Graham takes it by a nose

September 04, 2020
PNP supporters awaiting the final results adjacent to the Linstead courthouse in St Catherine North West.
PNP supporters awaiting the final results adjacent to the Linstead courthouse in St Catherine North West.
Hugh Graham beams after casting his vote.
Hugh Graham beams after casting his vote.
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The speaker boxes blared loudly from a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP)-branded vehicle parked in Vanity Fair in Linstead, St Catherine.

Supporters danced while hanging outside of moving vehicles and in the streets, while several explosions, possibly firecrackers, were heard at close intervals.

St Catherine North West was undoubtedly in a celebratory mood.

Supporters of the green-clad party were all overjoyed when their candidate, Newton Amos, was leading the polls against the People's National Party's (PNP) Hugh Graham.

But their celebration soon turned into silence at the end of the day, when it was declared that Graham had won by an extremely tiny margin of 22 votes, scraping out 5,283 votes, while Amos received 5,261. Despite their winning, Graham's supporters were also in no mood to partake in any victory dance, as the PNP lost the 18th general election last night by a landslide.

The current COVID-19 pandemic did hinder the voters from turning out to cast their ballots, as they chose their new political representative.

The PNP's Robert Pickersgill is retiring from active politics, leading to the seat's availability.

Overall, the voting process ran smoothly in the constituency and COVID-19 protocols were followed at the over one dozen polling stations visited.

However, all protocols were forgotten shortly after polling stations were closed, as supporters from both parties paraded in support of their respective representatives.

Except for a few elderly persons who earlier complained about being delayed at the Charlemont Community Centre, the voting process appeared simple and relatively quick.

The Electoral Commission of Jamaica workers were also very professional and helpful.

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