Massive blow! Opposition votes against extension of SOEsThursday, November 25, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Government was dealt a massive blow to its main crime-fighting tool -- the States of Emergency (SOEs) that were imposed in seven police divisions across five parishes on November 14 -- after the Senate today failed to approve an extension of the security measure.
This means that the SOEs will no longer be in effect as of this weekend.
The defeat of the motion in the Senate to extend the SOEs came two days after the government used its super majority in the House of Representatives to approve the extension.
During an hours-long debate in a rare Thursday sitting of the Senate, the government failed to get the single Opposition vote it needed for a two-thirds majority in the Upper House that would have extended the SOEs until February 10, 2022.
Pleas by government senators on Thursday for their Opposition colleagues to support the motion fell on deaf ears. This, as senators Donna Scott-Mottley, Sophia Frazer-Binns, Damion Crawford, Peter Bunting, Lambert Brown and Dr Floyd Morris, all opposed the measure.
At the end of the debate, all 13 government senators voted 'yes' while three Opposition senators voted 'no' and five were absent.
The government was chastised for not consulting with the Opposition, with Morris noting that the Administration “did not court Opposition members”.
“It's a disappointing day, my apologies,” said Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Kamina Johnson Smith, in her closing remarks while President of the Senate, Tom Tavares-Finson blasted the Opposition for its stance.