Leader of Opposition Andrew Fahie has suggested that the Dr D Orlando Smith-led Government coerced Governor Augustus Jaspert to lift the state of emergency prematurely so they could once again have total power over the territory.
Under the constitution, the Governor has total control over the territory while a state of emergency is active.
Fahie said the state of emergency should have remained in place longer, adding that ending it one month after it was implemented has caused residents to suffer more than necessary.
“There is a war to take more power away from the governor and put it in the elected officials’ hands… There’s gonna come a time when the country have to look at these things. But I’m telling them that the way the fight is being done is at the expense of the people,” Fahie said.
The opposition leader said while he agrees that the government should take more power from the United Kingdom-appointed Governor, now is not the right time to pursue it.
“A lot of things that happen while trying to make sure that you were still in control could have been avoided if you had kept the state of emergency,” he added.
“I take it that the governor is doing his best, being new, to try to work along with the elected officials given that it’s a disaster,” Fahie reasoned.
Relax curfew when power returns
Fahie, in the meantime, also joined the ranks of critics who’ve knocked the government’s decision to open the territory up for business. He said the government’s reason for opening up the territory to tourists is honourable but misguided.
He added that government should not have relaxed the curfew which now runs from 11pm to 6am daily.
“I agree with the curfew. But if I had my way – I’ll be honest with you no matter who gets angry – I wasn’t relaxing any curfew to this point until the majority of this country got power back,” Fahie said.
He continued: “Where you can avoid things, as hard as it is, you must. A lot of things going to happen because most people don’t have electricity. Most people don’t have a roof. The building back of this territory is not to make sure we’re open to people (visitors) to come here. It’s to make sure the people (residents) who are here can be able to live here.”
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