Parliamentarians in both houses unanimously support extending State of Emergency

by Linda Straker

  • Parliament agreed to extend State of Emergency for a 6-month period
  • Current State of Emergency will expire on 20 April
  • Limited State of Emergency was declared to reduce community transmission of Covid-19

Members in both the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament on Friday agreed to extend the State of Emergency for a 6-month period, with the option to terminate or revoke it before the conclusion of the agreed time.

On 25 March, a limited State of Emergency was declared as part of measures to restrict the movement of citizens as Grenada put in place measures to combat and reduce the spread of Grenada experiencing community transmission or spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Grenada’s Constitution provides for an initial period of 21 days without parliamentary approval but the State of Emergency declaration will only be valid for 21 days. The Houses of Parliament must give approval for it to continue. According to the constitution all members had to give unanimous support for the resolution to be legal.

“A resolution of a House of Parliament for the purposes of subsection (2) of this section and a resolution of a House extending any such resolution shall not be passed unless it is supported by the votes of a majority of all the members of the House,” says Section 17 subsection 6 of the constitution.

During the voting process all members of the House of Representatives including newly appointed Leader of the Opposition, Tobias Clement, as well as all members in the Senate, supported the continuation of the measure.

The current State of Emergency which comes with a number of regulations including a 24-hour curfew with exception for essential services workers, will expire on 20 April 2020. The regulations of the State of Emergency are done in accordance with the Emergency Powers Act and it is expected that before the end of business day on 20 April, government will gazette a new set of regulations for a continuation of the State of Emergency.

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