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JAMAICA | PNP wants monitoring mechanism ahead of By-Election

PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson. PNP General Secretary Julian Robinson.
Kingston, Jamaica, September 7, 2017: The People’s National Party wants the Political Ombudsman and the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) to immediately establish a monitoring mechanism to ensure that state funds are not corruptly used to influence the outcome of the by-elections, especially in SE St. Mary.

A release from the  Office of the PNP Secretary General  says the intervention of the Political Ombudsman is being sought pursuance to section (5) of the Joint Agreement and Declaration on Political Conduct, commonly called the Political Code of Conduct.

There is recent evidence that during the local government elections, the government implemented a JMD$800 million de-bushing programme, which became the subject of an investigation by the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) because the government was accused of using that programme to influence the electoral outcome of the parish council elections by targeting areas which pre-dominantly vote for the People’s National Party (PNP).

After a lengthy investigation, the OCG concluded that the de-bushing programme was a ‘corruption enabling mechanism’ which involved five (5) government ministers, none of whom has been reprimanded or sanctioned for their involvement in the scheme.

The release says the PNP has received reports that already, several agencies, including the Parish Council, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, have started allocating resources such as fertilizer and other agriculture-based products to St Mary.  A new bushing programme has also started in the South East St Mary.

It is further alleged that resources which were earmarked for sections of Portmore and the wider St Catherine area, are being re-allocated to the parish of St Mary.

The People’s National Party says both ordinary citizenry as well as its local organization in South East St. Mary are expressing concern that the St. Mary Municipal Council and agencies of the State started this activism in the constituency and are very concerned that this could intensify during the upcoming campaign process related to the upcoming by-election in South East St Mary.

The Party is, therefore, urging both the Contractor General as well as the Office of the Political Ombudsman to quickly establish a public monitoring mechanism to oversee the operations of state agencies within the Parish/Constituency vis-à-vis the by-election.

  • Countries: Jamaica