MP for Central Manchester PNP’S Peter Bunting has voted not to extend the State Of Emergency (SOE) on the grounds that he does not believe it is in keeping with protecting the Constitutional rights of citizens. Bunting quoted from what he claimed was a legal opinion from a senior legal source which suggest the continued imposition of the SOE violated the Constitutional rights of citizens. The PNP MP who was former National security minister said this was the basis for his opposition to the SOE. Bunting has a history of not supporting critical legislation. For example after the 2010 State Of Emergency into Tivoli Gardens. Bunting refused to support the extension of the then SOE. The JLP needed this extension to have the powers to extensively search for guns and ammunition. It is felt that this opposition by Bunting is probably responsible for the proliferation of guns et al which are flooding our streets and leading to the loss of lives.
PM Holness said the extension was needed to give the joint security forces a free hand to search for guns and ammunition and detain suspects. So far 28 have been charged for criminal offenses under the SOE according to Dr. Horace Chang. National Security Minister.
Picture shows Peter Bunting addressing Parliament May 7, 2019. On the debate on the extension of the State Of Emergency. Dennie/photo
In Parliament May 7, 2019 there was a vote with a total of 44 MPs on both sides voting to support the extension of the SOE. There were 17 absentees and one MP (Bunting) voting against his party by opposing the extension of the SOE.
In Montego Bay alone so far there has been 51 homicides since January 2019. A seventy percent increase when compared to the corresponding period in 2018.
In our perspective the right to life is paramount and if the SOE will save lives then it should be in place.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper Canada.