JAMAICA-Government announces date for by-election

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness says a by-election will be held in the Corporate Area constituency of St. Andrew Northwestern on March 5, to elect a new member of parliament following the recent resignation of veteran politician Derrick Smith.

Holness, addressing supporters of his ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) late Sunday, said that Nomination Day will be on February 12.

ballSmith, a long-standing JLP member, resigned last month after representing the constituency for 29 years

The by-election is expected to be a straight fight between the JLP’s Dr. Nigel Clarke and Keisha Hayle of the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP).

Meanwhile, the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) says it started making preparations for the election.

“The tradition would be that the electoral office will be consulted to find out if we were in a position to conduct the by-election. I heard the announcement on television – we have not finalised the budget, but I’ll be seeking to do that and have it sent off to the Ministry of Finance,” said EOJ director, Orrette Fisher.

The JLP enjoys a three-seat majority in the 63-seat Parliament.

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