Clarendon North Western recount 'still tight'

Saturday, September 19, 2020

TODAY's tally of the contents of 27 remaining ballot boxes will determine the ultimate winner of the judicial (magisterial) recount for the Clarendon North Western seat in a race described as “still tight” following yesterday's results.

The exercise, which began on Tuesday under the watchful gaze of a senior parish court judge in the Clarendon parish court, was initiated by the People's National Party (PNP) after 1,107 ballots were rejected in the first tally. The preliminary vote count showed the ruling Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Phillip Henriques winning the seat with a total of 6,124 votes. The PNP's Richard Azan totalled 6,009 votes; while independent candidate Merrick Cohen got 51.

Yesterday, at the close of counting, 80 of the 107 boxes had been tallied leaving the JLP's Henriques still in the lead with 5,035 votes in his favour followed by Azan with 4,972. Cohen's fortunes had seen a reversal with only 42 votes declared for him.

Of the rejected ballots examined so far, 215 have been accepted.

“It's still anyone's race; still tight,” Anthony Williams, attorney for the PNP's Azan, told the Jamaica Observer.

Williams had declared, from the outset, that it would be “foolhardy” not to seek a magisterial recount in that seat based on the large number of rejected ballots.

Counting resumes today at 9:00 am. The exercise is also expected to conclude today.

— Alicia Dunkley-Willis

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