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Antigua and Barbuda: Prime Minister Defends Extension of State of Emergency


(Antigua Observer) Prime Minister Gaston Browne has defended the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) administration’s decision to extend the State of Emergency (SoE) by three more months, an announcement that has raised the ire of the main opposition the United Progressive Party (UPP).

Since news of the development broke last Thursday, the UPP has labelled the move “political repression and cowardice” on the part of the government, adding that government’s decision to extend the SoE until the end of September “is nothing but a demonstration of its political unease and its fear of a disaffected population”.

The opposition has maintained that the provisions of the Public Order Act are sufficient authority to impose regulations, provisions and protocols for managing the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Browne, while speaking on his weekly radio programme, said the government must continue to take “prudent measures to protect livelihoods and to protect lives”.

He further stated that the opposition is questioning whether these protective measures should be supported by law (Public Order Act) versus the guidelines for an SoE as enshrined in the country’s constitution.

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