Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has suggested that compulsory registration was always intended under the plan for a National Identification System (NIDS).
Speaking in the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Holness said almost two decades ago, Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips brought a resolution to Parliament for a joint select committee to be set up in relation to a system of compulsory national registration of individuals, which would be overseen by a body known as the National Registraton Commission.
Mr. Holness noted that it was Dr. Phillips who also suggested in meetings with the government that enrolment should be mandatory.
In response, Dr. Phillips reminded the House that the Opposition has always called for the matter to go to a joint select committee because "the bill and the significance of the bill goes far beyond just the Parliament and its effect."
He argued that the National Identification and Registration Bill that was drafted by the government was a "bad bill...as manifested in the fact that they had to move over 200 amendments between this chamber and the Upper chamber."
The Parliamentary Opposition has disagreed with the government's plan to make enrolment mandatory.
It took the matter to the Supreme Court which ruled that some provisions in the law which will set up the NIDS are unconstitutional.