In a move that shocked the nation, the extensions of the States of Public Emergency across the island collapsed in the House of Representatives yesterday evening.
This, after the PNP dropped their support of the initiative depriving the government of the needed two-thirds majority to pass it.
Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, stated categorically that the enhanced security measure was no longer needed.
‘A defining moment’ was the phrase Prime Minister Andrew Holness used in pleading his case for a further extension of the States of Public Emergency across the island.
The Prime Minister noted that under the States of Public Emergency, murders have declined by over 21-per cent across the island.
Mr. Holness attempted to persuade the House of Representatives that more time was needed to keep the momentum going particularly in St. James.
However, those pleas were ignored by the Opposition.
Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, delivered the telling blow to the Holness administration’s bid to secure another extension of the special security measure.
Dr. Phillips told the House of Representatives and the nation that his members would not support a further extension of the SOE.
His reasoning? The situation on the ground no longer requires States of Public Emergency. He cited concerns regarding the abuse of human rights under the special security measures, making reference to the report tabled by Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry just a few weeks ago.
He says 99-percent of what is being done now can be done without the States of Public Emergency.
This means the States of Public Emergency in St James, St Catherine North and sections of the Corporate Area will end on January 19, 2019.