I thought that the latter part of the long rule of the PPP, with the Ramotar presidency, was the most laughable administration in our history, going right back to colonial governorship. Most humans, perhaps all, know that the longer you live, the more you see; therefore, the more you learn and thus the more you know about life and people.
The silly, facetious things that emerge from the political leadership of the government are not only embarrassing Guyana in the eyes of the world, but it has reduced the ruling regime to a school of comics. The output is relentless. It doesn’t stop. The latest is Minister Ramjattan’s revelation that foreign advice is being sought about the role of Peter Ramsaroop at the Ogle airport.
Ramsaroop escorted Charran into the boarding section of the airport at Ogle along with a Canadian diplomat. Both men said they sought and got permission. Airport authorities subsequently issued a statement stating that that kind of permission is not usually granted to a civilian like Ramsaroop, who had no special status to be awarded that privilege.
What Ramsaroop did is what happens often all over the world. You step into an area that the public is not allowed, or you get permission from a subordinate employee who overstepped his/her jurisdiction. What foreign expert advice does the government need about what Ramsaroop did? Either prosecute him or sanction the subordinate airport official, but what do you expect a foreign expert to tell you.
I don’t know if Ramjattan was misquoted in the media, but I read he told his press conference that the expert is needed to investigate what Ramsaroop did at the airport. Here is what was carried in the press; “Ramjattan added that the consultation (with the foreign expert) will not only focus on Persaud, but also aims at determining what businessman Peter Ramsaroop was doing at the airside of the Eugene Correia airport at the time of Persaud’s departure…”
Seriously, could any government in any part of the world get more laughable than this? Wouldn’t the expert have to ask Ramsaroop why he was escorting Charran? And what does the expert expect Ramsaroop to say? And the lady that gave Ramsaroop permission will no doubt be questioned about alleged inducement. But can’t our local boys and girls in the force do that? Why do we need a foreign expert to question her? How about a foreign expert to run the police force, whose operations fall under Ramjattan? Jamaica and Trinidad in recent years had foreign commissioners.
Next is the irrepressible Basil Williams. In speaking publicly about the no confidence court case, he opined that the constitution is wrong. Williams was referring to Article 106 (7) of the constitution, which requires the government to call elections within three months after the passage of a no-confidence motion. Speaking to reporters outside the Court of Appeal, Williams told them that the constitution is wrong. A government does not hold elections. Only GECOM does that. Williams told the journalists; “the framers of the constitution got it wrong.”
What is comical about Williams’ discovery? Williams’ observation has to make you laugh, because a judge has to go by what is contained in the constitution. If the constitution says only persons 18 years and over can vote in national elections, a writ to ask for a declaration allowing 16-year-old citizens to vote cannot be entertained by a judge, because the 18-year-old requirement is a constitutional stipulation. The judge cannot strike that down that Article and allow persons under 18 to vote. If that Article is wrong, then the legislators have to change it, not the judiciary.
A judge cannot change an article or articles in the constitution, however unfair or wrong or unreasonable. The purpose of a judge presiding in a constitutional case is to uphold what the constitution stipulates. It is crazy for any attorney to think a judge can rule against what is stated in a constitution by telling counsel, “I agree with you, the constitution is wrong, so I rule in your favour.” The judge’s words would go like this; “I agree with you the constitution is wrong in this regard, but you have to take that up with the legislators.’ And so many times judges have said that to lawyers.
Hundreds of youths have been jailed because the magistrates keep telling them that once found guilty of trafficking, a prison sentence is mandatory, and that is the law. So change the law. And that is what is being advocated. So if government cannot hold an election, a task only assigned to GECOM, then change the constitution.
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