Holness wants 'space' for crime consensus
Prime Minister Andrew Holness is advocating for the creation of “a space” for his administration and the Parliamentary Opposition “where the treatment of violence is not contested politically”.
Holness was speaking at the launch of the National Violence Prevention Commission at Jamaica House, Thursday afternoon, when he made the appeal.
“…In a democracy it's very difficult to make changes unilaterally. In a democracy you need consensus,” said Holness.
He said the significant changes successive administrations have been able to make, including reducing extrajudicial killings through the Independent Commission of Investigations; ensuring the integrity of the electoral process through the Electoral Commission of Jamaica; and fiscal policies, came by consensus.
“On violence, we will need a political consensus,” he said.
The prime minister said that there are many lessons to be learnt about building consensus but political actors will have to put aside their interests by coming face to face with facts.
He said that the facts need to be established in terms of crime and the concerns both parties have so that an analysis can be done in charting the way forward.
“We haven't been able to get political consensus. We're attempting to. We have a framework in place, we have CMOC [Crime Monitoring Oversight Committee], but we haven't reached genuine consensus on how to tackle crime,” said Holness.
“I'm hoping that having taken this approach where we have asked an independent body to analyse the data and say to the government, 'Here is what needs to be done'; and to the opposition as well, 'Here is what needs to be done', the political class confronted with this factual set of data, recommendations and conclusions would then have to look at it and come to a reasonable understanding as to what we need to implement,” he added.
Holness said this approach, void of political challenge, will ensure that both parties share in the victory of overcoming violence.
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