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Inside the Municipal Corporation | St Catherine councillors draw party line over state of emergency

Published:Friday | January 11, 2019 | 12:00 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer


SPANISH TOWN, St Catherine:

Councillors attending Thursday's general meeting of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation were divided along party lines when the topic of the state of emergency came up for discussion.

In a spirited debate on the issue, People's National Party (PNP) councillors supported the lifting of the limited state of emergency, stating that it was not the right method to employ in the first place.

Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councillors, on the other hand, argued that the state of emergency was working to reduce murders and instill a sense of safety among the public.

JLP councillor George Moodie was very adamant that the state of emergency was preventing murders and other forms of gun violence.

"Since the lifting of the state of emergency, I have seen an increase in gun-related murders, so I think the method was very effective in minimising these murders, and it should continue for a little while longer," Moodie stated.

Responding to Moodie's comments, chairman of the corporation Norman Scott said he was happy that it is has been discontinued.

"No longer will poor people pickney be thrown into jail and held indefinitely under the powers of a state of emergency," declared Scott, adding that there is still a strong presence of joint police-military patrols on the streets only that they don't have the right to detained people indefinitely.