On Tuesday, the Leader of Government Business Karl Samuda gave notice of motion, that at the next sitting of the parliament, prime minister Andrew Holness would pilot a bill titled ‘An Act to Amend the Representation of the People Act.’
The memorandum of objects and reasons of the bill states that the holding of local government elections at the same time as a general election, in instances where the timing for each respective election, in keeping with legal requirements, falls within 120 days of the other, is envisaged to result in significant cost savings to Jamaica, as well as administrative convenience.
In this regard, the Government will be tabling the bill that is intended to amend the Representation of the People Act (ROPA) in order to facilitate the holding of both elections on a given day.
The bill to amend ROPA also provides for the methods of immersion of digits in electoral ink, including spraying electoral ink on the digit, or such other methods as may be prescribed.
Further, it provides for agents to be appointed to represent political parties, rather than candidates, in circumstances where those candidates represent political parties.
Director of Elections Glasspole Brown had earlier divulged that the country could save $750 million if both elections are held on the same day.
Both major political parties have been informing prospective voters as they campaign that there is a strong possibility that both elections will be held at the same time, hence all candidates have been mobilized with this possibility in mind.
Speaking last Thursday in Annotto Bay, St Mary, the prime minister said while some were “summoning the silly season”, he did not have elections on his mind at this time.
A general election is constitutionally due by 2021 while the local government vote is due by November this year.
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