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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 August 2007, 19:09 GMT 20:09 UK
Storm forces Jamaican poll delay
Jamaican man looks at an empty lot where his house once stood
Jamaica took a heavy hit but escaped the full force of the storm
Jamaica's electoral commission has postponed the 27 August general election in the wake of the damage caused by Hurricane Dean.

The island took a battering on Sunday, as Dean continued its path through the Caribbean, and the authorities declared a month-long state of emergency.

The election has been resheduled for 3 September.

The election will pit PM Portia Simpson Miller's People's National Party against the Jamaican Labour Party.

The hurricane brought down power lines and ripped roofs off houses as it swept through Jamaica, although the damage was less than first feared.

Soldiers of the Jamaican Defence Force patrolling Kingston on 20 August
Security forces have been deployed to help keep order
Election day workers, police officers and members of the military had been due to vote ahead of the rest of the electorate on 21 August.

But the decision was taken to postpone the whole poll amid Hurricane Dean's aftermath, as conditions were not right to hold "fair, good and efficient" elections, officials said.

"There's the matter of damage and areas where the police are still working," Mrs Simpson Miller said, according to the Associated Press news agency.

She said Jamaica's Governor General Kenneth Hall would soon announce a new election date.

The election will be the first electoral test for Mrs Simpson Miller who last year was appointed prime minister, the first woman to occupy the post.

She is keen to win her own mandate but the PNP faces a close race with the JLP.

Concerns of violence regularly surface during Jamaican elections and during this latest campaign the electoral authorities had banned political meetings in some constituencies.




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