The House of Representatives has adopted a proposal to amend existing legislation to empower the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) to prescribe electoral division boundaries, and prohibit the publication of a new list of electors between nomination day and Election Day.
Piloting the proposals, which are contained in an ECJ report to Parliament, Leader of Government Business in the House, Hon. Andrew Holness, on June 7, explained that this would require amendments to the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation Act; the Parish Councils Act, and the Representation of the People’s Act.
“The ECJ seeks no more authority than that which was reposed in the previous Electoral Advisory Commission (EAC), with respect to the setting of boundaries for electoral divisions. Previously it was the Minister of Local Government that had the authority to determine the number of electoral divisions and to set their boundaries,” Mr. Holness said.
The Leader explained that with the establishment of the EAC in 1979, this authority was given to the EAC as set out in the Parish Council Act, and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) Act, and was in keeping with the principle that all electoral matters should be decided by the independent EAC, not by the party in government.
He noted that when the EAC was abolished in 2006, and replaced with the ECJ, the Parish Council and the KSAC Acts were not amended to empower the ECJ to carry out this function. This is the amendment that the report now recommends.
Full Article: ECJ to get power to prescribe electoral boundaries.