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It's an 'overkill' – PNP members weigh in on enforcement of 200 yards rule

Published:Thursday | April 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM

 Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

Senior members of the People's National Party (PNP) were very upset this morning over the decision to enforce the legal distance the public could gather near the Parliament building for today's ceremonial opening.

Central Kingston MP Ronald Thwaites said the decision was an "overkill".

PNP supporters told The Gleaner that unlike recent years they were unable to be close enough to witness the usual pomp and pageantry associated with the ceremonial opening.

PNP senator Lambert Brown argued that it was unfair as the Jamaica Labour Party supporters were, according to him, allowed closer.

"When you deny people access to the Parliament you are enforcing slavery on the people. The Parliament is for the people," Denise Daley said.

Meanwhile, the JLP supporters were in a more jubilant mood as they used a marching band to welcome their parliamentary representatives.

The police did not say why they were enforcing the legal distance.

However, it followed the insults and abuses hurled at JLP members during last month's opening of the Parliament.

The law allows the public to gather no closer than 200 yards.