Opposition leader and PNP President, Mark Golding, is rejecting suggestions that his party will pay a political price for its failure to support an extension of the States of Public Emergency.

Last evening, the Opposition Senators declined to support the government’s push to extend the enhanced security measure in seven police divisions across the country.

Mr. Golding says his party stood on principle in opposing the move.

He’s suggesting the Jamaican people will respect his party’s position.

Wayne Walker reports:

After a marathon sitting of the Senate last evening, the vote was 13 yays, 3 nays and 5 absences.

The resolution to extend the States of Public Emergency failed to meet the two-thirds threshold necessary under the Constitution to be extended.

It’s been suggested that voting against the measure, which has been popular in public polling since at least 2018, would cost the Opposition politically.

Mark Golding disagrees.

The Opposition’s vote against the resolution means the States of Emergency will come to an end on Sunday in St. Andrew South, Kingston East and West, along with Hanover, Westmoreland and St. James.

Some of the police divisions had seen increases in murder of up to 50-percent prior to the declaration of the security measure.

Mr. Golding is hailing his party’s vote as one for principle.

Mr. Golding says his party’s vote against the measure should not be interpreted as a lack of interest in cooperating with the government on crime.

He’s calling for new solutions to confront the country’s security challenges.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, Peter Bunting, is defending the absences of his Senate colleagues when the crucial vote on the SOEs was taken.

Opposition Senators Donna Scott Mottley, Lambert Brown, Janice Allen and Sophia Frazer Binns, despite participating in the debate on the measure, left the Senate chamber prior to the vote.

Senator Gabriella Morris is off the island on parliamentary business.

But Mr. Bunting, who is also Spokesman on National Security, says the presentations from his colleagues made it clear where they stood on the resolution.

Senator Bunting says arguments about the absence of the Opposition Senators are a distraction from the real issues.

Senator Peter Bunting, Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate.

He was speaking at a media briefing on Friday.