Jamaica’s ruling party has maintained its slim grip on power after dominating a parliamentary by-election in a rural parish.Jamaica Labor Party candidate Daryl Vaz won the Monday by-election in West Portland. The island’s electoral office declared Vaz the winner over his rival from the People’s National Party with 82 of 99 ballot boxes counted.
The victory means the JLP retains a 32-28 advantage in Parliament and eases pressure on Prime Minister Bruce Golding to call early elections.
The Jamaican-born Vaz, 43, had to give up his U.S. passport and joint citizenship before the hotly-contested vote. Under this former British colony’s law, anyone with allegiance to a non-Commonwealth country is prohibited from serving in Parliament.