Power 106 FM Election News, Tuesday September 11

September 11th, 2007

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Bruce swearing in…
In just under an hour Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader Bruce Golding will be inaugurated as Jamaica’s eighth Prime Minister.

Mr. Golding will be sworn in at King’s House by Governor General Professor Kenneth Hall during a ceremony expected to be attended by several local and foreign dignitaries.

When Orrett Bruce Golding takes the Oath of the Office of Prime Minister this afternoon, he will be the first in recent years to have done so without being conferred with the second highest national honour — the Order of the Nation.

During the campaign leading up to the September 3 election, Mr. Golding said he had no intentions of inheriting the title of Most Honourable that comes with the Order of the Nation.

Yesterday, the chairman of the organising committee for the swearing in ceremony Dr. Oswald Harding made it clear that Mr. Golding would be sticking to his word.

Several dignitaries are expected to be among the 5,000 persons expected to attend today’s swearing in ceremony for Jamaica’s eighth Prime Minister.

They include the Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur, the Secretary General of CARICOM, Dr. Edwin Carrington, the Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Michael Missick, the vice president of the council of the state of Cuba, Estaban Lazo Hernandez and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago Arnold Piggott.

Former Governor General Howard Cooke, former Prime Ministers Edward Seaga and PJ Patterson and members of the diplomatic corps are also expected to attend.

Power 106 FM will provide live coverage of the swearing in ceremony starting at 4pm.

EOJ on ballot boxes find
The count of two ballot boxes from South East St Mary which were discovered yesterday is to take place today at the Port Maria courthouse in St Mary.

The ballots are those of election day workers who voted in the constituency.

Director of Elections Danville Walker confirmed that an error resulted in the boxes being left behind following the initial count.

Mr. Walker is confident that the outcome of the count will not affect the current seat standing of 33 for the JLP and 27 for the People’s National Party (PNP).

The count is to be observed by Harold Brady of the JLP and Abe Dabdoub and Glen Cruikshank of the PNP.

When the final count of ballots ended last Thursday, the JLP’s Tarn Peralto was declared the winner over the PNP’s Harry Douglas in the constituency.

Mr. Peralto polled 6,969 votes to Mr. Douglas’ 6,935 to win the seat by 34 votes.

The preliminary count on Election Day in South East St. Mary had Mr. Peralto trailing Mr. Douglas by 46 votes.

Golden Hour - Bruce Takes Office Today

September 11th, 2007

wednesday.jpgOrette Bruce Golding, leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) will today be sworn in as Jamaica’s eighth Prime Minister by Governor-General Professor Kenneth Hall on the lawns of King’s House.

Mr. Golding, who is expected to make some pivotal decisions immediately after receiving his Instrument of Office from the Governor General, met yesterday with several key advisers at JLP headquarters on Belmont Road, New Kingston.

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Destiny delayed - Golding must wait

September 7th, 2007

friday.jpegThe country might have to wait until late next week before Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leader Bruce Golding is sworn in as the country’s next Prime Minister after leading his party to victory in the September 3 general election.

With election-related violence ongoing, winning People’s National Party (PNP) candidate for South East St. Andrew, Maxine-Henry Wilson is calling on the JLP leadership to reign in their supporters, whom she blames for political violence in her constituency.

Meanwhile police are seeking Newton ‘George Phang’ Horne, brother of Norman Horne, the People’s National Party (PNP) caretaker for South East St. Elizabeth, in connection with multiple counts of shooting with intent and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

Power 106 FM Election news, Thursday September 6

September 6th, 2007

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Another PNP Vote Casualty
The Peopls’s National Party (PNP) have lost their candidate D.K Duncan’s seat of East Hanover to the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Barrington Gray by nine votes, announced Director of Elections Danville Walker.

The preliminary vote count had showed that Mr. Duncan won the seat by 57 votes.

At the same time the PNP’s Derrick Kellier has regained the South St. James seat.

On Monday night the JLP’s Noel Donaldson was declared the winning candidate. However, following the recount, which was completed this morning, the Director of Elections said Mr. Kellier duly won the election by more than 200 votes.

