McKenzie to announce postponement of local gov’t elections today Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Government is expected to on Tuesday announce that local government elections will be postponed for a third time.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, will be tasked with making the announcement in the House of Representatives.

He will table and open the debate on The Representation of the People (Postponement of Elections to Municipal Corporation and City Municipalities) Act to facilitate the third postponement of the local polls since November 2020.

Constitutionally due every four years, local government elections were last held on November 28, 2016. However, the government postponed the elections that were due in November 2020, pointing to the threat to public health posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the need for recovery from the extensive rains experienced in that year. This despite general elections being held two months earlier in September of that year.

The Parliament again postponed the local polls in January 2022, setting a date no later than February 28, 2023 for the local government elections to be held. That deadline can no longer be met.

The Government has been facing mounting pressure in recent weeks after the Electoral Office of Jamaica indicated that it had not been given a budget to prepare for the elections.

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, and the Opposition People’s National Party along with some sitting and prospective councillors have questioned the reasons for the delay and have been urging the Government to indicate when Jamaicans will be asked to go to the polls.

There is no provision in the 2023/24 budget for the local government elections.