WITH THE sudden resignation of Dr Winston De La Haye, the People’s National Party (PNP) caretaker for St Catherine East Central, the party says it is moving to swiftly find a replacement in the constituency.

But as news of his resignation surfaced yesterday, PNP insiders told The Gleaner that De La Haye was facing internal wrangling with some influential organisers in the constituency.

De La Haye claimed he received a death threat which led him to quit the seat.

However, he did not say who made the threat or whether it has been reported to the police.

De La Haye could not immediately be reached by telephone yesterday.

However, in a statement, the PNP acknowledged De La Haye’s resignation.

The party said that it regretted the decision and thanked De La Haye for his service.

PNP sources told The Gleaner yesterday that De La Haye delivered the resignation letter to the party on Friday. In the missive, the psychiatrist told the party that his family was concerned about the threat he received.

The Gleaner understands that De La Haye outlined the issue in a letter to General Secretary Julian Robinson.

Yesterday, Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown told The Gleaner that her office had not received any complaints from either De La Haye or the PNP about a threat on his life.

Still, Parchment Brown said she was very unnerved by the development.

“I am very concerned because not so long ago, in 2016, two persons actually lost their lives,” she said.

PNP organiser and mayor of Spanish Town, Norman Scott, whose name has been raised as a possible replacement for De La Haye, said that he was not interested in the seat.

Scott had been caretaker for the party before De La Haye was parachuted in and installed there on February 16.

Efforts to reach Denise Daley, the regional chairman in charge of St Catherine, were unsuccessful.

CLARENDON, Jamaica;  It has been brought to the attention of the Election Centre that unauthorized individuals clad in white shirts with the word ‘OBSERVER’ printed on the back have been seen at voting locations interfering with potential voters in the Clarendon South Eastern constituency.

The Election Centre is advising the public that only Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) has been accredited Observer Status by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ).

Co-chairs of the Election Centre, Director of Elections Glasspole Brown and Political Ombudsman the Honourable Donna Parchment Brown are condemning the actions and cautioning all persons from engaging in this misleading conduct.

CLARENDON, Jamaica — Co-chairs of the Election Centre, Director of Elections Glasspole Brown and Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown, are condemning the actions of unauthorised individuals clad in white shirts with the word ‘OBSERVER’ printed on the back, seen at voting locations interfering with potential voters in the Clarendon South Eastern constituency where a by-election is now underway.

The Jamaica Labour Party candidate Pearnel Charles Jr is facing off with independent candidate Dereck Lambert for the right to replace Rudyard Spencer as the Member of Parliament for Clarendon South Eastern.

The Election Centre said only Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections has been accredited observer status by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica.

The co-chairs further cautioned all individuals from engaging in this misleading conduct.

Just over 41,000 electors are eligible to vote in today’s by-election, with the polls scheduled to close at 5:00 pm.

The Electoral Office of Jamaica has said final results should be available by 7:30 pm.

People’s National Party (PNP) caretaker for South East Clarendon, Patricia Duncan Sutherland, says her action during Monday’s by-election in the constituency was inappropriate and has apologised.

Duncan Sutherland was rebuked by the Director of Elections Glasspole Brown and the Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown after she and her supporters wore white t-shirts with the word observer printed on the back.

Noting that the group Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) was the only accredited election observer, the electoral officials termed the action as misleading.

Duncan Sutherland had defended the move arguing that she was using the by-election to canvass voters.

In a statement today, the PNP standard-bearer said it was not her intention to interfere in any way or to obstruct the law or legitimate rules and regulations imposed by the electoral office.

She acknowledged that her actions on the day of the by-election caused great concerns.

“…having reflected and listened keenly to feedback about the issue, including perspectives from eminent counsel and electoral officials, I recognise that our actions were inappropriate.”

Full Statement

I have listened to the conversations over the past few days and I understand that my actions on the day of the by-election in South East Clarendon have caused great concern among well thinking Jamaicans and stewards of our electoral process.

My intent was not to interfere in any way or to obstruct the law or legitimate rules and regulations imposed by the Electoral Office.

The intent was to observe and not disrupt proceedings, while ensuring that my supporters and I were clad in clothing which may be considered as neutral. We had also endeavoured to make it clear that we were not participating in the election. Thus we wore white shirts with the term observer printed on the back.

However, having reflected and listened keenly to feedback about the issue, including perspectives from eminent Counsel and electoral officials, I recognise that our actions were inappropriate.

Consequently, I categorically apologise to the EOJ, the Political Ombudsman and to all well thinking Jamaican who have expressed concern about this issue.

I also hereby reaffirm my commitment to political conduct consistent with fairplay and within the rules and regulations which govern our electoral process.

I recognise that through the hard work of both political parties and other distinguished Jamaicans, our country’s electoral process has come a long way and is considered one of the very best in the world.

I take the opportunity to affirm my commitment to in the future eschew any conduct which may detract from the good functioning of our electoral system.

The two men involved in Sunday’s altercation involving People’s National Party and Jamaica Labour Party supporters in Clarendon South East have been charged with assault.
This was revealed by PNP caretaker for the constituency, Patricia Duncan Sutherland.
It was reported that a Jamaica Labour Party supporter, who was campaigning for next Monday’s by-election, was attacked by persons aligned to the People’s National Party.
However, Mrs Duncan Sutherland told Radio Jamaica News on Wednesday that the altercation between the two men was not politically motivated but was a domestic issue, regarding the mother of one of the men.
She insisted that the matter should not have reached the level of the Political Ombudsman, with whom a meeting has been scheduled Wednesday.
She said while she was not invited to the meeting with the Ombudsman, she will be there to provide support.
Mrs Duncan Sutherland is hoping the matter will be resolved said through mediation at the community level.
She said the PNP had not been campaigning on the day of the incident.
Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown confirmed with Radio Jamaica News that she will be meeting Wednesday with the men involved in Sunday’s incident.
The meeting is taking place in the constituency.
Mrs Parchment Brown has invited the general secretaries of the JLP and the PNP to another meeting following Wednesday’s discussions.

