Power 106 FM Election News at 5 p.m.

September 4th, 2007

Click here to listen to Power 106 FM online

JLP claiming 34 seats
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is this afternoon claiming that its seat count has been pushed to 34 following yesterday’s general election.

But the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) is rejecting those reports.

The EOJ says it expects to complete the recounting of the ballots by Thursday night.

Director of Elections Danville Walker says the South St. James seat has been lost by the PNP’s Derrick Kellier to the JLP’s Noel Donaldson.

The JLP is now also claiming that its candidate Donovan Hamilton has won the West Hanover seat that was announced for the PNP’s Ian Hayels.

The other marginal constituencies being recounted are: East and West Hanover, Central Manchester and South East St. Mary.

The ballots for the 55 other constituencies are being recounted in the respective centres across the island.

An EOJ official told The Gleaner/Power 106 News that the decision was made to have the re-count of the marginal constituencies in Kingston because of the potential for violence.

The preliminary count indicates that in West Hanover, the PNP’s Ian Hayles polled 7,116 votes to the 7,o69 by the JLP’s Donovan Hamilton.

In East Hanover, the PNP’s D.K. Duncan received 6,053 votes to the 5,996 polled for the JLP’s Barrington Grey. The JLP is claiming to have won this seat.

In Central Manchester, the PNP’s Peter Bunting edged out the JLP’s Sally Porteous by polling 8,460 to her 8,253.

And in South East St. Mary, the PNP’s Harry Douglas polled 6,960 votes to the 6,914 received by Tarn Peralto of the JLP.

The Labourites also say their candidate Barrington Grey won the Eastern Hanover seat that was declared for D.K Duncan last night.

CARICOM Observers too

CACRICOM election observers have reported that yesterday’s General Election was transparent and peaceful.

Head of the eight-member observer team Gerald Watt said the the management of the polling stations was generally efficient. But he says the administrative competence of some Presiding Officers was below the acceptable level.

Police on alert
The Police High Command says it has deployed more security personnel in communities affected by violence.

Police reported several crimes across the Corporate Area following the announcement of the preliminary results of the national polls yesterday.

They have also confirmed that two soldiers were shot and injured last night in Mountain View, St. Andrew and Arnold Road, Kingston.

A house was reportedly firebombed and gunshots fired at civilians and police personnel in the community of Woodford Park in South East St. Andrew.

There were also reports of shots being fired in downtown Kingston, Central Kingston, Windward Road, South Camp Road and Spanish Town Road.

Police have also asked the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF) to help to quell the violence.

C0mmissioner appeals to JLP/PNP
Police Commissioner Lucius Thomas says he has consulted with leadership figures in both political parties who have agreed to appeal to their supporters to maintain law and order.

The Police High Command is asking political supporters to stay off the streets and report any unlawful activity.

Curfew to be lifted
A curfew that was imposed in the troubled Mountain View Avenue community of South East St. Andrew is to be lifted with by 6 p.m.

The boundaries of the curfew run east from Olivia Road to 100 Lane and West on Deanery Road between Deanery Avenue and Langston Road.

The northern boundary runs along Deanery Avenue and 100 Lane to the foot of Warika Hills.

While they southern boundary takes in, Langston Road, Hildene Avenue and Olivia Road.

That curfew followed the killing of three persons on Deanery Avenue on Friday night.

OAS observer praises electoral process

September 4th, 2007

The Organisation of American States (OAS), observer team has given its endorsement to yesterday’s polls.

OAS Deputy Secretary General Albert Ramdin who lead the mission praised all stakeholders: voters; the electoral authorities; political leaders and security forces.

The 38-member OAS team visited 53 of the 60 constituencies throughout the country.

“These accredited observers had unfettered access to the polling stations and counting centres, meeting with many authorities, party agents and voters alike,” read the statement, issued several minutes ago.

Other OAS observations:

  • The EOJ was able to recover from Hurricane Dean.
  • Security was adequate
  • Election Day workers manned the polls.
  • Most polls opened on time.
  • Almost without exception, voters found their names on the voters list and were able to vote.
  • Voters without adequate ID were verified alternatively;
  • However this slowed voting
  • Violence and murders were reported during the campaign.
  • The Election Centre with the participation of stakeholders, decreased tension

The OAS will continue to monitor the post-election period and on Thursday, Mr. Ramdin will present a more comprehensive verbal report to the Organisation’s Permanent Council in Washington, D.C.

Power 106 FM Election News at 12 p.m.

