Gov’t to dis­burse funds to EOJ for Nov 28 polls

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

MIN­IS­TER WITH Re­spon­si­bil­ity for Elec­toral Mat­ters Der­rick Smith has given the as­sur­ance that the Govern­ment will pro­vide, within the stip­u­lated time, the money needed by the Elec­toral Of­fice of Ja­maica (EOJ) to con­duct the up­com­ing Lo­cal Govern­ment Elec­tions set for Novem­ber 28.

Di­rec­tor of Elec­tions Or­rette Fisher said on Thurs­day that his of­fice was ex­pect­ing to re­ceive ap­prox­i­mately $220 mil­lion of the $1.3 bil­lion bud­geted for the hold­ing of the elec­tions by Mon­day, Novem­ber 17.

Smith told The Gleaner that the funds would be made avail­able to the elec­toral body to fa­cil­i­tate the smooth run­ning of the polls.

At the same time, the EOJ has in­ten­si­fied prepa­ra­tions for the elec­tions, ad­mit­ting that while the time frame given to com­plete prepa­ra­tions is “far less than ideal”, the EOJ is in a rea­son­able state of readi­ness.

In a me­dia re­lease, the elec­toral body said it has fast-tracked its op­er­a­tions to meet statu­tory re­quire­ments and dead­lines in order to get its ma­chin­ery ready for Novem­ber 28.

EOJ RE­SOURCES

Fisher noted that the EOJ’s re­sources would be stretched, but pledged that the or­gan­i­sa­tion would en­sure that a cred­i­ble elec­tion is de­liv­ered.

“While the time frame we have been given to com­plete our prepa­ra­tion for the elec­tions is very short, we are do­ing our best at the EOJ to en­sure that we are ready. It will be very dif­fi­cult, but we have al­ready put mea­sures in place to com­plete the sig­nif­i­cant amount of work to be done. Our goal is to en­sure that the elec­tions are free and fair,” he said.

Mean­while, the EOJ said the elec­tronic voter iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem will be used in seven con­stituen­cies. They are St Cather­ine Eastern, St An­drew West Cen­tral, St An­drew South Eastern, St An­drew Eastern, St An­drew West­ern, Kingston Cen­tral and Kingston East and Port Royal.

Mem­bers of the se­cu­rity forces and elec­tion day work­ers will vote on Novem­ber 25, three days be­fore the rest of the elec­torate.

FISHER

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