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  • Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has said that the State of Emergency imposed on sections of the country in late May, could not have continued indefinitely or for a prolonged period.
  • Speaking on his monthly radio programme, 'Jamaica House Live', on July 28, the Prime Minister said a society must never become accustomed to living under emergency powers.
  • Mr. Golding explained that while there were avenues which could be used to continue the State of Emergency, he would not use legal techniques to defy getting the people's permission through a Parliamentary majority.

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has said that the State of Emergency imposed on sections of the country in late May, could not have continued indefinitely or for a prolonged period.

Speaking on his monthly radio programme, ‘Jamaica House Live’, on July 28, the Prime Minister said a society must never become accustomed to living under emergency powers.

“It is not good. It is not good for the security forces to become so accustomed to relying on (emergency) powers that it becomes the routine means of dealing with criminal behaviour, but there is no doubt that the security forces started a mighty job and they achieved some positive results,” he declared.

The State of Emergency was imposed on May 23 in Kingston and St. Andrew, following the outbreak of violence in Western Kingston, and was extended in June to include St. Catherine, allowing the security forces to continue efforts to counter gang activities in certain areas. However, it ended on July 22, after the Government failed to gamer enough Parliamentary support for its continuation.

During his radio show, Mr. Golding explained that while there were avenues which could be used to continue the State of Emergency, he would not use legal techniques to defy getting the people’s permission through a Parliamentary majority.

One such way, he noted, was to have Cabinet advise the Governor-General to impose a new State of Emergency; however, it is the Prime Minister’s opinion that going such a route would be a defiance of Parliament.

“Therefore my position is, there would have to be extraordinary reasons that would arise, subsequent to the expiration, for me to feel that I am on strong constitutional grounds to summon Cabinet to seek Cabinet’s authorisation and thereafter to advise the Governor-General,” he said.

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