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Jamaican PM Survives No-Confidence Vote in Parliament

Jamaica's Prime Minister Bruce Golding [file photo]

Jamaica's Prime Minister Bruce Golding [file photo]

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has survived a no-confidence vote in parliament after the opposition urged him to resign because of his alleged support of a suspected drug lord wanted by the United States.

Lawmakers narrowly rejected the motion by a vote of 30-28 late Tuesday to censure Mr. Golding for his handling of a U.S. extradition request for Christopher "Dudus" Coke.

Coke is wanted in New York on charges that he smuggled cocaine, marijuana and weapons between Jamaica and the United States.

Soldiers and police in the Jamaican capital, Kingston, last week raided the Tivoli Gardens slum that Coke dominates in an effort to arrest him for extradition to the United States. Mr. Golding represents Tivoli Gardens in parliament.

At least 73 people were killed in clashes between the security forces and gunmen loyal to Coke. Five hundred people were taken into custody. Coke remains at large.

A state of emergency remains in effect for parts of the capital.

Coke is the alleged leader of the "Shower Posse," named for the practice of showering rivals with bullets during the cocaine wars of the 1980s.

Last August, U.S. authorities sent an extradition request for Coke to the Jamaican government. Mr. Golding at the time refused to allow it to be processed, arguing that the evidence in it was obtained illegally.

In responding to recent criticism, the prime minister said Coke should be arrested and brought to court for a hearing.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.