Caribbean Elections Today

The Election Portal of the Caribbean

Caribbean Elections Today provides comprehensive news on the electoral process, politics, democracy, and citizenship in the Caribbean.

Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture dies‏

Roger Clarke

Roger Clarke

FLORIDA, 28 August 2014 (CMC) – Jamaica’s Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke died Thursday of an apparent heart attack at an airport in Florida.

Clarke, 74, had been at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida since mid-July where he had undergone surgery for a back problem and was returning to Jamaica when he died at the airport.

“Clarke decided to return home and collapsed at the Fort Lauderdale airport, his wife was with him and he has passed,” said People’s National Party (PNP) Deputy General Secretary, Raymond Pryce. Continue reading

Jamaica to decriminalise marijuana for personal use

MarijuanaKINGSTON, Jamaica, 13 June 2014 (CMC) – Plans are in the making for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana.

“Cabinet approved certain changes to the law relating to ganja (marijuana). These relate to possession of small quantities of ganja for personal use, the smoking of ganja in private places and the use of ganja for medical-medicinal purposes,” Justice Minister, Mark Golding, said Thursday, as he announced that Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, and her cabinet had decided to amend the Dangerous Drugs Act. Continue reading

Jamaica government to decriminalise marijuana by yearend

MarijuanaKINGSTON, Jamaica, 24 February 2014 (CMC) – The Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce (CCMRT) says it has been given an assurance that Jamaica will this year decriminalise marijuana as the island seeks to establish a medicinal marijuana industry.

CCMRT leader, Dealana Seiveright in a statement, said that the assurance had come from Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister Phillip Paulwell. Continue reading

Education minister rebukes Holness

Jamaica FlagKINGSTON, Jamaica, 6 February 2014 (THE GLEANER) – Jamaica Opposition Leader Andrew Holness was on Tuesday rebuked by Education Minister Ronald Thwaites for having a negative attitude towards addressing certain problems within the school system.

“We need more Nehemiahs and less Sanballats in this nation, especially with respect to education,” a seemingly annoyed Thwaites said as he responded to comments from Holness in Gordon House. Continue reading

Tufton announces plans to quit Jamaica politics

Christopher Tufton

Christopher Tufton

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday 29 January 2014 (CMC) – Former government minister Dr. Christopher Tufton, regarded as one of the more influential members of the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), has announced plans to bow out of electoral politics.

Tufton, the former parliamentary representative for the South West St Elizabeth constituency, said he would not be contesting the next general election, constitutionally due in 2016. Continue reading

Director of Elections on the secrecy of the vote

Orrette Fisher, Director of Elections, Jamaica

Orrette Fisher, Director of Elections, Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica, 29 January 2014 (JAMAICA OBSERVER) – The following is a statement by the Director of Elections Orette Fisher in response to a recent controversy regarding the secrecy of votes.

Said Fisher:

Recently, there has been discussion in the public sphere as to whether political candidates know which electors voted in an election and for whom.

The Electoral Office of Jamaica wishes to use this opportunity to clear up the matter.

Sections 41 and 41a of the Representation of the People Act give the right to each candidate to appoint an indoor agent and an outdoor agent respectively to watch the proceedings at each polling station on his or her behalf. Continue reading

Audley Shaw is back as Opposition spokesperson

Audley Shaw

Audley Shaw

KINGSTON, Jamaica, 28 January 2014 (THE GLEANER) – Opposition Leader Andrew Holness confirmed in the Parliament this afternoon that Audley Shaw has accepted the appointment as Shadow Spokesperson on Finance and Planning.

Following a statement to the Parliament by Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Peter Phillips, Shaw rose to respond on behalf of the Opposition.

Last November, Shaw declined an invitation by Opposition Leader Andrew Holness to be part of his Shadow Cabinet.

At the time, Shaw said he would not take up the position until the matter of nomination of two deputy leaders is addressed. Continue reading

Jamaica Cabinet Continues Deliberations on Capital Spending

The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica

The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica, 15 January 2014 (JIS) – Cabinet continued its special session on January 14 to settle capital spending and Ministry priorities for the 2014/15 Fiscal Year with reports from remaining Ministries in pursuit of its efforts to ensure effective fiscal management, foster stronger economic growth and increased employment. Continue reading

Former PM disagrees with opposition’s suggestion of Jamaica’s own appellate court

PJ Patterson, Former Jamaica Prime Minister

PJ Patterson, Former Jamaica Prime Minister

KINGSTON, Jamaica, 9 January 2014 (ANTIGUA OBSERVER) – Former Prime Minister PJ Patterson is disagreeing with a proposal from the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) that Jamaica should establish its own final court of appeal.

On Tuesday, the JLP’s spokesman on Justice, Senator Alexander Williams,suggested that instead of using the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the final appellate Court, Jamaica should establish a domestic court as its final court of appeal. Continue reading

Government has no intention to increase taxes this year

Jamaica FlagKINGSTON, Jamaica, 8 January 2014 (CMC) – The Jamaica government says it has no intention of increasing taxation this year but would continue with its efforts to reform the tax system as well as reduce the financial deficits facing the country.

Finance and Planning Minister Dr. Peter Phillips said that the Portia Simpson-Miller government would also seek to complete the tight financial-legislative agenda in keeping with requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) four-year US$958 million External Fund Facility (EFF). Continue reading

Shaw joins Holness’ call for growth strategies

Audley Shaw

Audley Shaw

KINGSTON, Jamaica, 7 January 2014 (The Gleaner) – Former Finance Minister Audley Shaw has endorsed Opposition Leader Andrew Holness’s warning that growth-inducement strategies are now urgently needed to secure the gains being made from passing International Monetary Fund (IMF) tests.

“If this is not done with considerable urgency, the economy will continue to drift like a helmless vessel, causing further loss of confidence, exchange rate slippage, anaemic investment and growth prospects, further contraction in employment, and increased crime and instability,” Shaw warned in a letter to the editor of The Gleaner published today. Continue reading

Government Committed to Improving Efficiency of Public Sector

Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance and Planning, Jamaica

Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance and Planning, Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica, 2 January 2014 (JIS) – The Government has reiterated its commitment to improving the efficiency, quality and cost effectiveness of the public sector.

This is stated in a Ministry Paper on Jamaica’s second quarterly review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Continue reading