Gov’t MPs use majority numbers to pass resolution seeking extension of SOEs; resolution to next go before Senate

Despite no votes by the Opposition, the Government was successful in its bid to pass a resolution seeking to extend the States of Public Emergency in several police divisions until January 14, next year.


This, as the majority count of 44 Government members of parliament voted in favour of the resolution.


There were 4 no votes and 16 members were absent.


Prior to the vote, Prime Minister Andrew Holness appealed to members of the Opposition to support the security measure, pointing out that it works.


He sought to respond to, and debunk, many of the concerns raised by the Opposition, including an overreliance on the SOEs, constitutional violations, and breach of rights.


Mr Holness stressed that in light of the spike in crime and violence, the Government must respond using all strategies available, in a bid to save lives.


He likened the crime situation to being a public health epidemic.

In response, Opposition Leader Mark Golding said he cannot support the request for an extension, and again criticized the Government for the manner in which it is handling the problem.


He also chastised the Government for not having dialogue with the Opposition about the concerns raised, which did not augur well for seeking bi-partisan support.


Golding noted that even with amendments made, in the wake of the court ruling, the new regulations tabled for the current SOEs still have several issues.


The resolution will next go to the Senate, where at least one member of the Opposition must vote in its favour to effect the extension.



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