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Former PMI official says suggestion of extended SOE borders on "unconstitutionality"

There is strong reaction to the suggestion by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, that States of  Emergency could be used over the next seven years in order to cut down the number of  murders in the island. 

Civil Society Advocate and former Deputy Chairman of  the Peace Management Initiative, PMI, (East) Horace Levy, argues that the suggestions are bordering on unconstitutionality, and demonstrate the government's lack of  consultation.

During Tuesday's sitting of  the House of  Representatives to vote for an extension of  the State of  Emergency in the St Andrew South division, Holness praised the measure as a tool for fighting crime.

He stated that the legislation may have to be changed to achieve the results needed but until then there should be a unified approach to pushing the murder rate lower. 

Levy argues that while he supports initiatives to reduce crime this strategy is not the right one because of  how it strips away the rights of  some persons.

He articulated his disagreement yesterday on Beyond The Headlines.

“I entirely disagree with his method. First of all he talks about a unified approach. But he is referring to a national approach, but he is refusing  - and he is the one standout, to join forces with the opposition, the civil society, the churches, he is refusing to come together. Everybody is asking for a joint collaborative approach . He is refusing to do it.” 

In the meantime, Mr Levy raised questions about the constitutionality of  the proposals, based on the legislative changes being contemplated.

“The constitution  - the Prime Minister is just ignoring…. He is talking about changing legislation , but you need two thirds majority to change the constitution. What is happening is a militarizing of this country, in the meantime, the police force is not being transformed. They have been talking about it for two years and we still don’t see it,” he said. 

 

 



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