In Jamaica: Holness Wrestles with election date

3 November 2011

PM Holness seeks to tie up any loose ends with regard to general elections, amid questions from Portia Simpson-Miller

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has responded to queries by Leader of the Opposition Portia Simpson-Miller regarding the preparedness of the Electoral Office of Jamaica, EOJ, for a general election.

Those concerns were raised in a letter sent to the Electoral Commission of Jamaica yesterday in which the PNP expressed worry that the EOJ is not ready.

She also warned that the election should not be held at a standard below that of the 2007 polls.

Addressing those concerns on Smile Jamaica on TVJ this morning, Mr. Holness said he agreed standards must be maintained.

And the Prime Minister says he has been wrestling with the decision regarding a date for general elections.

He has sought to assure that it will be thoroughly thought out before an announcement is made.

In the meantime, the Opposition Leader has reportedly responded to an invitation from Mr. Holness for them to walk together through political garrisons as part of steps to reform these communities.

Andrew Holness made the invitation during his inaugural speech on October 23.

And Mr. Holness says he received a letter from the President of the People’s National Party yesterday.

While not disclosing the contents of the letter, Mr. Holness said Mrs Simpson-Miller indicated an interest in discussing the matter further.

The Prime Minister also explained that more than being symbolic, the walk would form part of a series of initiatives to reform garrison communities.

Mr. Holness said the initiatives will be centred on eliminating the stigma attached to several communities through social programmes aimed at boosting the morale of residents.


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