GUYANA | Opposition files Injunction to prevent unconstitutional appointments without consultation

GUYANA | Opposition files Injunction to prevent unconstitutional appointments without consultation

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, July 1, 2022 - Shadow Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Mr. Roysdale A. Forde SC, and Mr. Selwyn A. Pieters, have filed a Fixed Date Application (FDA) in the High Court of Guyana against the unconstitutional action of President Irfaan Ali to appoint the Police Service Commission, and the Integrity Commission, without meaningful and substantive consultation with Leader of the Opposition as is required under 210 (1) and 232 of the constitution of Guyana.

A statement from the Shadow Minister of Legal Affairs said “the action of the President to race ahead, indecently, to appoint and swear chairmen and members of those commissions, in substance, constitutes a violation in principle and practice of the law and a betrayal of the political process that allows the voices of the minority [those without economic and/or political power] to be heard and their rights recognized and respected”

This, he said, “has far-reaching implications to the social and economic wellbeing of all Guyana.”

The statement pointed out that “in so far as the unlawful appointment of the Police Service Commission is concerned, our fear is that the unconstitutional action of the President could further fractionalize the Guyana Police Force.”

“This facilitates an amplification and aggravation of extant weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the Force. This would compromise the authority of that state agency to enforce compliance to the laws and erode public confidence in the work of the Guyana Police Force.

“In any case, it is reasonable to assume that any conceptual frame or concept of “One Guyana” must by all logics and reasoning include meaningful and substantive consultation with the other half of Guyanese, who did not vote for the ruling party PPP/C, represented by the opposition.

“But it is clear, very clear, that the mantra of “One Guyana” does not include those, who did not vote or do not support the lopsided, uneven, unfair, and unjust policies of the Ali-led government,” Mr. Forde said.

“It is also clear that the Ali- led government is not interested in good governance settled on a foundation of transparency, accountability, justice and fairness; the government is satisfied and comfortable with policies and practices that result in benefits to their friends and cronies,” the Opposition spokesman noted.

“The opposition will not sit idly by and allow the Ali- led government and the ruling PPP/C to impose their will on the people. We will do everything possible to empower people through information and knowledge to participate in the decision- making process through community and other actions aimed at protecting and improving the quality of their lives and their communities,” declared Mr, Forde.

 At the end of May, the government was warned by Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton, not to appoint persons to posts requiring constitutional consultations without the requisite discussion with the Opposition.

Norton Says he will not hesitate to resort to the Courts if the President decides to move ahead with Constitutional appointments without the completion of consultations as required by the Constitution.

“They might go ahead and I don’t doubt it. They seem to want to go ahead but it will be challenged in the Courts and that is the bottom line because we know what is meaningful consultation, Norton said.

“It is not a choice of the government to be involved in meaningful consultation, it is mandated by the Constitution. And therefore, it should be done in keeping with the law,” Norton told the media recently.

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