All candidates who have been duly confirmed as having won Divisions in the November 28, 2016 Local Government elections, will be sworn into office as Councillors on Thursday, December 8.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, has advised that all 228 Councillors and the Mayor of Portmore will take their places on that day, at the first Statutory Meeting of their respective Municipal Corporations.
Section 61, paragraph 1 of The Local Governance Act, 2016 states that at noon on the first Thursday after every general election (unless it be a public holiday, in which case at noon on the first day after such Thursday which is not a public holiday or a Sunday), in this section called the “first meeting”, the Councillors elected in the divisions in the area within the jurisdiction of each Municipal Corporation, shall assemble at the office of the Council for that Municipal Corporation, and shall there make the required declaration in the prescribed form before the principal returning officer.
The Ministry is aware that some Municipal Corporations have stated plans for Swearings-In to occur on Friday, December 2. However, various Returning Officers have indicated that the Final Count of ballots in the Electoral Divisions will not be completed in time to facilitate this. In view of this reality, advice was sought and obtained from the Attorney-General’s Chambers, to the effect that the first Thursday of the week following the election of Councillors (December 8, 2016) will be the date of the first Statutory Meeting.
Subsequent to the Swearings-In, Minister McKenzie will convene an introductory meeting with all Councillors and the Mayor of Portmore on Monday December 12, to discuss and outline the critical cultural and technical changes that the Three Strategic Laws require of elected representatives, as well as the strategic objectives of the Ministry for the administration of Local Government over the new term.