Wednesday 19 June, 2019

NIDS headed to court

Dr Peter Phillips

Dr Peter Phillips

The controversy that has dogged the passage into law of the National Identification System (NIDS) is far from over with the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) indicating that it will make good on its threat to take the matter to court.

The threat has resurfaced at a time when the Government is ramping up its public education campaign via town hall meetings to get public buy-in. The full rollout of the NIDS is slated to begin with a pilot project in January 2019, focusing on civil servants.

However, all of that could be derailed if the PNP launches a constitutional challenge to the law. It appears that this is about to happen, as, while addressing a PNP meeting in Hayes, Clarendon on Sunday night, opposition leader Dr Peter Phillips said the party will be headed to court over the NIDS. Among other things, the party is taking issue with the requirement that persons who refuse to sign up will be slapped with a $100,000 fine.

"We plan to go to court over the National Identification Bill because we are not leaving it so!" Phillips declared to supporters, adding that “we need to resolve this thing quickly.”

Dr Phllips said the law can work but there are parts that must be taken out before it is implemented. He has again accused the Andrew Holness-led administration of forcing the law on the parliament and on the people. He likened this to “bad man business.”

Dr Phillips said a pattern has emerged with the way the government has gone about the business of governance.  

…”Is not just mismanagement and stubbornness that we face with this administration, what we see in this situation with the national ID and how they passed it and what we see with the chief justice appointment is a pattern of disrespect of the democratic traditions of the country," Phillips said.

 

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