Sun | Oct 1, 2023

PNP to decide on SOE next step, says Golding

Published:Monday | November 21, 2022 | 8:24 AM
People's National Party President Mark Golding speaking at a St James Central constituency conference on November 20, 2022. - Herbert McKenis photo.

Opposition Leader Mark Golding has indicated that the People's National Party (PNP) will be holding an executive meeting on Monday evening to determine its position on the states of public emergency ahead of Tuesday's sitting of the House of Representatives.

Golding, who is the PNP President, made the declaration while addressing a St James Central constituency conference held at the Green Pond High School in Green Pond, St James on Sunday evening.

“We understand the pain and the fear that the people are feeling because crime is out of control, but the way to solve it is not by abusing the Constitution. We will be discussing this issue tomorrow night [Monday] at a joint parliamentary executive meeting, and we will take our decision as to what we will do on Tuesday in the House when the resolution comes to extend the SOEs,” Golding told supporters.

Last week Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the imposition of states of public emergency in St James, Hanover, Westmoreland, Clarendon, St Catherine, and parts of Kingston and St Andrew.

That announcement came in response to an increase in criminal activity including 1,360 murders recorded in Jamaica up to November 13 this year, a 6.8 percent increase when compared to 2021.

Golding also blasted the ruling Jamaica Labour Party for its management of the crime portfolio and use of states of public emergency, while highlighting that the Government currently has two appeals before the court in relation to the security measure.

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that Emergency Powers Regulations 22 and 32 (in respect to the fundamental right of freedom of movement) and Regulations 30, 33 and 38 (in respect of the fundamental right to liberty) breach the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Constitution.

- Christopher Thomas

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