Medical operation in St Mary South Eastern

Observer staff reporter

Monday, October 30, 2017

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ALL eyes will be on St Mary South Eastern today where the electoral contest between the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Dr Norman Dunn and the People's National Party's (PNP) Dr Shane Alexis comes to a head.

The Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) has indicated its readiness in its over 100 electoral divisions, where 25,521 people are eligible to vote across the four political divisions of Castleton, Richmond, Annotto Bay, and Belfield in the constituency.

After 10 weeks of intense campaigning that has polarised several communities in the rural area, the day will climax in a night of shattered dreams for some and jubilation for others.

The rural m constituency, marked by stagnation, deteriorating thoroughfares and unemployment, has remained tense during the campaign following several shooting incidents, although the police have not comfirmed any as being politically motivated.

That aside, the fact that Dr Alexis does not holds Jamaican citizenship dominated the political landscape. It was revealed that he holds Canadian citizenship.

Dubbed a medical operation, Prime Minister Andrew Holness is hoping to increase his razor-thin, one-seat majority in Parliament and upstage a fresh Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips, who will face the polls for the first time as leader of the PNP.

A recent poll commissioned by the JLP showed its candidate Dr Dunn ahead of the PNP's newcomer Dr Alexis, but in a seat that has dangled between the country's two main political parties, political pundits of merit have refrained from predicting the outcome of the must-win by-election. The JLP has won the seat nine times to the PNP's six.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Service of Jamaica has forecast lingering showers across eastern parishes on election day.

Yesterday, JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang told the Jamaica Observer that the party is prepared to deal with the unstable weather.

“We are preparing as best as we can ... it in terms of having raincoats and umbrellas for our workers and transport,” Chang said.

He noted that the campaign had gone “well” despite a “little excitement”.

“I don't think anything went awry and we are looking forward to a smooth day tomorrow (today),” he added.

For his part, PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson also voiced optimism while saying his party is prepared for the weather.

“It may rain tomorrow, as it did today, but we have made preparations as best as we can for that. Everything is in place and we expect to have a good day tomorrow and end up victorious at the end of the day,” said Robinson.




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