Senate approves extension of new SOEs

Senate approves extension of new SOEs

Friday, September 20, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The 30-day extension of the states of emergency (SOEs) in Clarendon and St Catherine received its final stamp of approval in the Senate yesterday.

The result was that all 17 members present at the sitting voted in favour of the extension, while four members — Opposition senators KD Knight, Damion Crawford, Floyd Morris and Andre Haughton — were not present for the vote. The Government needed a two-third majority for approval of the extension.

On Tuesday, 45 MPs voted for the extension of the enhanced security measures in the House of Representatives, after the Government agreed to look at extending the period of business opening hours and to discuss future measures with the Opposition.

Leader of the Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips, had suggested a response from the government within 21 days, but it was extended to 30 days after Prime Minister Andrew Holness insisted that three weeks was much too short.

The two states of emergency were implemented on September 5, on the basis of a 14-day proclamation made by the Governor General and which required extension at the expiry of that proclamation. They will now expire on October 19.

Balford Henry

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