Mr. Kellier had insisted that he was victorious at the polls after it was announced that Mr. Donaldson defeated him.

In the meantime Mr. Walker says the final count has not resulted in a change in the preliminary results for the contentious Western Hanover seat. This means that the PNP’s Ian Hayles will be appointed as the new Member of Parliament.

The Director of Elections also said that a recount is now underway for the Central Manchester seat.

On Monday night, the PNP’s Peter Bunting was declared the winner over the JLP’s Sally Porteous by more than 207 votes.

And yesterday the JLP’s Tarn Peralto was declared the winner of the South East St. Mary seat over the PNP’s Harry Douglas. Mr. Peralto won the seat by 34 votes.

The unofficial count on election day had Mr. Peralto trailing Mr. Douglas by 46 votes.

The official party seat standings remains at 33 for the JLP and 27 for the PNP.

The remaining results of the final count are to made known later today.

GG Awaits Official Declaration of MPs
Governor General Professor Kenneth Hall is awaiting the official declaration of the Members of Parliament to appoint the new prime minister.

Professor Hall is expected to receive the official declaration in the form of a gazette. Attorney Bert Samuels said the magisterial recounts which will likely be sought by the PNP should not affect the appointment of the Prime Minister.

The new Prime Minister is then expected to advise the Governor General of the members of the new Cabinet. In the meantime Mr. Samuels is of the view that the closeness of the election results should benefit the Jamaican people when issues come up for debate in Parliament.

MPs Must Disclose Government Contracts
Contractor General Greg Christie is highlighting the need for Parliamentary candidates to disclose government contracts held by them.

Mr. Christie said much attention has been paid to the section of the constitution regarding the eligibility of candidates who have sworn allegiance to a foreign power.

But he says focus should also be placed on Section 40 subsection 2 (c) of the Constitution.

This section states that persons seeking to be elected to the House of Representatives or appointed to the Senate must disclose whether they are party to a Government contract at least a month before the election.

Mr. Christie also stated that such persons can be barred from taking their seats in parliament if they failed to make such a disclosure.

Another shift in results: JLP 33-27 PNP

September 6th, 2007

thursday.jpegCount so far ….

808,240 persons voted, or 60.4 per cent of the little more than 1.3 million Jamaicans who were eligible to vote.

Of this number the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) polled 405,215, the People’s National Party (PNP) received 402,275, the National Democratic Movement (NDM) got 540 while the other groups polled a total of 110 votes.

Election ‘07: pictures of peace at the polls

September 5th, 2007

Amid fears of a violent election, an abiding memory of this election is how easily ‘rival’ supporters mixed. Yes, there were several murders, and while one murder will always remain one too many, there wasn’t anything of the level to feed the headlines of the international media who came to Jamaica for Election Day - possibly in the expectation of such an occurrence.

RJR Reporter/Producer Rohan Powell managed to grab several photographs of this People’s National Party (PNP) supporter (below) at Clan Carthy High School polling station in the South East St. Andrew constituency, who went out of his way to greet his opposites in the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).


Meanwhile (below) at Kingston High School polling station in the Central Kingston constituency, the ‘dogs of war’ never bared their teeth; this JLP mutt was quite happy and kept on a leash.


Perhaps you have your own photos, videos or stories from Election Day and the campaign? Email: ross.sheil@gleanerjm.com

Power 106 FM Election News at 5 p.m.

September 5th, 2007

Click here to listen to Power 106 FM online

EOJ final count
The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) says final counting of ballots cast in the general election will not be completed before tomorrow.

Recounting of ballots for five marginal constituencies is being closely watched.

The constituencies are East and West Hanover, South St. James, Central Manchester and South East St. Mary.

Director of Elections Danville Walker says about 50 per cent of the ballots for the five seats have already been counted.

The EOJ had earlier reported that the South St. James seat has been lost by the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Derrick Kellier to the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Noel Donaldson.

The JLP has claimed that the East Hanover seat that was declared for the PNP’s D.K. Duncan was won by Barrington Gray.

And the Party has also claimed that its candidate Donovan Hamilton has won the West Hanover seat that was announced for the PNP’s Ian Hayles.

