KINGSTON – Jamaican Prime Minister-elect Andrew Holness on Monday urged electoral officials to quickly certify that the majority of the seats in last week’s general election were won by his Jamaica Labor Party.
While seeking to assure the nation that he is poised to take charge of the government as soon as the count is finalized, Holness said in a statement that any delay could have serious effects on Jamaica’s macroeconomic and financial indicators.
Holness spoke out following confirmation that a recount awarded another seat to the People’s National Party, giving the PNP 31 of the 63 seats in the parliament.
The recount resumed Monday.
Amid increasing tensions, outgoing Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller of the PNP called for Jamaicans to remain calm as the recounting of ballots from the Feb. 25 general election continued.
“All Jamaicans have a responsibility to ensure that Jamaica’s reputation as a mature democracy is preserved and nothing causes hurt to anyone,” she said.
The focus Sunday was on the constituency of Western St. Thomas, where JLP candidate James Robertson had received 9,590 votes compared with 9,209 for the PNP’s Marsha Francis.
The recount in that constituency came to a halt after officials from the Electoral Office said that the Returning Office, where the recount was taking place, was too cramped to accommodate the process.
Preliminary figures show the JLP received 436,459 votes, compared with 432,353 for the PNP. Just under 48 percent of Jamaica’s 1.8 million eligible voters turned out for last Thursday’s poll.