KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has announced a general election in Jamaica for Monday, August 27, 2007.
The date for the nomination of candidates will be Tuesday, August 7. This will be the 15th general election to be held in Jamaica since the granting of universal adult suffrage in 1944. The next general election is constitutionally due by October this year. The Constitution of Jamaica empowers the Prime Minister to announce an election date at any time during a term of office.
In making the announcement at a public meeting in Kingston on Sunday night (July 8), the Prime Minister pointed out that she will at an appropriate time before Nomination Day advise the Governor General of the date for the proroguing of Parliament to facilitate the holding of the election. She said, “this was being done to allow time for Parliament to continue sitting and complete its debate on proposed amendments to the Representation of the People Act which have been put forward by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica”.
On June 26 the House of Representatives suspended the debate on amendments to three Bills, recommended by the Electoral Commission to rid the electoral system of electoral fraud including open voting.
Leader of Government Business in the House, Dr. Peter Phillips, called for the postponement after members of the Lower House disagreed with amendment to the Bills by the Senate. The three Bills being examined are the Representation of the People Act, The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation Act and the Parish Council Act.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister has called on the nation to observe the weekend of August 4 and 5 as a time of prayer, thanksgiving and reflection.
She added that the general election and nomination dates were also timed taking into consideration the observance of Emancipation Day on August 1 and the celebration of the country’s 45th Independence on August 6.