GOVERNOR General Sir Patrick Allen was yesterday presented with the official results of last week's general election by Director of Elections Orrette Fisher, clearing the way for the Prime Minister-designate Portia Simpson Miller to be formally sworn in as the new head of government.
The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ), in a media release yesterday, said its official count of the ballots in the December 29 general election has confirmed the 42 seats for Simpson Miller's People's National Party (PNP) and 21 for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), led by Andrew Holness.
The EOJ advised that all candidates who contested the December 29 election now have four days, following the completion of the official count in each constituency, within which to file for magisterial recounts. It said, too, that returning officers are required to submit results and returns of writs, along with a report, seven days after the completion of the final count in their respective constituencies. Copies of the writs will be issued to the clerk of the Houses of Parliament to facilitate the swearing-in of MPs.
In the meantime, plans for Simpson-Miller's swearing-in on Thursday at King's House — the official residence of the governor general — as well as plans to deal with the transition of power are expected to be outlined at a press conference this morning. The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled to start at 4:00 pm.
Members of Parliament Dr Omar Davies, Robert Pickersgill and Phillip Paulwell, as well as party spokesman Delano Franklyn, are scheduled to address the press conference, which will be held at the headquarters of the PNP on Old Hope Road in Kingston.
Davies, who served as finance minister in the former PNP administration; Pickersgill, a former transport and works minister and Paulwell, who was in charge of the energy and telecommunications portfolios, are all expected to be named in the Simpson Miller Cabinet. Franklyn, a former state minister in the foreign ministry, and who was a PNP's spokesman during the campaign for the December 29 polls, is, at least, expected to be rewarded with a junior ministerial post.
And having completed the official counting of ballots, the EOJ said it will now be focusing its energies on paying the more than 30,000 election day workers who served in various capacities. "It is anticipated that these payments will be completed by the end of January," it said.
In the meantime, more sector leaders, in sending congratulations to the PNP on its victory at the polls, have asked the new administration to place focus on specific areas crucial to their sectors. Among them were the country's labour leaders and manufacturers.