KINGSTON, Jamaica — Members of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) executive met with the leader of the Opposition, Mark Golding, and Senator Peter Bunting, to discuss national security matters and to work towards strengthening the relationship between the PSOJ and the Opposition.
In a release on Thursday, the PSOJ said the meeting was arranged to facilitate open dialogue on the divergent views of the PNP and the PSOJ on the use of State of Public Emergency (SOEs) as a tool in the government’s crime strategies.
Over the years, the PNP has consistently raised concerns about the constitutionality of the measure.
The PSOJ team, which met with the Opposition, included President Keith Duncan, vice-presidents John Byles and Parris Lyew-Ayee, and chairman of the PSOJ Standing Committee — National Security and Justice — George Overton.
At the end of the meeting, both parties reportedly agreed that the security forces should maintain a presence in the violence-prone hot spots after the SOEs expire and that the development of the Enhanced Security Measures (ESM), which seek to target violence producers, is concluded in short order.
The Opposition also expressed their willingness to work collaboratively with the Government in what it dubbed a “spirit of mutual respect.”
The PSOJ team endorsed the Opposition’s position but reiterated that the SOEs are “required to address the continued high rate of murders which continues to have the Jamaican population living in fear.”