McKenzie tells JLP councillors to respect convention

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December 09, 2016

Desmond McKenzie, the minister of Local Government, has called for the Jamaica Labour Party councillors in the St Thomas Municipal Corporation to respect a time-honoured convention that allows for harmony whether there is a tie in the number of council seats both parties hold.

"It is well known, and indeed, the director of elections has referred to it, that the party with the popular vote in the parish selects the mayor, and the other side will select the deputy mayor," McKenzie said.

Yesterday, councillors in St Thomas voted for the mayor and deputy mayor who are both from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

The PNP councillors boycotted the swearing-in ceremony, their request to delay the proceedings was denied.

They are contending that with a 5-5 tie in the parish, and with a pending election petition for the Yallahs division, the entire process of swearing-in councillors should have been postponed.

The petition was filed by the PNP's Constantine Bogle, who alleged that Dean Jones, the JLP's candidate who won the seat, does not reside in the parish and is therefore not qualified to serve in the local council.

PNP councillors boycotted the swearing-in ceremony stating that the matter needs to be rectified.

After taking his seat as chairman of the local authority, Lenworth Rawle called for the nomination and further election of a deputy.

The JLP councillors nominated and voted for Michael Hue, councillor of the Port Morant division.