Barbados: President of The Democratic Labour Party, Verla De Peiz, issued a statement.
Last year, the Democratic Labour Party DLP raised the alarm when the Attorney General inserted a clause in the Emergency Management (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which gave the Prime Minister of Barbados the power to make specified directives as may be required in the public interest, without recourse to Parliament. At the time, it was theory only, but the dangers to democracy were obvious.
Who would have oversight and ensure that what laws were made were in the public interest?
Into sharp attention now are the new Orders and Directives stated as the new Proclamation on Friday-evening. Perhaps we have become more cynical and alert than earlier, but the questions are more relevant now, having witnessed questionable actions in the period of last 12 months, including from the judiciary.
Order 2021, like Order 2020, gives sweeping powers to requisition the land, property, transport, supplies, and fuel owned by private residents. It is silent as to the circumstances through which an individual’s property can be taken from you or for how long. There is no appeal procedure outlined and no provision for compensation.
Besides, the penalties are severe, ranging from $50,000 to $500,000.00. What are the constitutional safeguards?
This country just endured a bruising time when this Government scored an own goal grasping at short-term tourism over Christmas and opening our borders to a more virulent strain of Covid 19 which have resulted in 34 additional deaths this year.
We are told, though, that our positivity-rate is decreasing, even with the caution that our testing-rate also is dropping. The nation is essentially opened for business again – we even talk of sending member’s un-vaccinated children back to school. What then is the rate for the continued nighttime curfew and full-lockdown on a Sunday? Is Covid-19 an irreligious vampire??
Or have our people not crossed the line from safeguard to control? Is this the type of administration you voted for?
The Democratic Labour Party DLP continues committed to its obligation of empowering our population, and we shall continue to do so by holding the administration of Barbados to account when they seek to take away citizens’ sovereignty. We shall not let despotism region with one person implanting policies on the people of Barbados without any explanation. We, the citizens of Barbados, deserve better!