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Written by JamaicaElections.com

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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.

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