Holness, Golding both claim victory in Local Government Elections Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Both Prime Minister Andrew Holness representing the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and Opposition Leader Mark Golding, President of the People’s National Party (PNP), are claiming victory in Monday’s Local Government Elections.

However, based on preliminary figures from the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) on Monday night, the JLP is leading in, or has won in seven of the municipal corporations, for a clear majority from that standpoint. The municipalities are Portland, St Thomas, St Mary, St Ann, Trelawny, St James, and St Elizabeth.

This is while the PNP is leading in, or has won, four of the corporations. These are Westmoreland, Hanover, St Catherine and Manchester.

Both parties have won 20 divisions each in the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), although both are claiming outright victory there. If the tie holds, the PNP will appoint the chairman and mayor by virtue of having won the popular vote.

The parties are also locked on 11 divisions each in Clarendon, and there are still votes to be counted there.

St Thomas is five to four in favour of the JLP, with the Llandewey Division outstanding, having ended in a tie with both candidates polling 1,306 votes, and will likely head to a magisterial recount.

In addressing supporters at the PNP’s Old Hope Road headquarters in St Andrew on Monday night, Golding said, “I want to give thanks and praise to the Most High God for this victory.

“Comrades, we’ve won the popular vote in Jamaica. We’ve won many more divisions than we had before. We’ve won the KSAMC with a large margin in the popular vote,” he added.

People’s National Party (PNP) President and Opposition Leader, Mark Golding, speaking with the media at the party’s Old Hope Road, St Andrew headquarters on Monday night.  

The preliminary count showed the PNP with 303,847 of the popular vote, to the JLP’s 282,648.

The PNP was also leading in 102 electoral divisions to the JLP’s 95 of those already counted, while the JLP was leading in 17 and the PNP in 13 that were still being counted Monday night.

Golding said the PNP is awaiting the results in several divisions, but insisted that, “the people have spoken”.

“I said in the beginning that this would be a referendum on the Government of Andrew Holness, and the people have spoken. They want change. They’re tired of the Jamaica Labour Party Government. They’re tired of the lies and deception, they’re tired of the corruption…,” said Golding.

When he spoke from the JLP’s Belmont Road headquarters, the prime minister said, “What we can say to the nation is that the Jamaica Labour Party retains seven municipal corporations with a clear lead. The PNP has four and there are two that are reported to be tied, so without question, the Jamaica Labour Party has won the municipal elections, without question.”

Holness said there should be some definitive word on the two tied corporations within days, and he anticipates that there will be recounts with potential for change where there are close margins.

“But right now, the most definitive result we can say is that the Jamaica Labour Party holds seven municipal corporations, which is the majority of the corporations,” he stated.

Said Holness: “The people of Jamaica maintain confidence in the Government of the Jamaica Labour Party. Clearly, if this were a General Election, the Jamaica Labour Party would still be the Government of Jamaica.”

The prime minister acknowledged that there are issues that came up during the campaign that the Government has been seized of, and recognises. He said the voters have communicated this and the Government will be taking steps to address the issues, such as roads and water, which dominated the election campaign.