Categorized | Local, News, Politics

Voters go the poll on Monday

 To vote for one vacant seat in the Montserrat Legislative Assembly

When former Premier Reuben T Meade officially retired from his seat in the Legislative Assembly and from active politics on November 2, 2016, the seat became vacant and it invoked the need for it to be filled. And so, a by-election became necessary as mandated.

Seven candidates are offering themselves to fill the single vacancy. Vters will cast their votes at 12 polling stations from the six electoral divisions on Monday, January 30, 2017.

The number of registered voters 3,866 eligible to vote remain the same as it was for the 2014 September General Elections when the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) routed Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) seven to two. One of the PDM members crossed to the Opposition side of the Assembly, unaligned to any party as an Independent. There are now for the last three months only eight members in the house with the retirement of R T Meade.

The location of the polling stations to be used for the by-election on January 30 are situated in strategic locations in the six polling divisions. These include the Montserrat Secondary School, the St. Peter’s old school room and the St. Peter’s clinic, the Brades Primary School, the Davy Hill Wesleyan Holiness Church and, also in Davy Hill, the A & G building upstairs; the St. John’s Seventh-Day Adventist Church downstairs, and the Lookout Primary School.

The Electoral Commission has also informed that persons will be directed to a voting according to the first letter in their surnames. Information is that voting count will take place at the Brades Primary School at some point soon after the polls are closed at 6 p.m.

The seven candidates in the by-election are Emile Duberry – Businessman, Victor James Sr. – Mechanic, Samuel Joseph – Entrepreneur, Keithroy Morson – Entertainer, Charlesworth Phillip – Building Contractor, Winston Pond – Mechanic and Businessman Jermaine Wade.

All of these candidates having been on the campaign trail in one form or another though not utilising all available substantial means therefor.

One candidate last week took to an interview on radio where he entertained questions, resulting in congratulatory comments pouring in from some persons who were critical of others and especially MCAP who is fielding one candidate, for not opening the lines during their talk programs on the radio.

During the by-election campaign, there have been questions about the lack of newly registered voters name appearing on the preliminary voters list. It has been perceived that this number is minutely small, but Chairman of the Electoral Commission Sir Howard Fergus said finally, based on consultation with the lawyers available to him, “I am now confirming that the law as it stands presently does not permit us to amend the 2014 Electoral list for the January 30 By-election.” He at the same time expressed his gratitude to the Hon. Attorney General (Acting) and her Chambers for their legal advice in this sensitive matter.

Sir Howard said earlier, “I voiced my own disappointment that persons who had since registered to vote by the continuous registration route, would not be able to do so. In other words, we are not legally allowed to amend the electoral list to include their names.”

He said that earlier statement on the matter, “had provoked a number of strong criticisms in social media and even a threat of litigation,” that he had no vested interest in disenfranchising anyone.

He went on to assert that he was prepared to reverse his original decision, “if I had to, after a review of the matter, based of course on my consultation with the lawyers available to me.”
In the General Elections of 2014 71 percent of the 3,866 registered voters participated.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

 To vote for one vacant seat in the Montserrat Legislative Assembly

When former Premier Reuben T Meade officially retired from his seat in the Legislative Assembly and from active politics on November 2, 2016, the seat became vacant and it invoked the need for it to be filled. And so, a by-election became necessary as mandated.

Seven candidates are offering themselves to fill the single vacancy. Vters will cast their votes at 12 polling stations from the six electoral divisions on Monday, January 30, 2017.

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The number of registered voters 3,866 eligible to vote remain the same as it was for the 2014 September General Elections when the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) routed Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) seven to two. One of the PDM members crossed to the Opposition side of the Assembly, unaligned to any party as an Independent. There are now for the last three months only eight members in the house with the retirement of R T Meade.

The location of the polling stations to be used for the by-election on January 30 are situated in strategic locations in the six polling divisions. These include the Montserrat Secondary School, the St. Peter’s old school room and the St. Peter’s clinic, the Brades Primary School, the Davy Hill Wesleyan Holiness Church and, also in Davy Hill, the A & G building upstairs; the St. John’s Seventh-Day Adventist Church downstairs, and the Lookout Primary School.

The Electoral Commission has also informed that persons will be directed to a voting according to the first letter in their surnames. Information is that voting count will take place at the Brades Primary School at some point soon after the polls are closed at 6 p.m.

The seven candidates in the by-election are Emile Duberry – Businessman, Victor James Sr. – Mechanic, Samuel Joseph – Entrepreneur, Keithroy Morson – Entertainer, Charlesworth Phillip – Building Contractor, Winston Pond – Mechanic and Businessman Jermaine Wade.

All of these candidates having been on the campaign trail in one form or another though not utilising all available substantial means therefor.

One candidate last week took to an interview on radio where he entertained questions, resulting in congratulatory comments pouring in from some persons who were critical of others and especially MCAP who is fielding one candidate, for not opening the lines during their talk programs on the radio.

During the by-election campaign, there have been questions about the lack of newly registered voters name appearing on the preliminary voters list. It has been perceived that this number is minutely small, but Chairman of the Electoral Commission Sir Howard Fergus said finally, based on consultation with the lawyers available to him, “I am now confirming that the law as it stands presently does not permit us to amend the 2014 Electoral list for the January 30 By-election.” He at the same time expressed his gratitude to the Hon. Attorney General (Acting) and her Chambers for their legal advice in this sensitive matter.

Sir Howard said earlier, “I voiced my own disappointment that persons who had since registered to vote by the continuous registration route, would not be able to do so. In other words, we are not legally allowed to amend the electoral list to include their names.”

He said that earlier statement on the matter, “had provoked a number of strong criticisms in social media and even a threat of litigation,” that he had no vested interest in disenfranchising anyone.

He went on to assert that he was prepared to reverse his original decision, “if I had to, after a review of the matter, based of course on my consultation with the lawyers available to me.”
In the General Elections of 2014 71 percent of the 3,866 registered voters participated.