Monday, 21 November 2022 15:55

Opposition to meet tonight to decide if it will support extension of SOEs

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Opposition Leader Mark Golding says his team will decide today on whether to support an extension of the existing States of Emergency (SOEs), even as he remains critical of the security measure.
The House of Representatives will vote on the matter during Tuesday's sitting.
Addressing a St. James Central constituency conference on Sunday evening, Mr. Golding said the Opposition will be holding an executive meeting Monday night to discuss the matter.
Though he told his supporters he did not want to "preempt that discussion", Mr. Golding sought to remind them "where [his] heart is on the issue".  
The Opposition Leader again criticised the government for its handling of crime and its continued use of states of emergency (SOEs) as crime fighting tools. 
Touting the People's National Party's supposed ability to better control crime, he claimed that there was an average of 400 fewer murders yearly during the last PNP administration, which lasted four years. 
On the other hand, he argued that the Andrew Holness administration's attempts at limiting crime have been characterised by it "abrogating and breaching the rights of the Jamaican people" by using the state of emergency "in a way that is fundamentally inconsistent with [its] role under the Constitution".
Mr. Golding complained that the government continues to use the state of emergency as a crime-fighting tool  despite losing two court challenges, and even as it awaits the outcome of its appeal against those decisions.