Archive for the ‘Power 106 FM election news’ Category

Police investigating political violence

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

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Commissioner and JLP meet
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) says its awaiting the decision of the Police Commissioner following a meeting this afternoon with representatives of the party to discuss concerns about political violence.

Opposition Spokesman on crime Derrick Smith and Chairman of the JLP’s taskforce on crime, Colonel Trevor MacMillan met with the Commissioner.

The party is also expressing concern about what it says are attacks on its supporters over the last 24 hours.

The JLP claims the incidents are a deliberate strategy to use violence and terror to intimidate its workers and supporters.

The JLP says several of its supporters who were on their way to a Bruce Golding-led motorcade yesterday were blockaded and severely beaten in Bunkers Hill, Clarendon.

In addition it says its candidate for East St. Andrew, Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett and his supporters came under heavy gunfire during a visit to Tavern in that constituency.

Three of Dr. Bartlett’s supporters were reportedly shot and injured during the incident.

In another incident in Canterbury, North West St. James where Dr. Horace Chang is the JLP candidate, three of his workers were reportedly shot in two separate drive-by incidents.

Three persons including a policeman were also shot and killed at a bar owned by a JLP councilor in West Central St. Catherine.

In East Central St. Catherine a driver for the JLP candidate Leslie Campbell and a bartender were also reportedly shot and killed.

MIT probing shooting
The Major Investigation Task Force (MIT) has launched a probe into last night’s shooting near Papine St. Andrew when two female JLP campaign workers were shot and injured.

The women and the JLP candidate for Eastern St. Andrew, Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett were campaigning with the Councillor for the Mona Division Garfield Reid.

The police say when the JLP officials reached a section of Tavern Avenue gunmen opened fire at their vehicles injuring the two women.

MIT head Assistant Police Commissioner Les Green says the matter has been recorded as a case of political violence.

Meanwhile JLP General Secretary, Karl Samuda is claiming last night’s incident was an attempt to murder Mr. Bartlett.

PNP on possible ban

The Electoral Commission has recommended a ban on political meetings and motorcades in the corporate area and St. Catherine.

The recommendation was made during a meeting with police Commissioner Lucius Thomas this morning.

But the PNP wants the Police High Command to thoroughly investigate reports of political violence before deciding on such a ban with General Secretary Donald Buchanan saying that such a ban would disadvantage the PNP.

Meanwhile the PNP says it has cancelled its meeting set for this evening in Linstead, St. Catherine while it awaits the decision of the Police Commissioner.

Mr. Buchanan says the Commissioner’s decision will determine whether the party’s final rally scheduled for Saturday can be held in Cross Roads St. Andrew.

More on St. Catherine killings
Police are yet to determine the motive for last night’s shootings in St. Catherine, which claimed the lives of four people in two incidents.

Special Coporal Gareth Smith, a policeman attached to the Harman Barracks, is among those killed.

Investigators say the policeman and a group of people were at a bar in Fraser’s Content shortly after 10 p.m. when gunmen approached, identified the policeman and opened fire.

The policeman and another man, Gladstone Findlay were killed.

And according to the police another man and a woman from Fraser’s Content were shot and injured.

In another incident in the community of Knowles, Brandon Vernon and Karen Valdin were shot dead by gunmen.

Power 106 election news, Thursday August 30

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

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Election extends school
The Education Ministry says it will be extending the first term for the next academic year by three days and the second term by two days.

As a result schools will now go on Christmas break on December 19 instead of December 14.

And the mid-term holidays will be cut from three days to one day.

The Ministry says schools will take a break on Ash Wednesday, February 6 and reopen the following day.

The amendments to the school year in both terms will result in an additional five days to the school year.

The Ministry says this will compensate for the one-week delay in the reopening of schools because of the September 3 general election.

Johnson on his poll
Pollster Bill Johnson says the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is gaining more support because the People’s National Party (PNP) has not put forward compelling enough reasons to stay in power:

Stay tuned to Power 106 FM for the results of the seat-by seat polls ahead of Monday’s election.

Parties on leadership poll
JLP Spokesman, Dwight Nelson says he believes the public’s confidence in the Party and its leader, Bruce Golding has grown since the launch of the party’s manifesto.

The latest Gleaner/Bill Johnson poll is indicating that the JLP is now leading the PNP in popular support.

The poll indicates that the JLP has 42 per cent of popular support to the PNP’s 38 per cent.

