Jamaica’s ruling People’s National Party has dominated local government elections.
State-run news agency Jamaica Information Service said Tuesday that the PNP won 12 of the island’s 13 parish councils. Voter turnout was just over 34 per cent.
Nearly 500 candidates competed Monday for council seats across Jamaica in municipal elections seen as a political litmus test for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s administration.
It’s the second time in three months that the main opposition Jamaica Labour Party was drubbed in a vote. Simpson Miller’s faction won a 2-to-1 margin in parliament over Labour in general elections in late December.
Parish councils handle a range of municipal issues from road repairs to waste management.
Former Honorary Jamaican Consulate to the Cayman Islands Robert Hamaty noted, “Normally that’s the trend. Whoever wins the national elections usually sweeps the local election. I can’t think of a time when this has not been the case. I think the people are smart enough to know that if they want anything done, it is best to have a parish council made up of the ruling party rather than the opposition.” Parish Councils are charged with securing funds for the respective parishes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.