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  • Two Bills were passed in the House of Representatives on June 30 to allow for the postponement of Local Government Elections until December 29, 2016.
  • The elections were due to be held not later than June 30, 2015.
  • The Bills passed are the Parish Councils General Election (Postponement) Act and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation General Election (Postponement) Act.

Two Bills were passed in the House of Representatives on June 30 to allow for the postponement of Local Government Elections until December 29, 2016.

The elections were due to be held not later than June 30, 2015.

The Bills passed are the Parish Councils General Election (Postponement) Act and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation General Election (Postponement) Act.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott,  said the postponement of the  elections will allow for implementation of elements of the Local Government Reform Programme.

“The three strategic laws that are a priority of the Local Government reform process are at an advanced stage of development,” Mr. Arscott said.

The Bills are the Local Governance Bill; Local Government (Unified Service and Employment) Bill; and the Local Government (Financing and Financial Management) Bill.

He added that all three Bills will be tabled in the Lower House before the end of the Parliamentary year.

“These Bills will significantly impact the operations of the local authorities. We will also develop the capacity of staff, the Councillors and a massive public education campaign with the passage of these Bills,” Mr. Arscott noted.

He also cited the need to pass the Constitution (Amendment) (Local Government) Act in the Senate, as well as to facilitate the process of revising the boundaries in Portmore, as reasons for the postponement.

“It is important to note that a number of citizens in Portmore would be disfranchised if the Local Government Elections are called before a resolution of the boundary issue,” he indicated.

The People’s National Party (PNP) won the 2012 Local Government Elections. The elections, which were held on March 26, saw the PNP winning 12 of the 13 Parish Councils, including the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC).