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In her letter to Rowley, Persad-Bissessar said: “In recognition of the critical nature of the legislation in the fight against crime and the Government’s failure to engage the Opposition in any consultation to date on this Bill, I wish to hereby invite the Honourable Prime Minister and relevant Ministers of Government to meet with my team and I at a date, time and venue of mutual convenience.”
She also issued a statement in which she called out the Government on its failure to engage and consult MPs on the Bill. Her statement comes one week after Stuart Young said he hopes "the Opposition will be responsible and support" the bill.
Young, who is Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of the Attorney General, said Cabinet agreed to extend the current legislation and is seeking a two-year extension of the legislation.
The former Persad-Bissessar Administration brought the Miscellaneous Provisions (Anti-Gang and Bail) Bill in April 2015 but did not get support from the PNM opposition. At that time the PNM expressed "grave concerns" over issues of proportionality, and human rights in relation to the 120 days of no bail for persons committing specific offences.
Now while Young is asking for opposition support he appears to be aware of whether these issues will be addressed in the 2016 Bill.
The media statement noted, “In one breath the Rowley-led Government is claiming to be against politicizing crime, but on the other hand they are making crime a public relations affair; talking about issues of Opposition support, but making absolutely no move to consult and partner with the Opposition for a full and comprehensive crime plan.”
It added, “The Cabinet Spokesman harped on the issue of responsibility and Opposition support, but in one week has made neither verbal nor written contact engaging us in a participatory approach.
"So yes, the Government has failed in yet another very critical endeavor and rather than focusing on their failure, the Opposition will take up the issue responsibly.”
The former Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar said: “Our Shadow Cabinet Anti-Crime and Legislative Team stands ready to meet and cooperate with the Government so that we can arrive at a comprehensive plan to turn back the tides of crime. And we are calling on the Government to finally treat the issue of crime with urgency and work with us for a plan that will benefit all citizens.”