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No further postponement of local gov't election being considered, says PM

By Racquel Porter

The Andrew Holness administration has signalled that it does not intend to request a further postponement of the local government election unless there is a crisis.

The last election was held in November 2016.

The government in February used its majority in the House of Representatives to pass legislation to enact a third postponement of the polls, citing budgetary constraints.

At that time, the administration indicated that the elections would be held no later than February 28, 2024.

Speaking with journalists at a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister in St. Andrew on Thursday, Mr. Holness said the election will be held this time around. 

"The government intends to fulfil the constitutional requirements, and the Constitution as it relates to the local government elections, they have set a date. It has been postponed. If there is need, if something happens, if there is an exogenous shock or weather event, then certainly that has to be considered. But as it is now, it is the intention of the government to fulfil its constitutional duties," he declared. 

The parliamentary opposition has promised to take the government to court if there is any further postponement of the elections.

Glasspole Brown, Director of Elections at the Electoral Office of Jamaica, told Radio Jamaica News that the $2 billion budget for the local government polls, submitted prior to March, is under review. 

"In the past, closer to an election date...a budget is normally approved by the Ministry of Finance. So far, we have not been given an approved budget," he admitted. 

Mr. Brown said the figure is similar to the 2020 general election budget due to inflation.