Prime Minister Andrew Holness last evening (July 21), extended the States and Public Emergency in five (5) parishes and sections of Kingston and St. Andrew.
Prime Minister Holness asserted that national security is paramount; therefore, he must ensure that it’s not forfeited for political expediency.
The Prime Minister said, “The States of Public Emergency are due to expire on the 25th (of July); there are some who would be thinking that there will be no request for an extension. I wish to signal today, that we will be asking for an extension of the SOEs.”
The Prime Minister was speaking yesterday, ahead of Parliament, at the Opening of the Jamaica Defence Force New Cannon Ball Gate and the commencing of the South Camp Road Improvement Project.
In that regard, Prime Minister Holness added that the SOEs have been effective and useful in assisting the government’s crime-fighting strategy.
He stated, “That framework (SOE) has assisted in ensuring that we can, as Lieutenant General Meade has said, flatten the crime curve effectively, and that is what we have been doing. We would want the support of the Opposition to continue to do that. We must not have any break in the commitment against the fight for the safety and security of Jamaicans”.
Importantly, Prime Minister Holness noted that he committed, that upon the announcement of an election, the Members of Parliament will convene a meeting to have the SOEs discontinued. The Prime Minister still stands by that commitment.
“I gave an undertaking that whenever an election is called, we would immediately come to Parliament to have those States of Public Emergency discontinued and that commitment still stands. As I have said, we must ensure there is no break, given our history with States of Emergency and Elections,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Holness thanked the members of the JDF for the work they have done in the SOEs.