So Bharrat Jagdeo has caused to be resubmitted eleven names for negotiations. I am pleased, exceedingly pleased, that Mr. Jagdeo has timeously, given the July 12 adjourned date for announcement of “consequential orders” demonstrated to the CCJ, that its foisted aspiration of “consensualism” in the appointment of a GECOM Chairman, is pious, utopian, politicking in our political affairs. What crass provocation, for Mr. Jagdeo to caused to be resubmitted (not even having the decorum to write the letter himself), eleven (11) names to the President, ominously, inclusive of persons who James McAllister in a letter to the press in 2017, aptly described as “straw candidates” and comprising lists Professor/ret’d CCJ Justice Duke Pollard dismissively described as “palpably defective” in another section of the media on January 17, 2017.
Is recycling, as an environmental conception, appropriate in a matter so pregnant with the embryo of a constitutional crisis, which it is in our overriding public interest to abort, and not to deliver?
I had written, ad nauseaum, on these lists in 2017. Mr. Jagdeo, with an accustomed display of intemperance, called me a “sycophant”; one of my letters a “gutter letter” (see “Maxwell Edwards scrutinises Jagdeo’s GECOM nominees” – in another section of the media dated 30th May 2017). So, Hon Leader of the Opposition, let us agree that if you are entitled in the exercise of your constitutional right to freedom of expression to call me a “Sycophant”, I, exercising a self same right, is entitled, and justified, to label you as PROVOCATORY – a provocationist. On the available evidence, or the circumstantial evidence, on one very arguable view, it must be the case that Mr. Jagdeo has deliberately resubmitted as part of the “hammering out” process such “straw candidates” as Former Senior Magistrate Krishnadant Persaud, as a pure act of provocation; or as an act, mindlessly, whimsically, capriciously done.
Mr. President you must not yield. If in Mr. Jagdeo’s “objective” judgment Krishnadant Persaud is a “fit and proper” person for GECOM Chairman, then President David Granger, permitted as he is by Article 111 – one of the eleven most valuable and important provisions in the Constitution (Lawyers knows this as entrenchment of the deepest level), to “act in his own deliberate judgment”, invites no approbrium (political or constitutional) in submitting for negotiations Eric Phillips as a Candidate. Yet, we know that President Granger would not seek to match Mr. Jagdeo’s effrontery.
I hope the three “wise men” in Port of Spain are taking judicial notice of Mr. Jagdeo’s provocation, which by their interpretation of our Constitution he has been licensed to commit. En passant, here is a poignant view of a true Caribbean Legal legend – J.O.F Haynes. Sitting a s a Justice of Appeal in a local case of Re Williams and Salisbury (1978) 26 WIR, this legendary jurist said thus: “of course this doctrine of liberal interpretation cannot imply that we” [i.e. the Judges] “are free to stretch or PERVERT the language of it “[i.e. the Constitution] “in the interest of any preconceived constitutional theory or spirit. The question is still not what may be supposed to have been intended but what is intended by what is said” (see at page 147 b-c). I submit, and remain unshakeably convinced, that this doctrine of “consensualism”, as aspirational as some may perceive it to be, is a perversion of what is said in our Constitution. “Consensualism” of the CCJ type, is the antitheses, and, negation of constitutional Presidential absolute deliberativeness. A Frankenstein has been created. Mr. Jagdeo’s submission of, inter alia, the name of Krishnadant Persaud, is a palpable manifestation of this judicial monster. As an aside – is it not Jagdeo’s first list nominee – Christopher Ram, who is one of the foremost antagonists, and litigant in Court for the resignation/removal of this David Granger Cabinet/Government. And, was it not Christopher Ram who had instituted private criminal charges against Jagdeo? Was pre-No Confidence antagonism latent, waiting, if given an opportunity, to volcanically explode? Oh what a tangled web of deceit can be weaved.
I return to Krishnadant Persaud. I served as a Magistrate with him. We had interactions at Magistrate’s meetings/conferences. He was most favoured by Carl Singh, C. (ag). I can assure your readers that this most favoured status was not because of some judicial aptitude, or exemplary knowledge of law. He demonstrated more of that. So, when other contracted Magistrates, decades younger than Persaud, had their services terminated, or their contracts not renewed, by the Carl Singh-led Judicial Services Commission, he (Persaud) continued to serve as a Magistrate in Berbice. The Police complained about his outrageous and perverse decisions in the Court (especially in drug cases of high profile). Yet he remained. The irresistible inference, is that he was allowed to continue to serve as a Magistrate, because, and only because, he was a yeoman, unabashed supporter of the PPP. Was he a close relative of Robert Persaud former PPP/C Minister of Natural Resources? Bias can be an insidious thing.
I end with this: Mr. Jagdeo, with an accustomed predatory, reckless, contemptuous miscalculation of the limits of his power as Leader of the Opposition in this Republic, pursues nothing but narrow, myopic political machinations. He has an aversion for public interest.
With resubmissions of names like Krishnadant Persaud (perhaps recycling), he is being provocative. Were he to be further emboldened on the 12th July, then nothing but a constitutional crisis awaits us, for which, for us, the CCJ must bear responsibility.
Maxwell. E. Edwards
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