP supporters
was walking along the avenue. Within 10 seconds, three more
shots were fired and then a series of explosions rang out.
"The shot just miss barely miss mi," an obviously
shaken Duhaney said.
JLP supporters who later converged on East Avenue accused
the police of forfeiting their agreement to escort them throughout
the march. But Claude Samuels, Superintendent in charge of.
St. Andrew South Police division, said that police officers
were in the area. He said the police have since commenced
an investigation into the incident.
in Western Jamaica, large crowds of supporters from the two
major political parties also accompanied their candidates
to the respective centres. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson led
the four PNP candidates in his constituency of East Westmoreland
to the nomination centre at the Maud Mcleod High School in
the PNP controls all the Parish Councils and the Kingston
and St. Andrew Corporation and the party is seeking to continue
its hold on power. But, the JLP, which
jumped out of the blocks with an early lead in opinion polls,
has signalled its intention to put up a dogged fight to wrest
power from the governing party.
a television broadcast earlier this week, Leader of the JLP,
Edward Seaga, called on Jamaicans to use the Local Government
polls "as a referendum" on the performance of the
recent Gleaner-Don Anderson poll showed that there is a high
level of interest in the pending elections with some 56.5
per cent of Jamaicans saying they intend to vote.
the battleground Councils in this election are St. Ann, St.
Thomas, Clarendon, St. Catherine as well as the KSAC. There
will also be a keen tussle in Portmore, where for the first-time
residents of that dormitory community in St. Catherine will
have the opportunity to elect a mayor directly and manage
their own affairs under new municipality status. George Lee
of the PNP, Keith Hinds of the JLP, the NDM's Denzil Taylor,
as well as independents Alton Duhaney and Michael Barnett
will do battle for the mayoralty.