Govt & Opposition Still at Loggerheads Over State of Emergency

Both the Government and the Parliamentary Opposition appear to still be at odds over the continuation of the States of Public Emergency.

This following a high-level bi-partisan meeting which began at 7:00 last evening at the Prime Minister’s official residence, Vale Royal.

A joint statement issued this afternoon from the Government and Opposition said Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips and their respective teams met late into last night.

The statement says each side had differing views on the constitutionality of extending the States of Public Emergency.

According to the joint statement, issues explored included – human rights and possible legislative amendments that could enhance the crime management capability of the security forces.

The Government and Opposition say it was agreed that their legal teams will meet to discuss crime control powers which may be utilized within the existing legislative framework or via new laws.

Both the Government and Opposition say they also agreed to continue discussions on points of agreement while they seek wider consensus in the interest of Jamaica’s national security.

According to the joint statement – it was agreed that there will be further engagement, beginning with a meeting with other stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society and the church.

That meeting is to be convened on Wednesday, January 16.

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