Kingston: Jamaican local government elections have been once again postponed for the next 12 months, which were earlier scheduled to take place on February 27, 2022. Yesterday, the government proposed a bill in the parliament to postpone the elections, which are due to take place, since November 2020.
The bill was entitled as: ‘The Representation of the People (Postponement of Elections to Municipal Corporations and City Municipalities) Act, 2022.’
The voting to postpone the elections commenced with the proposal of 6 months by the Opposition leader Mark Golding, which further extended to the proposal 12 months by the Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie.
The Minister stated that the Jamaican government does not want a political confrontation at the time when of the celebration of Jamaica’s 60th diamond anniversary of Independence.
The opposition leader stated, “But, as the Minister accountable for the local government, I wish to make sure that the House and the nation that we are still committed to having the next local government elections in the shortest practicable time. The commitment of this Administration to the local government system is well-known. It is a critical part of national life that will remain unthreatened by the postponement of local government elections“.
The previous year, in the month of November, Prime Minister Andrew Holness hinted that the local government elections in the country might get postponed, saying there were no immediate plans to conduct elections. During his address then, he informed the supporter and general public of the Caribbean island that the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic does not create a safer environment to contest elections.
The previous local government elections were held on November 28, in the year of 2016.
Meanwhile, some other countries of the region have also postponed the general elections, such as – Haiti, citing the same reason (the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak) behind this delay.