Malahoo Forte pushing for extension of State of Emergency
Member of parliament for St James West Central, Marlene Malahoo Forte, said she will be pushing for a further extension to the state of public emergency (SOE) in the western parish that is slated to come to an end on August 2.
The state of public emergency was declared in St James by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in a bid to curb the high levels of crime in the parish.
Malahoo Forte, speaking at Saturday's launch of the St James Emancipation and Independence celebration, said that she plans to take back the message of the people when Parliament goes to debate a resolution for an extension to the SOE ton Tuesday.
"So is it your wish that this MP say to Parliament that the people of St James want the SOE to continue?" Malahoo Forte asked.
"We hear the parliamentary Opposition say they are not sure if they going to extend it and I ask myself that why is that there is disagreement about continuing something that is taking us in the right direction? Whose interest is being represented elsewhere because the days or profiting from people killing people is behind us?" she questioned.
Fitz Jackson, the opposition spokesman on national security, says he and his colleagues will be assessing information they receive about the progress and achievements of the St James state of emergency before making a decision on the position they will take on an extension of the security measure.
SUSPENSION OF RIGHTS
"They [the Government] have resorted to the state of emergency, the most extreme and final legal step that can be taken, with that we remind them that with that comes the suspension of the rights and freedom of every ordinary Jamaican, and therefore, that is something that we cannot subscribe to on an indefinite basis," Jackson said.
Police records have shown a 66.88 per cent decrease in murder in St James when compared to the same period last year. There have been 52 murders committed in the parish since 2018 compared to 157 last year, which is 105 fewer.
Malahoo Forte said this drastic decline in murders in St James is a reflection of the effectiveness of the state of emergency.
"As I go across the parish, I hear so many people saying they never knew order could be restored to the streets and the public space, and restored in a way where people can go about their business," said Malahoo Forte, who is the attorney general.