Mr. Nelson would not comment on the poll results, but he aid Mr. Golding’s response to Hurricane Dean has helped to propel the JLP:

Meanwhile, the poll is also showing that Mr. Golding is leading Portia Simpson Miller as the choice for Prime Minister.

According to the poll, Mr. Golding’s rating is now at 41 per cent while Mrs. Simpson Miller’s stands at 40 percent.

But PNP General Secretary, Donald Buchanan says his party is still confident Mrs. Simpson Miller is the best leader for the country:

The poll which has a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent was conducted last weekend – one week after Hurricane Dean struck the country.

One thousand and 8 people were interviewed in 84 communities Islandwide.

OAS team here
Another set of election observers from the Organisation of American States (OAS), has now arrived in the island.

OAS Secretary General, Albert Ramdin, will arrive tomorrow to head the mission for the general election on Monday, September 3.

The OAS says Ambassador Ramdin will consult with high-ranking political and electoral authorities regarding the preparations for the elections.

It also says they will have discussions regarding the challenges caused by Hurricane Dean.

The OAS mission began deploying its monitors on Friday, August 24 with the arrival of the core group of electoral experts.

The observers monitored the vote of the security forces and Election Day workers on Tuesday.

The OAS has expressed satisfaction with the overall organisation of that poll

Power 106 Election News, Wednesday August 29

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

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GG activates Constituted Authority
Governor General, Professor Kenneth Hall has activated the Constituted Authority ahead of the General Election on Monday, September 3.

Members of the Authority are empowered to halt the election in any constituency. They can also request the Election Court to void an election and hold a fresh one if there are malpractices.

Professor Hall has appointed former President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Dennis Lalor and Justice Ransford Langrin to serve as members.

The four selected members of the Electoral Commission will also make up the Constituted Authority.

They are Chairman of the Commission, Professor Errol Miller; Northern Caribbean University President, Dr. Herbert Thompson; Dorothy Pine McLarty and Justice Clarence Walker.

The appointments are in keeping with the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader.

Political commercials accepted

Political Ombudsman Bishop Herro Blair said media houses would be allowed to air and publish political advertisements up to the last day before the election on Monday. There have been doubts as to whether this would be allowed.

Bishop Blair told reporters this morning that his office will not object to the publishing or broadcasting of political advertisements up to Sunday.

Both major political parties have been increasing the number commercials on radio and television as Election Day draws closer.

Voter turnout good … Polling station damage high
Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, Professor Errol Miller is reporting that there was a 72.2 per cent voter turnout among members of the security forces and Election Day workers, yesterday.

Professor Miller revealed that out of 33,288 registered electors, 24,030 voted.

Professor Miller also stated that 246 polling stations were damaged during Hurricane Dean with 154 sustaining major damage.

Power 106 election news, Tuesday August 28

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

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Police vote mix-up
There was confusion today as security forces turned out to vote today, in adcance of Election Day next Monday.

At the Mobile Reserve in the corporate area there was some police personnel reported that their names were not on the lists at the various polling divisions.

The polling station opened on time and long lines were observed at the start of voting.

However the voting process later progressed smoothly.

Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas is registered to cast his ballot at Mobile Reserve.

Assistant Commissioner in charge of Operations Owen Ellington who is also registered at that location cast his ballot this morning.

Meanwhile voting at the Hunts Bay and the Elleston Road police stations was reported to be smooth.

At the Hunts Bay Station which has two polling divisions, Returning Officer Jacqueline Shakes, said voting started off slowly this morning.

A CAFFE observer at the station reported that the process was incident free.

There was more activity at the Elleston Road station as several plain clothes police personnel were seen waiting to cast their ballots.

However, there were not many problems reported by Election Day workers as they also voted today.

… EOJ can’t fix it, says Walker
Director of Elections Danville Walker says the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) cannot address the problems being encountered by the police personnel.

He says the confusion may be the result of recent police transfers.

Mr. Walker says affected police personnel should seek the permission of their commanding officers to go to the parishes where their names are registered. Otherwise Mr. Walker says they will not be able to vote.

He says with in terms of operations, the Election Day activities have been progressing well.

More than 32,000 members of the security forces and Election Day workers were registered to vote today.

Government wants apology
The Government wants Opposition Leader Bruce Golding to apologise for what it says was a deliberate attempt to mislead the country.

Mr. Golding admitted yesterday that he withheld certain key information at a press conference when he stated that Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas was not in favour of the recent State of Public Emergency.

