JLP, PNP pulled in over $100m in by-election last year - ECJ
Ann-Marie Vaz on the campaign trail for the East Portland seat in Parliament.
A disclosure report on the East Portland by-election published by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) has revealed that the island's two main political parties may have spent more than $100 million combined in their quests to win the vacant parliamentary seat last year.
According to a release by the ECJ on Thursday, the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) received a total of $53,070,000 in monetary contributions, while the Opposition People’s National Party’s (PNP) monetary contributions amounted to $47,761,005.
The report also gave details of the previously published amounts received by the two candidates, Damion Crawford (PNP) and Ann-Marie Vaz (JLP), who contested the April 4, 2019 by-elections.
"Mr. Crawford receiving one contribution within the $3.6 – $4.5 million range and one contribution within the $1-$1.5 million range. The JLP’s candidate, Ann Marie Vaz reported nil for contributions," the ECJ disclosed.
The East Portland seat became vacant following the stabbing death of then Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, in February last year.
Damion Crawford on the campaign trail.
The JLP's Ann Marie Vaz went on to beat the PNP's contender, Damion Crawford, in the by-election to become the next parliamentary representative.
Meanwhile, the commission pointed out that the by-election in East Portland "fell within the reporting period March 4, 2019 to October 1, 2019.
"At the conclusion of the outlined period, declarations of election campaign financing and the sources of funding became due on October 2, 2019," the ECJ further indicated.
The report was published in line with section 52BR of the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 2016, which states;
The Electoral Commission shall, after each election, publish reports disclosing -
(a) The total contributions received by each registered political party during the reporting period
(b) A list of all contributions of or exceeding the sum of one million dollars received by each registered political party during the reporting period; and
(c) A list of all contributions of or exceeding the sum of one million dollars received.