JIS News

Story Highlights

  • State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, says the matter of overseas Jamaicans being allowed to vote in elections is “not dead”.
  • Mr. Brown was speaking at a church service on Saturday (June 13), at the Lilliput Seventh Day Adventist Church in Montego Bay, St. James to mark the start of the 6th biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference.
  • Mr. Brown said the Jamaican population stands at 7 million, with the majority of nationals living overseas.

State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Arnaldo Brown, says the matter of overseas Jamaicans being allowed to vote in elections is “not dead”.

He noted, however, that the matter would have to be discussed at length, “in order to arrive at the best possible decision to bring those people into the electoral process.”

“It is not a matter that we dismiss as a Government, but it is certainly one that requires further consideration. As it stands, every Jamaican that is registered here can in fact return here, and vote whenever a general election is called, and in fact, many of them do that,” he pointed out.

Mr. Brown was speaking at a church service on Saturday (June 13), at the Lilliput Seventh Day Adventist Church in Montego Bay, St. James to mark the start of the 6th biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference.

He praised overseas nationals for their significant contribution to the country, through remittances and support to education, health and other areas.

“Their input is very important because over the last 10 years, Jamaicans have collectively remitted to this country, over US$16 billion, and in the last two years, Jamaicans have consistently sent back to this country, over $2 billion,” he informed.

He noted that the contribution is as large as the Net International Reserves (NIS), which “allows us to import and pay for goods and services into the country”.

Mr. Brown said the Jamaican population stands at 7 million, with the majority of nationals living overseas.

“There are more Jamaicans living outside of Jamaica than Jamaicans, who live in Jamaica. In Canada, there are 300,000 Jamaicans; in the United Kingdom, there are over 850,000 Jamaicans; and in the New York-Tri State area, there are a whopping 1.1 million Jamaicans that live in that area,” Mr. Brown informed.

He said there are also large Jamaican populations in countries across the region, including the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, and Panama.