Jan 20, 2013 Letters Comments Off on Judiciary decision on Rohee creates domino effect to uphold his rights
“Chief Justice Ian Chang found that Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee as an elected member has a right to speak in the National Assembly” but according to the report of SN of 1/12/12 headlined “Rohee can speak in Parliament but…”, some doubt is now created that the Chief Justice decision “ does not appear to be enforceable by the court”.
What is in so doubtful or vague about the Honourable Chief Justice’s ruling? Assertions or doubts that the Chief Justice has only validated a Guyanese Minister with half of his rights and denied him the other half could bring into question whether he is half human being.
Could it be because he is of mixed race?. So to which half is the PNC’s shadow Attorney General Mr Basil Williams denying or affording legitimacy to the Home Minister?
So much putrid hogwash surrounds assertions that Minister Rohee can speak as a member of parliament but not comply with his other duties as Home Affairs Minister.
The Minister derives his authority as a Minister of Guyana by legal appointment from the constitutionally elected President of Guyana and not by that of his fellow parliamentarians.
The Opposition cannot deprive the Minister of that which the electorate and not parliamentarians have originally empowered in free and fair elections.
In seeking to “take away” the rights of a lawful Minister the opposition would be guilty of mugging a parliamentarian and stealing that what is his ie causing him injury combined with naked corruption in broad daylight. Minister Rohee is also of mixed race, male, a loyal, respected and popular outstanding PPP member, a father, a husband, with a home to maintain as well as being a natural born citizen of his country.
Does such aforementioned acquired concomitant duties become nullified similar to the spurious claims that he has lost the right to comply with his Home Affairs Minister responsibilities? Such is the Opposition absurdity which would limit the Minister to be one but not the other(s), and have no foundation just as they are palably baseless.
Recall PNC triumphalism in 1997 when Chief Justice Desiree Bernard issued an Order nisi of certiorai challenging the decision of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Mr Doodnauth Singh, to declare Mrs Janet Jagan the President of Guyana without the consent of the members of the Guyana Elections Commission and to quash the Chairman’s decision on constitutional grounds?
Mrs Janet Jagan had already been sworn in as President of Guyana in a secret ceremony held on Friday 19 December 1997. Chief Justice Bernard also issued an Order nisi of prohibition ( as compared to certiorai) prohibiting the Chancellor of the Judiciary, Mr Cecil Kennard, from swearing in Mrs Jagan as President and an Order nisi of prohibition, prohibiting her from assuming the office of President at the State House function with invited guests. President Jagan was served with the court order at her residence long after the earlier secret ceremony and in disgust tossed the papers over her shoulders.
What did it matter; President Jagan’s swearing in at State House was only a ceremonial public formality as she had already been privately sworn in earlier by Chancellor Kennard. Chief Justice Bernard’s ruling was nevertheless still legally binding even though made after the fact.
Now Chief Justice Chang’s decision has in effect created a domino effect guaranteeing all Minister Rohee’s constitutional rights.
There is a separation of powers all right between the legislative, executive and the judiciary, but its a counterbalance to each other’s excesses not to be a hindrance.
For anyone to argue that Chief Justice Chang ruling on the executive violates the separation of powers would nullify that it is the legislature which constitutionally instructs the executive, and like the above two cases the judiciary can impact the executive.
Chief Justice Chang correctly also affirmed that the judiciary has authority to decide whenever the Guyana constitution is violated by whomever.
The judiciary interprets the law , enforces and protects it. The constitution is the highest authority of the land and cannot be violated even by parliamentarians. Which in this case validates his authority to judge the Minister of Home Affairs Mr Clement Rohee with all legal rights to speak in the legislature since the constitution of Guyana as the highest law of the land so empowers both men by its prescriptive unambiguous guarantees.
Only the Speaker can legally censure a member of parliament but Minister Rohee has done nothing wrong requiring punishment. The Privileges Committee is only a deliberative and recommending committee with the PNC/AFC in majority. By being both the prosecutor and a judge the Opposition would be again infringing on Minister Rohee’s right to a free and fair trial in committee without any charges of wrongdoing.
With the Minister also being a member of the committee he in effect is both the accused and a judge compliments of Guyana’s opposition comical madness! No experienced lawyer like Speaker Raphael Trotman, would attempt to execute a flawed decision from the Committee of Privileges which already stinks, since it would be prejudicial and flawed on many counts to the “ non-accused” i.e. Minister Rohee. Guyana’s constitution still guarantees a free and fair trail to all.
No crime was committed simply because the Home Minister was not culpable in issuing any direct orders to shoot lawless marauding Lindeners.
What then is the legitimate basis by which Minister Rohee can be automatically punished by an opposition no confidence motion?
Can any morality or defense uphold the lawlessness of AFC inspired protestors at Linden, Agricola included, who were unfairly bullying for continued entitlement to pay substantially less for electricity whiles all Guyanese nationwide were paying considerably more?
The PNC can only have commendable good reasons in distancing itself from the AFC’s Nigel Hughes in preventing him from speaking at a Linden rally last weekend. Little by little Guyanese may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. This can only be good for refreshing stability and harmony in Guyana.
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