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Opposition takes gov't to task over plans to reimpose SOEs

By Prince Moore 

The parliamentary opposition is taking the government to task over plans to reimpose states of emergency as a crime fighting tool despite not receiving opposition support for an extension of the current SOEs.

General Secretary of the People's National Party (PNP) Dr. Dayton Campbell is maintaining that the use of the measure in its current format is unconstitutional.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Monday said it would be constitutional to make another declaration under new circumstances and with advice from the security chiefs.

But Dr. Campbell believes the government is being disingenuous. 

He acknowledged that the state of emergency in itself is not unconstitutional but explained that the regulations that accompany the SOE are what could make it unconstitutional.  

"It is how it is used.... And I believe that two different cases in the courts have ruled that the way in which this administration has used it is unconstitutional," he said.