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Kamla calls for sunset clause on Anti-Gang Bill

Published: 
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Opposition will support the Anti-Gang bill if Government includes a two year “sunset” clause when the legislation will end and its effectiveness will be reviewed.

The Opposition presented that position yesterday following criticisms by Government on lack of Opposition support for the bill. Both sides met last week on the Bill, but made little headway.

Dismissing PNM accusations on lack of support, the Opposition yesterday said one sticking point on the bill remains the Government’s unwillingness to budge on the length of time for the sunset clause, and subject the law and its actions to further review in 24 months.

Following Monday’s protests in East Port- of- Spain, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar said, “Those events demonstrate the lack of competence and the inability of this administration to address the most serious problem facing T&T. The Government continues to play politics with crime by alleging that Monday’ events justify the passage of the Anti-Gang Legislation.”

She said if the passage of the Anti-Gang legislation is Government’s panacea for crime, the administration should accept the Opposition’s offer of a two-year sunset clause and proceed to the Parliament immediately on the Bill.

She added, “The Opposition remains prepared to pass the Anti-Gang legislation and my team has provided advice to the Government to address deficiencies in the Bill. We’ve proposed a two-year sunset clause to allow for parliamentary scrutiny of the operation the Anti-Gang legislation.”

“ Once the law is put into effect and law enforcement demonstrates the proper exercise of the powers conferred by the Act, it is a fait accompli that the legislation would be extended at the end of the two-year sunset clause. Why does the Government refuse to subject the law and the actions of law enforcement to parliamentary scrutiny after two years?

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