The Commissioner has since been reported as saying the statement attributed to him by Mr. Golding is not true.

According to the Commissioner he had recommended a State of Emergency in the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Thomas.

Information Minister Donald Buchanan says Mr. Golding was trying to confuse the country about the integrity of the Prime Minister when she called the State of Public Emergency.

Power 106 election news, Monday August 27

Monday, August 27th, 2007

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CAFFE Ready again
Election watchdog group, Citizens for a Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) says it is ready for the upcoming general election on Monday, September 3.

According to CAFFE director Nancy Anderson, training for volunteers in preparation for next Monday will end tomorrow before their deployment:

Earlier this month CAFFE indicated that it acquired half of the 2,000 volunteers needed.

However, while not being able to give the current number of volunteers now in place, Mrs. Anderson said there has been a significant improvement:

Bruce clarifies
JLP Leader, Bruce Golding is seeking to clarify statements he made claiming that the Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas was not in favour of the recent State of Public Emergency.

Mr. Golding is claiming that he did not reveal certain key information at a press conference when he made the statement about the Commissioner.

This could have resulted in a misrepresentation of the Commissioner’s view on the State of Emergency.

The state of emergency was lifted on Friday, shortly after it was announced that the Election Day would be on September 3.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller later said she advised the Governor General to lift the state of emergency after receiving word from the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) that power had been restored to more than 50 per cent of the country.

PM defends state of emergency
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has again defended her decision to impose a State of Public Emergency following the passage of Hurricane Dean.

Mrs. Simpson Miller told PNP supporters in Sav-la-mar last night that her action was responsible.

She said she had to call for a state of emergency as part of measures to prevent looting, given that the country was without electrical power.

Power 106FM election news, Friday August 24

Friday, August 24th, 2007

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Election announcement today

The country could hear today when the general election is to be held.

The election was previously scheduled for Monday, August 27.

However following the passage of Hurricane Dean, the Electoral Commission recommended a postponement which has been agreed on by the Cabinet.

The authorities had earlier blundered when the Commission sent its recommendation directly to the governor general.

The recommendation for the postponement of the election should have been submitted to the Cabinet for consideration before it was sent to the governor general for approval.

Information Minister Donald Buchanan told The Gleaner/Power 106 News this morning that a decision on the new date for the polls has since been reached following an emergency meeting of the Cabinet and subsequent meetings, which were held this week.

Mr. Buchanan said the Cabinet decision was conveyed to the Governor General by the Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Carlton Davis.

He also said it was likely that the new date could be announced today.

It was earlier reported that the Electoral Commission had recommended that the election be postponed from August 27.

Reports had also indicated that the new date could be September 3.

However Mr. Buchanan declined to say whether there was any change in the date recommended by the Electoral Commission noting that the governor general would make the announcement at the appropriate time.

Power 106 election news, Tuesday August 21

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

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EC on election postponement
Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Professor Errol Miller says the Commission will have to undertaken a massive operation to prepare for the upcoming general election.

The Commission has recommended that the election be postponed from August 27.

It’s reported that the new date will be September 3.

However Governor General, Professor Kenneth Hall must make that decision.

In the meantime Professor Miller says it will be difficult to prepare some of the polling stations for the election.

Members of the security forces and Election Day workers should have gone to the polls today.

JHTA on State of Emergency
The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) is concerned that the declaration of a public state of emergency in the country could have a negative impact on the tourism sector.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has defended the decision claiming that the state of emergency was necessary for the security of the country in the aftermath of the hurricane.

But JHTA president Wayne Cummings says the declaration could be misinterpreted by overseas investors as well as other members of the travel trade.

Mr. Cummings says the country’s hotel sector suffered minimal damage from the effects of Hurricane Dean.

He says properties on the southern and eastern sections of the island were particularly affected.

Power 106 election news, Friday August 17

Friday, August 17th, 2007

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Dean in Dominica
In Dominica where a hurricane warning remains in effect, several houses have been uplifted following strong winds and heavy rainfall now affecting the island.

Dominica Broadcasting Service reporter Brenton Henry says a number of residents are now in shelters as a result of the effects of the storm.

PM holds disaster meeting
The National Disaster Committee is meeting this hour to assess the country’s readiness for Hurricane Dean.

The meeting is being chaired by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller who heads the committee.

It involves all emergency response agencies include the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management and the Met Service.

