Nikoli Edwards, leader of the Progressive Party.

The leader of the Progressive Party, Nikoli Edwards, is calling on the public to reject outright the Government’s intention to extend the State of Emergency (SoE) by a further three months.

In a media release Edwards’ said:

“An extended SoE is a clear indication that the government’s handling of the pandemic is failing to produce the kind of results it had hoped for, and as such, there is a strong reliance on the diminishing of citizens’ rights in order to bring the pandemic under control.”

“While the government and the Prime Minister can boast of some success, especially in the procuring of vaccines and the administering of same, absolutely no one can view an extended SoE as good for the economy, the private sector and of course, the average person, whose social and economic opportunities have almost vanished,” he said.

Edwards added that anyone who supports another three months of the SoE is clearly not impacted by the debilitating effects of this constitutional weapon.

“The government has available to it the expertise and the support of citizens who can offer sensible alternatives to the approach taken by the cabinet. A proper communications plan to support a clear vision will go a long way but unfortunately Prime Minister Rowley has not been able to offer either to the population. In this moment we should be supporting our government.  However, it cannot be so when the decisions it makes seems to work against the people of the country,” he argued.

Edwards noted that the rejection of the SoE is not based on political lines or general opposition to the government, but rather based on the fact that the only thing worse that the COVID-19 virus is the government’s handling of the pandemic, in the face of sensible calls from the public to pursue other approaches that can protect life while also saving livelihoods.

“This is without a doubt an abuse of power and an ignoring of sensibility,” he stated.

The Progressive Party leader points out that the government’s intention was made known when the Parliament published the order paper for next Wednesday’s sitting of the House of Representatives, in which the Prime Minister is expected to pilot the motion for an extension of the current State of Emergency.