September 4th, 2007

Click here to listen to Power 106 FM online

JLP gain extra seat
In the meantime the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) is reporting that the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has now won 32 of the 60 seats to the 28 won by the People’s National Party (PNP).

Director of Elections Danville Walker says the PNP’s South St. James Seat has been lost by Derrick Kellier to the JLP’s Noel Donaldson.

Recount latest
The EOJ is transporting the ballots from five marginal constituencies to be counted in Kingston.

The ballots are coming from the constituencies of East and West Hanover, St. James South, Manchester Central and South East St. Mary.

In the preliminary count indicates that in Hanover Western, the PNP’s Ian Halyes polled 7 thousand 116 votes to the 7 thousand and 69 by the JLP’s Donovan Hamilton.

In Hanover Eastern, the PNP’s D.K. Duncan received 6,053 votes to the 5,996 polled for the JLP’s Barrington Grey.

Meanwhile in West St. James the PNP’s Derrick Kellier received 6,002 votes to the 5, 816 received by the JLP’s Noel Donaldson.

In Central Manchester, the PNP’s Peter Bunting edged out the JLP’s Sally Porteous by polling 8,460 to her 8,253.

In South East St. Mary, the PNP’s Harry Douglas polled 6,960 votes to the 6,914 received by Tarn Peralto of the JLP.

The JLP’s Member of the Electoral Commission, Tom Tavares Finson says the recounting of the ballots of the five seats will begin shortly.

JCC on new government
The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) wants the new government to allow the private sector to play a greater role in governance.

JCC President Mark Myers says the Chamber is expecting that within the first one hundred days of its administration the new government will involve his organisation.

The Chamber has for sometime been advocating for its members as well as members of civic society groups to be involved in a social partnership with the government.

In the meantime Mr. Myers says he expects that the composition of the new government will facilitate a higher level of consultation.

JFJ on new government
In the meantime Executive Director of  Human Rights Group Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ) Dr. Carolyn Gomes says the new JLP government has a responsibility to chart the way towards achieving a unified country.
She has also expressed disappointment in the manner in which PNP President Portia Simpson-Miller refused to concede defeat last night, which she is still yet to do.

EXTRA: Gleaner Election News, Tuesday September 4

September 4th, 2007

tuesday1.jpegGOLDING’S march to Jamaica House
If anything, the victory by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in yesterday’s general election only serves to reaffirm what some pundits have long been saying: that Bruce Golding is Jamaica’s luckiest politician alive today.

Blunder steals Portia’s thunder
Decades from now, historians will have trouble fathoming why Portia Simpson Miller - with her approval ratings at a stratospheric level - did not call an election shortly after taking over from P.J. Patterson as leader.

Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) under fire for missing names
The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) has come under fire for a failure to ensure, as promised, that the names of electors would not be left off the voters’ list during yesterday’s election proceedings in Central Manchester.

Enthusiasm out west
The energy which had been building throughout the election campaign culminated in much enthusiasm in western Jamaica yesterday as thousands of voters turned out to exercise their franchise in Jamaica’s 15th general election since universal adult suffrage in 1944.

Golden agers take the time
Two senior citizens, John Kelley, 87, and his wife, Tilida, 92, of Newlands, Yallahs, St. Thomas, participated yesterday in the country’s 15th general election.

Violence rocks SE ‘St Bess’
Voting got off to a smooth start amid tight Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) security at the B.B. Coke High School in Junction, South East St. Elizabeth, with persons arriving at the polling stations from before 6:00 a.m. Polling officially started at 9:00 a.m.

T-shirts ‘glam up’ election fashion
Jamaican women are fashionable, but women from inner-city communities are known to take fashion to a whole new level.

Supporters ‘party’ in friendly rivalry
Despite reports of political intimidation and shootings in some constituencies in the Corporate Area, there were still many scenes of jubilation and friendly rivalry among supporters of the nation’s two major political parties yesterday.

Observers Ok polls
With the exception of shooting incidents in the South East St. Andrew and Central Manchester constituencies, and the attempted theft of a ballot box in St. Ann, two observer groups considered yesterday’s general election relatively free and fair.

Power 106 FM election news at 8 a.m.

September 4th, 2007

Click here to listen to Power 106 FM online

New government
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has committed to unifying the country when it takes office.

The preliminary count following yesterday’s election shows the JLP with 31 seats and the People’s National Party (PNP) with 29.

JLP Leader Bruce Golding told party supporters last night that yesterday’s victory for his party was also a victory for Jamaica.

