SOE extension approved by Lower House, awaits Senate decision

Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Mark Golding
The House of Representatives has given approval for the extension of the recently declared states of emergency in seven parishes, with the measure securing the required support of a two-thirds majority of MPs in that chamber.
That support came exclusively from members of the governing Jamaica Labour Party, which has 49 of the 63 seats in the Lower House.
The resolution now goes to the Senate where it will fail to secure the required two-thirds majority in favour, unless at least one member of the opposition breaks ranks and votes with the government.
Opposition Leader Mark Golding, seeking to justify his side's rejection of the extension, said the opposition had asked for the regulations pertaining to the SOEs before they were implemented, but complained that no information was provided until after the Prime Minister's announcement of the measure last week.
If confirmed, the SOEs, declared on November 15, to last 14 days in the first place, will remain in place until January 14, 2023; otherwise, it will expire in a few days. 
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in his address, said despite the criticism surrounding the measure, a State of Emergency is not the Government's only tool in the fight against crime.
Mr. Holness argued however that it's necessary for SOEs to be used at this time in tackling the rising crime rate.

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