Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Opposition could get a seat on council to declare zones of operation

Published:Thursday | June 29, 2017 | 10:32 AMJerome Reynolds
Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says consideration is being given to include a representative of the Opposition to sit on the National Security Council, the body that will advise the Prime Minister on declaring a zone of special operation by the security forces.

The council will comprise members of the security forces and chaired by the Prime Minister.

Speaking in Parliament last night, Prime Minister Holness said the council is to operate like a committee of Cabinet and said legislation is to be brought to Parliament to give legal authority to the body.

Addressing concerns that too much power is being given to the Prime Minister to declare a zone, Prime Minister Holness said the head of government would act on the advice of the council.

He also said that legislation protects against political victimisation in declaring a zone arguing that the law sets out specific circumstances under which such a declaration can be made.

 

Prime Minister Holness said the council will not overstep the authority of the Police.

 

Prime Minister, Andrew Holness

After a lengthy debate last night, the bill was passed with 18 amendments.