The weakness of the country’s independent institutions is largely responsible for the level of social unrest seen in Port-of-Spain in the past few days, according to President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) Gregory Aboud.

Institutions like the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Police Complaints Authority, he said, need to be given more independence and power to carry out their duties without possible interference.

Without this strengthening, he claimed, public confidence in justice will remain undermined.

“There are too many unresolved cases; too many unsolved murders; too many episodes in which we are promised full investigations under which no result comes about, except for a repetition of the same result again,” Mr Aboud said.

“We have to guarantee everyone, regardless of where we are stationed in life, we have to guarantee to everyone to everyone that they will be treated justly and fairly,” he added.

Acknowledging that most Port-of-Spain-based businesses closed early on Tuesday as a result of the protests, Aboud said the events had serious consequences for the economy, but also the social stability of the country.

For stability to be attained, he said, immediate action must be taken.

“We have to have a society with strong institutions capable of withstanding scrutiny when episodes like this happen, and I believe this is where our focus should be right now,” DOMA’s President said.

He said following Friday’s killing of police officer Allan Moseley in Morvant, then the subsequent police-involved killing of three men in the area the next day, the country needs assurances that justice will be served.