Governing Party Wins Local Polls


The governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has won the Wednesday, December 5 Local Government Elections taking control of nine of the country’s 13 parish councils. The party has therefore repeated its Parish Council Election victory in the 2003 local polls.
The preliminary results released by the Electoral Office of Jamaica showed that the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP), while winning the majority of divisions in Hanover and Manchester, both of which it had lost to the JLP in 2003, lost the Portmore Municipal Council in St. Catherine where the PNP’s former Mayor George Lee lost to the JLP’s Keith Hinds. Portmore is Jamaica’s only municipality where the mayor is elected by direct vote.
In Wednesday’s elections the PNP retained the Westmoreland Parish Council, the single parish it won in 2003 and shared St Ann with the JLP.
Prime Minister and JLP Leader Bruce Golding has described his party’s victory as solid. He told party supporters at the JLP headquarters in Kingston that, “We are very pleased that the people have responded in the way that they have, and have given us the solid victory that we attained today.”
The Prime Minister also outlined some of the government plans for the country’s local government system including full administrative and financial autonomy including the eventual abolition of the Local Government Division in the Office of the Prime Minister which replaced the former Ministry of Local Government following the installation of the JLP-led Administration in September.
The Prime Minster noted however, that the Councils would require technical, administrative and project management expertise, which might be provided through the establishment of local technical bodies at the regional level.
Following the December 5 local election General Secretary of the PNP Donald Buchanan said the party was pleased to have gained Hanover and Manchester Councils in addition to Westmoreland and did well in several other parishes.

JIS Social