Government and Opposition MPs in the House of Representatives this afternoon voted in favour of extending the state of public emergency in St. James for another 3-months.
Shortly before news time – a combined total of 51-Government and Opposition MPs who attended the House today voted in favour of the extension. Eleven MPs were absent from the sitting which is still underway. Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the case for the extension.
Prime Minister Holness told the House that the state of public emergency which has been in place in St. James for just under 2-weeks is going well. He noted that gains have been made – including the arrest of wanted men and the seizure of high powered weapons.
But while he made the case for an extension until May this year – the Prime Minister said there’s much more to be done.
Holness commended the security forces on their conduct.
The Prime Minister made an appeal to the diaspora to aid in accurately communicating the happenings taking place under the state of public emergency.
He commented that the local media have been fair in its coverage. But Holness said sections of the international press have inaccurately suggested that Jamaica is falling apart.
The motion to extend the State of Public Emergency in St. James until May is to be considered in the Senate on Friday.
Prime Minister Holness also reported to the House this afternoon that 10-guns – including high powered weapons – have been seized in St. James during the almost two weeks since the state of public emergency was declared.
Mr. Holness responded to sotto voce comments from the Opposition that some of the guns seized were rusty and may not have been functional.
Mr. Holness noted that over 50-people detained during the state of public emergency remain in custody. He says at-least two wanted men have been charged with murder and investigations are underway regarding other detainees.
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