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Barbados: STILL A DEMOCRACY

The People’s Party for Democracy and Development (PdP) is telling Government that it cannot use the Emergency Management COVID-19 Order, as a way to circumvent democracy in this country.

Attorney-at-law, Maria Phillips, the PdP’s spokesperson on law and governance, made the comments during a press conference yesterday via Zoom, as she raised concern about the “persistent use of Parliament to enact legislation without the discourse, consultation and civic engagement” expected in a democracy. She said that this is a worrying trend, contending that while the Government had unprecedented majority rule, they cannot do as they like and make unilateral decisions.

“This has been demonstrated time and time again and with the recent reading of the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, a piece of legislation that would impact directly on the right to trial by jury… The rationale for this rule is that it contemplates the depth of deliberation necessary for a just determination of guilt or innocence of the accused. Hence the involvement of the relevant considerations and engagement of Barbados Association and other civil society groups in the discourse was necessary,” she contended.

She added, “…What we are witnessing is the incremental eradication of processes that are integral to the very survival of our democratic state. Processes that would include the active participation of appropriate agencies as it relates to the protection of human rights of all Barbados citizens and those resident in Barbados”.

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