Jamaica will lift the States of Public Emergency (SOEs) in place across the country on Monday, August 17th, as the country prepares for the general elections.
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Several parishes and police divisions have implemented SOEs, in force since 2018 and 2019, as a response to violent crime.
The parliamentary opposition had previously made it known that it would not support the SOEs being in place during an election.
Critics of the SOEs have said that a more comprehensive long-term crime strategy is needed to get to the root of the country’s crime problem.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health says it is looking into the possibility of allowing persons in quarantine to vote, amid the COVID-19 situation, and observing the experiences of other countries.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie said that it would be ill-advised to allow those in isolation to vote, as it presents a threat to public health, but that the matter would be discussed.
Currently, six persons of interest are in State quarantine while some 26,239 persons of interest are quarantined at home. On Friday. The Health Department identified 11 new positive cases, bringing Jamaica’s total confirmed COVID-19 cases to 1,082, with 761 patients recovered and released.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness first announced the September 3rd election on Tuesday, for which Nomination Day will be this upcoming Tuesday, August 18.
Amid frequent concerns of interference and manipulation by the United States, Ambassador to Jamaica, Donald Tapia, has stated that Washington has no favorite in the two-party race saying the U.S. maintains a good relationship with both the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP).