Jamaica | Feb 21, 2023

Another postponement of local government elections

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Legislation to postpone municipals polls for Parliament today

Gordon House, the home of Jamaca’s Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament.

Durrant Pate/Contributor

The Andrew Holness administration is set to announce another postponement of the long overdue local government elections.

The administration is to set to table a bill in Parliament later today (February 21) postponing the municipal polls, due from 2020. The Representation of the People (Postponement of Elections to Municipal Corporation and City Municipalities) Act, 2023 is also expected to be debated today.

This latest planned postponement would represent the fourth time that the Holness administration is postponing the local government elections, which are constitutionally due every four years. The last time Jamaica went to the municipal polls was in November 2016.

The elections were postponed in November 2020 for three months, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, then again in February 2021 with a further extension of 12 months, making them due by February 27, 2023.

PSOJ concerned about the delays

Last week, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) expressed concern over the delays by the Government in executing the local government elections.

In a statement to the media, the PSOJ urged that the municipal elections not be delayed any further, given, it said, that local government elections are essential to the process of good governance and democracy in Jamaica.

The Hope Road, St Andrew headquarters of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica. (File Photo:

The PSOJ recalled that the Holness administrated declared “the postponement was necessary due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and that holding an election would put the country’s public health at risk”.

The private sector lobby referred to Deputy Prime Minister Dr Horace Chang, who had cited that Jamaica’s “current economic challenges” are factors in the postponement of the elections, arguing that it is unfortunate that a year later, despite all the steps taken to bring the country back to a state of normalcy, there is an expected postponement again by the Government.

The PSOJ argued that the reasons cited by the Government are an unacceptable stance to be taken on the implementation of such a core component in the country’s democratic process and that the elections, which are constitutionally due by the end of February, saying it should be given utmost priority by the Government with necessary steps taken to have them held urgently.

The Opposition People’s National Party has repeatedly called for the Government to have the elections, declaring its readiness for the municipal polls.


What To Read Next