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Press Release

JCC Statement on Local Government Elections

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The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) is requesting that the Jamaican Government disclose its intentions regarding the setting of a date for the staging of Local Government elections. These elections, the JCC notes, have already been twice postponed and given the timeline that must constitutionally be observed regarding the periods between the setting of an election date, the designation of Nomination Day and the actual election itself, it is now evident that these elections will not take place by the end of February 2023.  Additionally, it now appears that the occasioned delays will require another temporary amendment to the Representation of the Peoples Act at the proverbial last minute.

Beyond the current situation, there is however a larger point to be made about operating an effective democracy to serve rather than rule the people.   At both the level of the individual and institutions in the public and private sector, this archaic practice of announcing election dates at short notice, undermines everybody’s ability (excepting the ruling party at the time) to effectively plan and better execute their affairs.  As one of the founders of the Jamaica Debates Commission (JDC) the JCC knows firsthand that institutions which exist to strengthen democracy and empower the voting public such as the JDC, benefit greatly from predictability and transparency, allowing for sufficient time to execute their missions in a calm and measured manner, appropriate for addressing important national decisions.

The JCC and other organizations have long argued that the country needs to modify the outmoded & frankly dysfunctional practice enshrined in our Westminster model of governance that places the timing of elections solely in the hands of a Prime Minister and move instead to fixed election dates. We repeat this call now.

Our citizenry deserves a system which best serves them and not one that serves whichever party holds the reins of power.