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Monday 10 August, 2020

PM: Gov't willing to accept 2 1/2 year sunset clause on Anti-Gang Bill

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley says government is willing to accept the Opposition’s proposal of a two-and-a-half-year sunset clause on the Anti-Gang Bill.

He made the comment as he responded to questions from reporters at the Piarco International Airport on Wednesday night on his return to Trinidad and Tobago from Haiti.

On Monday, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar challenged the government to agree to a two-and-a-half-year sunset clause on the controversial Bill.

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The Opposition had been clamouring for a two-year sunset clause.

However, speaking at the United National Congress’ (UNC) Monday Night Forum in San Juan, Persad Bissessar said the Opposition was now prepared to accept a two-and-a-half-year sunset clause.

The Opposition Leader called on government to work with the Opposition to bring back the Anti-Gang legislation to parliament at the earliest opportunity.

Speaking with reporters last evening on his return to Trinidad and Tobago from Haiti, the Prime Minister said the government is willing to accept the Opposition’s proposal.

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“If the country has an Opposition that is only willing to give the police two years, then we will take the two and a half years. If that is what the Opposition is prepared to give the country’s police then we will take it because we can’t get anymore. If it is being rationed that the police must only have two and a half years to fight the gangs in this country and that is the most they’re prepared, as leader of my team, I will take it,” Rowley said.

However, he expressed concern that the law will expire in two and a half years.

This, as he said it will fall during the next general election when parliament is dissolved.

“They see this bill expiring in two and a half years, and from my information, they expect to come back to the parliament. Two and a half years put us smack into the next general election. In two and a half years the parliament will be dissolved and there will be no parliament to extend this law if we allow it to fall in two and a half years.”

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also criticised the Opposition Leader who questioned whether the Carnival terror plot was a charade meant to distract citizens.

He described her statements as irresponsible.

 

 

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