Mr. Golding says the final tally of seats will be declared after today’s recount.

He also said the JLP lost three seats by less than 100 votes in the very close election. Mr. Golding said unifying the country could eliminate political violence.

He also said there are many challenges, which the Government must confront once it takes office.

Portia yet to concede
PNP President and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has refused to concede defeat to the JLP following yesterday’s closely contested general election in which 31 seats were declared for the JLP and 29 for the PNP.

Addressing party supporters at the PNP’s Old Hope Road headquarters last night Mrs. Simpson Miller declared that the party would await a recount scheduled for today.

She said there were a number of incidents that happened at some constituencies and also claimed that some persons were denied their right to vote.

The PNP President also said she had evidence of persons campaigning in breach of electoral regulations and buying votes.

She further appealed to party stalwarts to remain peaceful.

Danville Walker of the EOJ on election result
Meanwhile Director of Elections Danville Walker has cautioned the leaders of both political parties to show responsible leadership while a recount of the ballots is carried out.

Mr. Walker says it could take some time before a new leader is sworn in given the closeness of the results.

The head of the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) the process of recounting could take two days, with the possibility of some magisterial recounts. Meanwhile he urged persons to be patient and remain calm as they await the outcome.

He also expressed confidence in the manner in which the polling exercise was carried out by the EOJ. He dismissed Mrs. Simpson Miller’s claim that some people were denied the right to vote, saying that the only persons barred from voting were those ineligible to do so.

CAFFE to give its report
The Citizens’ Action for Free and Fair Election (CAFFE) is expected to disclose its findings on yesterday’s Election Day activities this afternoon at a press briefing.

Last night, Director of CAFFE Fabian Brown said the organisation had in its possession reports from volunteers on all 60 constituencies, however the final assessment and analysis would be made this morning followed by its announcements at 1 p.m.

Yesterday Mr. Brown reported that CAFFE was satisfied with the election proceedings however there were general concerns about violence.

CAFFE was one of three observer groups which monitored the election, fielding 1,505 volunteers across Jamaica. Some CAFFE observers were deployed to specific areas within constituencies while others roved.

Post-election crime
Police have reported several incidents of crime across the Corporate Area following the announcement of the preliminary results of the national polls.

They have confirmed that two soldiers were shot and injured last night in Mountain View, St. Andrew and Arnold Road, Kingston.

A house was reportedly firebombed and gunshots fired at civilians and police in the community of Woodford Park in South East St. Andrew.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Charles Scarlet said police personnel are in some of these areas as part of the security force’s post election strategy.

There were also reports of shots being fired in downtown Kingston, Central Kingston, Windward Road, South Camp Road and the Spanish Town Road area.

Police confirmed that the Mobile Reserve compound on South Camp Road was attacked by gunmen who fired a barrage of gunshots at the premises for at least 30 minutes.

However police said there were no injuries.

Foreign media reports on close call for JA

September 4th, 2007

Jamaican press reports about the closeness of the election are being echoed by their foreign counterparts.

They also on focus outbreaks of violence as well as People’s National Party (PNP) President Portia Simpson Miller’s refusal to concede defeat amid her reservations about electoral proceedings that have seen the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) win the closest election in history by a margin of 31-29.


Associated Press/Globe and Mail


Financial Times



Trinidad & Tobago Express

Daily Gleaner Election News, Tuesday September 4

September 4th, 2007

tuesday.jpegBruce edges out Portia
The Bruce Golding-led Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) defied even the prophets yesterday to eke out its first general election win in 18 years; but the close victory triggered immediate controversy as Prime Minister and PNP President Portia Simpson Miller refused to concede.

Terror reigns after results announced
Terror reigned last night for hours after the election results were announced with several reports of volleys of gunshots in the Corporate Area and parts of St. Catherine. Police confirmed that two soldiers were shot and injured last night.

Electronic glitch causes voting hitch
The Electronic Identification of the Voter and Ballot Issuing System (EIVBIS) yesterday delayed voting in some constituencies. The system, which was used for the first time in a general election, identifies the elector electronically and issues the ballot to the voter.

Shooting incidents mar voting in St. Catherine and Kingston
Voting was yesterday marred by at least three shooting incidents in Kingston and St. Catherine. Two of the incidents were actions of intimidation by gunmen, while, in the third, a district constable discharged his firearm to get a crowd of voters under control.

Diaspora ready to work with Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)
The Jamaican Diasporia community stands ready to work with the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) should it form the Shootgovernment after the final results of yesterday’s general election are announced. That’s the word coming out of United States and Canadian Diasporia organisations.

