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Statement From The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller – State Of Public Emergency And The Date For General Election

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Most Hon Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica

I have advised His Excellency the Governor General, in accordance with the decision of the Cabinet and under the provisions of Section 20(1) (C) of the Representation of the People Act that the date for the holding of the poll in the General Elections which had been previously set for August 27th should be vacated and the date September 3, 2007 substituted therefore.

While recognizing that the responsibility for making this decision rests squarely on the Cabinet, we have had to take a number of factors into consideration. First, we have had to take note of the unanimous recommendation of the Electoral Commission, which includes Representatives of both political Parties.

Second, we have been mindful of the essential requirement that all Jamaicans, who wish to vote, have safe and convenient access to their polling stations. These two considerations have been balanced by the recognition that after a disaster of the magnitude of Hurricane Dean the relief of human suffering must be our first priority, which to a considerable extent depends upon the earliest possible determination of our national political leadership.

I have previously given the assurance that the election date would not fall in the period of the Public Emergency. This afternoon, I met with the Heads of the Security Forces who gave me the unequivocal assurance that there would be special security measures in effect in those areas that continue to have no electricity and especially those with specific security challenges.

I have therefore, also advised His Excellency to issue a Proclamation terminating the State of Public Emergency with immediate effect.

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