Political Leader of the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) Kent Vital has added his voice to a decision made in Parliament on Monday to have a proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill read only once and not three times as was originally submitted in the Order Paper.
Amendments were made to the Order Paper when National Security Minister Rayburn Blackmoore, who was to present the Bill to parliament, told the House that he will be reading the Bill only once.
The matter was then moved and seconded.
“Something important like that should never be done in one sitting,” Vital told reporters outside of Parliament during what was described as a “peaceful protest against any injustice.”
He said the amendment will allow opposition Parliamentarians more time to analyze the Bill and the public to make recommendations.
“There will be some time to go back to the drawing board, to make adjustments, to make recommendations and that is what we expect,” he noted.
And according to him, then at the end “we can arrive at a Bill or an Act.”
He mentioned also that the DFP is concerned that the ruling party is going to use the Bill to maliciously attack the opposition, “or maliciously attack the rights of the people to protest.”
Recently Vital raised concerns over the controversial Bill and said the government needs to give Dominicans more time to examine the proposed legislation.
He said the DFP generally understands the need for anti-terrorism legislation, “especially because it is an element of the role that every country has to play internationally, in terms of abating global terrorism threats.”
Vital went on to say in the Constitution of Dominica there are a number of important precepts that are laid there that is related to the supremacy of God.
He further pointed out the fundamental rights such as the right to demonstrate and protest should be protected and one don’t want those to be confused with terrorist actions.