The Office of the Political Ombudsman, is investigating an incident in which Jamaica Labour Party supporters were allegedly attacked by persons who were clad in People’s National Party, PNP, t-shirts.

The incident happened on the weekend in South East Clarendon, where a by-election is slated for next Monday.

A video of the incident has been circulating on social media.

Political Ombudsman, Donna Parchment Brown, says her office is to meet tomorrow with at least two of the persons involved in the incident.

She says her office is also arranging a meeting with the general secretaries of both the JLP and the PNP to discuss the need for their supporters to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.

She says the incident has overshadowed an otherwise peaceful campaign period.

Donna Parchment Brown, Political Ombudsman, speaking this afternoon with Nationwide News.

She says no form of violent behaviour has any place in Jamaica’s political system.

The key to success of our democracy, is to treat every new generation of voters with respect, understanding what motivates their activity and inactivity in political life. Jamaicans can demand more from their politicians.

Read more at Magazin Electoral

Kicking off an awareness building campaign, the Office of the Political Ombudsman today met with the Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF) Liaison Officers from across the island.

The office says the session was designed to sensitise liaison officers in advance of national and local campaigning and elections.

It noted that the liaison officers play a key role investigating potential breaches of the Code of Conduct and keeping it informed of queries and complaints lodged by the public.

Today’s meeting focused on the roles of both the Ombudsman and the JCF and how, together, they can work to promote political harmony and ensure adherence to the laws and the Code of Conduct.

“It is our job, as a neutral and independent Commission of Parliament, to hold politicians accountable on behalf of all Jamaicans,” said Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown in a statement.

“We can’t do this alone, we need to work closely with all of our partners and other community leaders, and that’s what today is all about – working together for a better Jamaica,” she added.

The office said JCF liaison officers reviewed the Code of Conduct, guidelines on how to best communicate with it and how they can keep it abreast of activities in their parishes.

Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown has written to the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) requesting an urgent explanation for a community sign it’s believed to have sponsored which bears the picture of a green bell

The bell is the symbol of the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

The ‘You are leaving Barbary Hall’ sign was recently erected in the St Elizabeth South Western constituency.

It also bears the logo of the TPDCo.

The Ombudsman wants the TPDCo boss Dr Andrew Spencer to say whether the sign was actually funded by the tourism product company and if so, to provide a picture of the approved design.

Mrs Parchment Brown has also asked whether any political party was involved in the design or erecting of the sign and whether the colour is consistent with others put up by the TPDCo over the past five years.

The Ombudsman in a letter to Spencer has asked that he respond within 24 hours and has copied the correspondence to People’s National Party General Secretary Julian Robinson and his JLP counterpart Dr Horace Chang.

Unfortunate Gap In Execution – TPDCo

The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) has described as unfortunate the inclusion of a green bell on the community sign it had commissioned in Barbary Hall, St Elizabeth.

TPDCo, in a statement this afternoon, also said the incident is reflective of a gap in execution with its contractor.

“This was quickly remedied within one hour of being displayed and well in advance of calls by the spokesman for its removal,” said a TPDCo spokesperson in the statement.

Orette Fisher, electoral consultant and former director of elections, last week pitched a solution to the problem of flags and other paraphernalia which remain in constituencies after an election period.

Sharing that he has observed elections in a number of jurisdictions, Fisher said that in 99 per cent of them, the colouring of the space is also a part of the elections.

“But what is done in those jurisdictions is that the local authority has the responsibility to clean up afterwards. For us, I think it’s one of two things: either after the elections, the local authorities must go through and clean up all the areas, or political parties are required to put a fund together, and if they don’t remove the flags, then the fund is used to take them down,” he said.

“It cannot just be left for the political ombudsman to be hitting away and asking, asking. Something has to be in place that would allow for it to be enforced,” Fisher said at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum at the newspaper’s downtown Kingston head offices last Thursday.


Senior lecturer in the Department of Government at The University of the West Indies, Mona, Dr Christopher Charles, pointed out that in Jamaica, if you want to mount something on a utility pole, there are established procedures through the parish council to do so.

“We do not encourage political parties to apply to mount these flags. All we hear is that you can’t put up a flag. That is curtailing people’s right to free expression,” he said. “I don’t see anything wrong with mounting a political flag of any colour as long as the person gets approval.”

Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown agreed that where people have a permit, it should not be an issue once they put up and remove the flags in the appropriate time frame.

“What keeps coming to me is that I live in ‘Community X’, and when I got home this evening, there were flags all along the place, also on my gate post or my light post and I feel like I’m being intimidated … . This is a problem,” the ombudsman explained.

Parchment Brown said there needs to be amendments to the Town and Country Planning Act, which speaks to putting up all forms of advertisements, to specify the duty, considering that local government is also run by politicians.

“In addition, I think there should be included in the code, under the Political Ombudsman Interim Act, fines for breach. So if you’re to take it down within, for example, 30 days, there’s the campaign period that’s defined in the law and so if you have it up outside of the campaign period, there should be a fine,” she said.