The People's National Party (PNP) has branded as blatant opportunism the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) criticism of the Government's response to the recent spate of crime and violence across the island.
The PNP's response in a statement from its deputy general secretary, Raymond Pryce, followed a suggestion by Opposition Leader Andrew Holness on Wednesday that the Government was currently reaping the consequences of not supporting an extension of the 2010 state of emergency.
However, Pryce yesterday argued that if the JLP did not attempt to block the extradition of Coke, there would not have been a need for a state of emergency.
He said the unwarranted delays cemented a view in the criminal underworld that they were beyond the reach of the law.
According to Pryce, this view escalated into the unnecessary loss of lives and significant costs to execute the warrant.
Pryce said while it supported the initial extension of the state of emergency, there was no justification for a second as Coke had been captured.
He claimed the then Bruce Golding administration's request for an extension was not supported by the wider civil society and there was no further need to suppress the rights of Jamaicans.
Pryce said for the JLP to suggest that refusal of the 30-day extension has led to what is happening now is ridiculous.
The PNP deputy general secretary said if Holness has information to support his claim, he should provide it to the security forces and become a part of the real solution.
But in response, the JLP yesterday afternoon said it was an indisputable fact that crime increases whenever the PNP is in power and has decreased during each period of JLP rule.
According to the JLP, the country knows the PNP is soft on crime and no amount of intellectual gymnastics could change that fact.
Derrick Smith, JLP spokes-person on national security said: "I challenge the PNP to talk fair and square to the public in the interest of saving lives and changing the increasingly corrupt perception of our country."
Smith challenged the PNP to focus on creating a safe society in which all could prosper, rather than perform public-relations contortions to try to shift the blame from its failures.