30 Dec 2011

Snap election in Jamaica

5:52 am on 30 December 2011

Voters in Jamaica went to the polls on Thursday in a general election dominated by concerns over the economy.

The snap election was called earlier this month by Prime Minister Andrew Holness who has been in office for two months

PNP leader Portia Simpson Miller was prime minister from 2006 to 2007.

Mr Holness succeeded Bruce Golding as JLP leader and prime minister in October.

The BBC reports the race between the governing Jamaica Labour Party and the People's National Party was too close to call on the eve of voting.

The last election in 2007 was close and the number of constituencies has since been increased from 60 to 63. Polls are due to close at 5pm local time.

The BBC reports whoever wins the vote will face deep problems: debt is approximately 130% of GDP and unemployment is more than 12%.