However the EOJ has rejected the claims saying that the final count should be known tomorrow.

Increase constituencies - Prof. Miller
Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Professor Errol Miller wants the new parliament when sworn-in to pass legislation to increase the number of constituencies to an odd number between 60 and 65.

He says the preliminary results of the just-concluded election suggested that a 30/30 result was possible.

During the last parliament, a bill with provisions to increase in the number of constituencies, was not debated after being tabled for more than six months.

No garrison constituency
Meanwhile, Professor Miller is urging journalists and commentators not to label communities as garrison constituencies.

He argued that one standard was applied in all 60 constituencies and everyone had to comply.

He said no constituency recorded a voter turnout that was close to 100 per cent.

Professor Miller said 808, 240 persons voted. This represented 60.4 per cent of the little more than the 1.3 million persons that were eligible to vote.

Of this number the JLP polled just over 405,000 while the PNP received just over 402,000.

The National Democratic Movement (NDM) received 540 while the other groups polled a total of 110 votes.

Professor Miller said 56 per cent of the electorate had voted by 1 p.m.

JTA on Golding
The Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) says it will be closely monitoring the new government to ensure that it fulfills its promises with regard to education.

JTA President Ena Barclay says some schools will not be ready for the new school year, which starts on Monday because of the damage caused by Hurricane Dean.

She says the schools include the Donald Quarrie High School in Kingston.

PM designate on education
Prime Minister designate, Bruce Golding says high school principals should admit all students who are yet to pay their tuition fees.

He also says parents who have already paid school fees will be refunded once the schools can prove that they received the money.

In addition Mr. Golding says a JLP government will move quickly to pay over to all schools the equivalent amounts they would have collected in fees.

He says he will be issuing the appropriate instructions to the Finance and Education Ministries once he takes office.

In the run-up to the general election the JLP had promised free secondary education for all students.

L.A. Lewis does his bit for political peace

September 5th, 2007

cdcover1.jpgSocially aware deejay ‘Seven Star General’ Horace ‘L.A.’ Lewis, concerned about election violence, Lewis held his own peace meeting in National Heroes’ Park last Thursday.

Unfortunately, not many people responded to his press release by actually turning up. But L.A., who is a trained mediator with the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF), remains undeterred, as usual.

He had planned to, “… enlighten the Jamaican citizens about the vision that was bestowed upon him by the Almighty Jehovah about the two opposing parties, in several of his dreams.”

During the event he spoke to the Seven National Heroes, to ask for their guidance.

Having previously released ‘The Flood Song’, in memory of the victims of the 2004 Asian Tsunami, we asked him whether he might consider doing the same for those who have died because of election violence – a plea for greater national unity.

“Now that you mention it, that is a good idea. I’m off to work on it. Check me back tomorrow.”

Keep going forward with The Gleaner

September 5th, 2007

wednesday.jpegThe election is still with us. People’s National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller conceded defeat to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) just last night, the new government is yet to take office and many voters remain stuck with that indelible ink on their fingers.

To stay up-to-date with the post-election process, continue reading The Gleaner online and make sure to buy your copy of the newspaper on the road.

Also, observers are reporting satisfaction with the polls on Monday. Tell us, do you think this was the best run election in memory? Do you have any recommendations you would like to make to the electoral authorities?

Mark your ‘X’ and comment below …

Portia and PNP concede defeat to the JLP

September 4th, 2007

People’s National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller tonight conceded defeat in the general election to the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

With recounts expected to finish on Thursday, and five marginal seats under especial scrutiny, the JLP has a 32-28 majority.

However in a statement issued this evening Mrs. Simpson Miller said that recounts and the Party’s intent to pursue allegations of dual citizenship against JLP candidates, could change the outcome.

“The People’s National Party accepts the announced preliminary results, while reserving all legal rights under the Jamaican constitution and our electoral laws.”

Speaking from the PNP’s Old Hope Road, St. Andrew headquarters last night, she had refused to concede defeat and alleged that the JLP had broken electoral rules during the final day of campaigning and on polling day yesterday.