Extending the State of Emergency is the Government’s means of controlling the law-enforcement agencies, says Leader of the Opposition Jamale Pringle.
Yesterday the Parliament passed a resolution to extend the State of Emergency – which expires today, July 31 – for another three months, until October 31.
While the extension will commence on August 1, it is not yet known whether changes will be made to the current 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, as the number of COVID-19 infections continues to rise.
Pringle’s accusation follows threats made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne against Barbuda MP Trevor Walker.
Browne has threatened to dispatch the Army and Police to arrest Walker, whom he accuses of trying to stymie the Peace Love and Happiness (PLH) project on the sister-island.
Speaking on the Resolution today, Pringle says there continues to be disparity in Government’s handling of the pandemic.
He says the laws and regulations appear to be targetting the poor and vulnerable, while those with money are being held to a different standard.
He notes the Government’s admission that the State of Emergency is meant to control crime – rather than being about the health and well-being of the citizenry – and called the situation hypocritical.
The Opposition Leader points out that no scientific reason has been given by the technicians for this long extension of the State of Emergency.
Meanwhile, MP Walker is also critical of the three-month extension. While he agrees with the State of Emergency in principle, he says he does not agree with the duration.
Walker also suggests that the push-back by young people might have to do with their not being properly educated on the importance of the precaution.