Jan 25, 2009 Letters
Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition, Mr. Robert O.H. Corbin, is sending signals that the PNCR will not comply with the President’s two-week ultimatum for the consummation of full declarations to the Integrity Commission.
Part of his reason for possible noncompliance is that he is awaiting the judgment of the High Court on the legality of appointments to the Integrity Commission.
At any rate, Mr. Corbin’s attempt to hide within the parameters of the High Court’s judgment does not forestall the functioning of the Integrity Commission; the work of this body goes on! His approach reminds me of ‘schoolboy politics’.
This logic suggests that if all institutions are bogged down in court hearings and pending court judgments, then these institutions will cease functioning; the Government will close off business, and the entire country will shut down. His argument is ludicrous!
Awaiting the High Court’s judgment does not imply that the current appointments are illegal, and therefore, the Integrity Commission will continue to function; I am unaware of any Court action that has deemed the Commission to be illegal and that it should stop functioning. This being the case, all declarations from all relevant public officials have to be consummated in a timely manner.
And given that the court has made no ruling on the interpretation of the Integrity Commission Act of 1997, the President’s invocation of Article 19 of this law is quite valid.
This law empowers the President and Commission to publish information on non-declarants in the Gazette or newspaper.
It is unfortunate that the AFC would see the two-week ultimatum as an instruction emanating from the President; I say ‘unfortunate’ because the Integrity Commission Act of 1997 allows the Head of State to so act.
And today, the PNCR and the AFC’s concerns about the integrity of public officials’ information at the Commission, and their refuge in some pending High Court’s decision as reasons why they may defy the two-week ultimatum, do not wash.
The Integrity Commission Act of 1997, as the law, currently is still in force, and all relevant parties must demonstrate compliance in word and deed.
AUBREY NORTON FRIGHTEN RENEGOTIATION AND RING-FENCING
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