Tue | Dec 5, 2023

St James SOE brings PNP tour to a premature end

Published:Wednesday | November 8, 2023 | 8:44 PM
Opposition Leader Mark Golding briefly addresses People's National Party (PNP) supporters from a makeshift stage in Cambridge, St James on Wednesday evening. Looking on is Nekeisha Burchell, the PNP's candidate for the St James Southern constituency. - Christopher Thomas photo

A planned address by People's National Party (PNP) President Mark Golding to supporters in the St James Southern constituency had to be scrapped on Wednesday evening as a result of the state of emergency (SOE) imposed on the parish.

A party meeting, which was briefly hosted in the Cambridge community square, was intended to top off Golding's tour of communities in the constituency with the party's candidate for the area, Nekeisha Burchell.

"Comrades, as has been said, we had a plan with a programme of speakers and so on, but we don't want to create any 'negative' and they say that we are disrespecting the SOE and so on, so we are not going to have the meeting that we planned," Golding told supporters gathered at Cambridge.

He thanked supporters for being with him and his entourage throughout the day as they visited communities, such as Garlands, Roehampton, Niagara and Plantation Heights.

Earlier on Wednesday, Golding had derided the Government's use of SOEs, saying it was not a viable crime plan.

"The SOEs, we do not think that they can be validly used as a policing tool, and they have not worked because the crime problem in the country continues," he said, pointing to their use over the last five years.

The latest SOE came into effect at midnight Tuesday, following Monday evening's gun slaying of seven-year-old Justin Perry and nine-year-old Nahcoliva Smith, both students of Chetwood Primary School in St James, when the taxi in which they were travelling was shot up by gunmen along the Flower Hill main road in Salt Spring.

Tevin Hayle, a 26-year-old man, was also in the taxi and was killed in the attack.

The shooting has been linked to an ongoing gang feud in the Salt Spring area.

- Christopher Thomas

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