The Parish Disaster Committees, the police, the Fire Department, and the Jamaica Defense Force are also part of the committee.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister says all the necessary measures will be put in place should the hurricane strike.

JLP rally off
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has called off several campaign activities over the weekend because of the impending Hurricane.

These include today’s scheduled Bruce Golding led tour of East Rural St. Andrew and public meeting in Morant Bay, St. Thomas.

Tomorrow’s planned tour of sections of the Corporate Area and Sunday’s public meeting in Half Way Tree square have also been put off.

Yesterday, the People’s National Party (PNP) said it too would be putting of its election activities that were scheduled to take place after the weekend.

However, the party’s general secretary, Donald Buchanan said the regional organisations would continue their work at the local level.

ODPEM ready
the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) says its parish disaster response programme are being mobilized.

The Director General, Ronald Jackson says people in flood prone areas should begin to plan to evacuate their communities should the need arises:

Mr. Jackson says people in flood prone areas should begin to plan to evacuate their communities should the need arises:

Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency management Ronald Jackson.

St. Lucia hit
At least one person was killed by Hurricane Dean in St. Lucia

In another incident, two persons were being treated at the Soufriere Hospital on the west coast after a tree fell on their house injuring the occupants.

The island is still under a hurricane watch even as the weather system moves further away from the island.

Last night heavy rains and strong winds pelted the country causing widespread damage.

Una May Gordon, the Eastern Caribbean Representative for the Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture says damage assessments could begin today.

Power 106 FM election news, Thursday August 16

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

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Chang on polls
Political commentator Kevin O’Brien Chang says the People’s National Party (PNP) must move swiftly to stop the gains being made by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

He says the PNP should place keen focus on improving their advertising campaign and try to win the support of more young electors:

James on dual citizenship
JLP Candidate for West St. Thomas James Robertson is refuting claims that he has dual citizenship or is a green card holder of the United States.

Yesterday, the PNP reported that he is among nine JLP candidates who have dual citizenship.

However, Mr. Robertson is refuting this and says he has referred the matter to his lawyer.

Meanwhile speaking on Power 106 FM Independent Talk, Solicitor General Michael Hylton says it could be finally decided in the courts whether candidates has dual citizenship before any action can be taken.

Political dead heat on
Gleaner pollster Bill Johnson says the JLP’s favourability rating is expected continue trending upward.

His latest survey is indicating that the JLP’s is in a dead heat with the PNP eleven days before the general election.

Mr. Johnson’s poll indicates that the support for the JLP is now up to 38 per cent age points from the 34 per cent recorded in mid-July.

The JLP’s 38 per cent is just two points behind the 40 per cent that the governing party PNP now has.

But with a polls margin of error of plus or minus three per cent, Mr. Johnson says the PNP and the JLP are statistically tied.

Last weekend, Mr. Johnson and his team polled 1,008 people in 84 communities islandwide.

A detailed analysis of the findings indicates that of the persons interviewed, nine per cent were undecided electors.

Another 11 per cent said they did not intend to vote, and two per cent did not to comment.

Bruce on journalists
JLP Leader Bruce Golding has urged supporters to show respect to journalists covering the election campaign.

Speaking at a JLP rally in St. Ann’s Bay last night Mr. Golding also denounced two recent incidents involving JLP supporters and journalists.

He told the rally that journalists have an important role to play in an election.

On Saturday a member of a TVJ news crew was hit with a bottle of water while covering a JLP meeting in Montego Bay.

Yesterday a reporter from North Coast Times had her camera smashed by a flag waving JLP supporter during a tour of North West St. Ann.

Power 106 FM election news, Wednesday August 15

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

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Candidates meeting on
The Electoral Commission and Political Ombudsman Bishop Herro Blair will meet with four election candidates this afternoon to discuss concerns over political violence.

The candidates are the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Rosemarie Shaw and the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) James Robertson in West St. Thomas and the PNP’s Norman Horne and the JLP’s Franklyn Witter in South East St. Elizabeth.

Under the law the election may be postponed in any constituency where the level of violence threatens a fair contest.

Last week Director of Elections Danville Walker said the first step would be to meet with candidates to highlight the concerns about violence.

He said that if violence continues, the Electoral Commission would ask the Governor General to postpone the election in the affected constituencies until after the August 27 polls.

He said the postponement would allow for more members of the security forces to be deployed within the constituencies to ensure a free and fair election.