JTA Officer Corps Accused of Exerting ‘Undue and Unfair Influence’ in President-Elect Race

The officer corps of the Jamaica Teachers Association, JTA, is being accused of exerting ‘undue and unfair influence’ in the conduct of this year’s President-Elect race.

That’s one of the grounds on which a losing candidate, Georgia Waugh Richards, is asking the Supreme Court to declare the election null and void.

Mrs. Waugh Richards – who had initially been announced as winner – is claiming that the election was fraught with ‘numerous irregularities’, making it ‘unfair’.

Her attorney, Seymour Stewart, today filed an application in the Court, asking that it bars the JTA from declaring Norman Allen the winner.

The claim, filed in the Supreme Court this afternoon, comes just eight days before the start of the JTA’s 50th Annual Conference, where Mr. Allen is expected to be declared President-elect.

In her court documents, Mrs. Waugh Richards – who’s the Principal of Harmon’s Primary School in Manchester – outlines three grounds on which she’s seeking remedies.

She claims the JTA – which has been named as Defendant – failed to ensure that the election was fair. She says the election was marred by irregularities, thus compromising the integrity of the entire vote.

She says the Association’s executive also exerted what’s described as ‘unprecedented, undue and unfair influence’ on the conduct of the election.

Mrs. Waugh Richards is asking the court to make several declarations – including an order that the election be re-run and supervised independently of the JTA.

She also wants a declaration that Mr. Allen was wrongfully declared winner.

She’s also asking the Court to order the JTA to explain the reasons she had fewer votes than Mr. Allen, after a recount of ballots on July 18.

The claim filed by Mrs. Waugh Richards today is the latest development in the ongoing controversy surrounding this year’s President-Elect race.

Attempts to have the matter resolved internally failed.

On Monday, JTA President, Dr. Mark Nicely, emphatically told Nationwide News that the Association intends to go ahead with plans to have Mr. Allen – the Principal of Four Paths Primary and Junior High School in Clarendon – declared winner.

The Annual Conference is scheduled to take place from August 21 to 23 in Montego Bay, in St. James.

Rashawn Thompson, for Nationwide News.

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