‘I had to vote’ - Strong presence of elderly, disabled in West Portland
The rain seemingly could not stop the elderly and disabled of West Portlandfrom casting their ballots in yesterday’s general election. Several senior citizens and disabled constituents in party colours were observed being escorted by supporters to various polling stations.

Voters change course despite showers in Western St Thomas
Not even the intermittent showers in Western St. Thomas could keep away 74-year-old Charlie Griffiths, who is physically challenged, from casting his vote yesterday. Griffiths, who is a double amputee, told The Gleaner he stayed away from the polls.

‘Phinn-ished?’ - Cleric’s integrity questioned as election prophecy flops
It is a universally accepted theological standard that the hallmark of a true prophet is that all of his predictions come to pass. Well, if the preliminary victory for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in the country’s 15th general election is upheld after a recount.

Smooth sailing for cops in western Jamaica
While some of their counterparts faced stiff challenges from criminal elements, the police in western Jamaica only had minor skirmishes to handle. “We haven’t any complaints of criminal activities.We had a couple of minor incidents that did not affect the polling.

The parties party out west
Not even the threat of a Hurricane Felix could affect the election day festivities and camaraderie demonstrated by the supporters of both major political parties in western Jamaica. Heavy rain pelted the parishes of Trelawny and Westmoreland.

Campaign music blares as voters cast ballot
Despite warnings from the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) that no campaigning should take placeon election day, residents of Olympic Gardens in St. Andrew West Central had a whale of a time playing campaign songs for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

Grant gives election thumbs up
President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Senator Norman Grant, gave the electoral process the thumbs up, describing the general election as a reflection of Jamaica’s “healthy democracy”.Senator Grant said he was pleased with the overall.

Roger reaps sweet results
Roger Clarke, who served as Minister of Agriculture and Lands in the last People’s National Party (PNP) administration, proved too much for the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Russell Hammond when he won the Central Westmoreland seat yesterday.

Voters ditch Dalley for Broderick
Lawrence ‘Laurie’ Broderick of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) yesterday ousted the 18-year incumbent and People’s National Party (PNP) frontman, Horace Dalley, in North Clarendon. It was not Broderick’s first time trying to sideline the veteran. He tried unsuccessfully in 2002.

Maxine holds off Gordon-Webley challenge
Call her old-fashioned if you wish, but from this day forward, history will record that Maxine Henry-Wilson has once again retained the tough South-East St.Andrew seat in the Corporate Area for the People’s National Party (PNP), despite threats.

‘Man a Yard’ spanks Lyn
Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Audley Shaw, yesterday steered clear of what would have been the biggest political upset when he defeated People’s National Party (PNP) first-timer Paul Lyn in the run for the Manchester North East seat.

TOO CLOSE TO CALL: South St James hangs in the balance
The pendulum of victory in the Southern St.James seat hangs in the balance as the Electoral Office of Jamaica has held off declaring the winner of the constituency. Reports of a win for the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Derrick Kellier over Jamaica Labour Party.

Douglas digs deep for victory
A veteran of the People’s National Party (PNP), Harry Douglas has again proven his mettle in bringing home another traditional seat for his party. The tactics of the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) candidate, Tarn Peralto, were not savvy enough to send the incumbent Member of Parliament.

CENTRAL MANCHESTER - Electors stay the course
Despite the shifting and changing, this did not harm the People’s National Party (PNP) in Central Manchester as the voters refused to change course and elected Peter Bunting as their MP.

Is Jamaica changing course?

September 4th, 2007

Jamaica witnessed the closest election race in its history yesterday.

The eight-week long campaign resulted in a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) win of 31 seats to 29 seats win over the People’s National Party (PNP), making Bruce Golding, Jamaica’s eighth Prime Minister.

However, it was not long before the nation was left wondering what the future of Jamaica held, when Prime Minister and PNP President Portia Simpson Miller did not concede victory to the JLP.

In her address to the nation from the PNP party headquarters Prime Minister Simpson Miller announced that the PNP would await the official count today, as the results were ‘too close to call’.

She also revealed that the PNP were concerned by what appeared to be a number of breaches of the electoral rules.

What do you say on this matter? Comment below …

PNP and JLP all square: eight seats left

September 3rd, 2007

JLP one seat ahead with nine seats to go

September 3rd, 2007

JLP 26:25 PNP

Click here and follow the count with The Gleaner.