Tuesday, January 08, 2008

From the press release party


The AFC has noted with grave concern the viscous attack on the judiciary in general and the Honourable Justice Jainarayan Singh in particular by the President after the decision of the Honourable Justice Jainarayan Singh delivered on 17th December, 2007.

The statement attributed to the President “The decision would not stand anywhere, I don’t know what is happening to some of these judges. I don’t know” suggests that not only has the President assumed the position of an appellate Court Judge and delivered an ex tempore judgment before the appeal has been heard but more dangerously indicates that the Head of the Executive arm of the State has considered acceptable to launch an attack on the judiciary.

One of the primary functions of the Judiciary is to protect the rights of the citizen against the power of the State.
The fact that the head of State chose intemperate language to express his dissatisfaction with the decision of a High Court Judge rather than await the decision of the Court of Appeal highlights the growing disrespect and contempt the President harbours for the concept of independence of the Judiciary.

The AFC is keenly aware that the constraints of judicial ethics and decorum restrict the ability of members of the Judiciary from responding in public to unwarranted attacks on their character particularly by persons who enjoy immunity from suit.

It is our hope that the Chancellor of the Judiciary will not overlook this assault on the independence of the Judiciary which he leads and may wish to consider assuaging the public’s fears about its independence particularly in the light of the severity of the attempted assault by the Head of State.

Further, statements purportedly made by the President regarding the benevolence of the executive to pay for sucrutineers, also reveal another frightening feature of undemocratic rule in that like cricket, football, electricity supply for Christmas, and now, matters electoral, the President is under the mistaken belief that his altruism and benevolence are responsible for these events taking place. The President must be reminded that the money being spent, all of it, is taxpayers’ money over which he has no responsibility except to ensure that it is spent prudently and according to law.

Lastly, the President, in the opinion of the AFC, should refrain from proffering legal advice and opinions and obtain proper legal counsel before making ill-informed utterances especially where as in the case in issue, the law as embodied in Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2000- No. 15 of 2000 makes specific provision for the payment of party scrutineers during the house to house registration and related exercises. This is a far cry from a benevolent grant.

A Court of the Republic of Guyana has issued a ruling that the AFC and GAP-ROAR must share proportionately in all financial outlays for the scrutiny of the House-to- House Registration process, and that ruling must be obeyed until set aside or stayed.

Guyana360: The AFC leaders have done nothing more than sit in fancy air conditioned offices and write press releases, jumping on every issue like a leap frog on eddoe leaf. They have not dealt with one issue properly and they scamper on another. The AFC needs to be more vibrant in their political thinking and stop the current lunacy, which at times look, sound and feel like they are operating from a small office over at Congress Place.

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