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Bills postponing Local Government Elections until March, 2012, were passed during Tuesday’s (February 15) sitting of the House of Representatives at Gordon House.

The Bills – “An Act to postpone the holding of a General Election under the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation Act” and “An Act to Postpone the Holding of a General Election under the Parish Councils Act” – were tabled by State Minister with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague.

They seek to amend the provisions governing Local Government Elections, in order to extend the due date from no later than December 31, 2010 to no later than March 31, 2012.

Outlining the reasons for a further postponement, Mr. Montague said this was to facilitate implementation of aspects of the Local Government Reform Programme; finalize the framework to establish Portmore as the 15th parish; and to facilitate the efficient collection of data, under the 2011 Population and Housing Census by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), which could be affected by electioneering activities.

Following a stormy debate, Government parliamentarians voted for the extension, while the Opposition voted against, resulting in approval by a total of 30 votes to 23. The Bills will now go to the Senate for further debate.

 

CONTACT: DOUGLAS McINTOSH