PM commits to holding local gov’t polls by February 2024 Loop Jamaica

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11 hrs ago

Prime Minister Andrew Holness (Photo: JIS)

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The Government has signalled its commitment to holding the long-overdue local government elections, which is constitutionally due by February 2024, barring any exogenous shocks or weather events affecting the country.

“The Government intends to fulfil the constitutional requirements and the constitution as it relates to the local government elections,” declared Prime Minister Andrew Holness at a media conference held at his office on Thursday.

“They have set a date. It has been postponed. If there is a need, (or) if something happens, (or) if there’s an exogenous shock, (or) a weather event, then certainly, that has to be considered,” he cautioned.

“… But as it is now, it is the intention of the Government to fulfil its constitutional duties,” added Holness.

The local government polls were last held in 2016, with the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) taking majority of the municipal corporations locally.

Since then, the polls have been postponed on three occasions since November 2020.

The Government on February 21 posited that it needed more time to ensure that the country’s economic recovery is sustained before it is in a position to call the local government elections, postponing the polls by one year until February 28, 2024.

The elections were due then by February 28 this year.

Leader of the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP), Mark Golding, had threatened to take the Holness-led Administration to court if there was any further postponement of the polls beyond February next year.

Besides the PNP voicing its discontent with the decision to postpone local government elections another time, concerns were raised in several quarters about the continued delays, including by business leaders.

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