By: Sase Singh; MSc Finance, ACCALouis IX of France was renowned for the evenhanded manner in which he dispensed justice. King Solomon was also supposed to have done a pretty good job at dispensing justice. What I saw on Globespan24x7 TV on June 18, 2019 vindicated my position that the Caribbean has at the CCJ honourable people who fulfil this tradition of justice with integrity.These learned minds at the CCJ used the drafting history of Guyana to break down extremely complex issues into simple statements of fact. This entire event brought power to the spirit of the Constitution. The Caribbean people must be proud that we have among us, at the CCJ, a group of learned minds who are prepared to do the right thing even in an environment populated with so much political pressure.In his written piece called ‘Politics’, Aristotle stated, “Rightly constituted laws should be the final sovereign”. These men and one woman ensured that the Guyanese Constitution remained enshrined as our final sovereign document in an environment in which legal charlatans were trying to vary its soul. By tracing how the Constitution has evolved from the Independence Constitution to the 1980 Constitution, and then to the Constitutional Reform Process as enacted in 2001, we, the lesser learned minds, were educated by the learned Judges at the CCJ as to why certain insertions and deletions were made to the Constitution at each juncture of its evolution.What was absolutely clear from that historical journey, during the 1999-2011 period, all the stakeholders in the Constitutional Reform Process, especially the PNC and PPP, wanted Article 106. One of the clear recommendations suggested from that process was that the rights of the Presidency must be amended to dilute the dictatorial powers it had in the 1980 version. The framers of that amendment to the Constitution focused on reducing the term in office of a President to only two terms, but, at the same time, they clearly elucidated in the drafting notes that if a majority of the National Assembly votes in favour of a “motion of no-confidence” against the President and the Cabinet, then they shall resign; which in law means they must resign. The operative word being the majority, which the CCJ has now defined as 33 elected MPs.It was never the intention of the framers of the Constitutional amendments in 2001 to manipulate the meaning of the word majority, as one OIL MAGNATE LAWYER attempted to do as a means to an end in 2019. Their intentions were always that a mathematical majority of 65 can vote the Government out. And what is that majority? But we needed not to have spent G$70 million and counting on legal fees to find out the answer to this question, since any Common Entrance student could have accurately provided the correct answer: Not 34, or any other half-man figment of a devious and demented imagination.So, in the eyes of the law, the Granger Government fell on December 21, 2018, and they had until March 20, 2019, to conclude their business. All political parties who are so interested in forming the next Government of Guyana had ample time to get their houses, cups or palm trees in order, so that they could have presented their programmes and policies to the people and leave the rest up to the voters.But what Mr. Granger has done since that fateful December night was most underhanded. He inserted his personal political tactics in a very prejudiced manner, which has resulted in our democracy being undermined. Today we are the laughing stock of the democratic Caribbean because of these actions. Can we understand now why we have no clout at CARICOM? No right-minded democratically elected leader will take Mr. Granger seriously as he journeys along this path of noncompliance with the principles of democracy.The CCJ has taken Guyana as close as possible to perfection in the art of judicial decision-making. With their “reasoned positions” in the interpretation of the intent of the Constitution, these men and one woman were able to give it to us straight. But even better, they provided Mr. Granger with a happy exit. But as we are seeing today, Mr. Granger will have none of it, as he continues to be the Millie Vanilli of Guyanese politics. All we are getting from Mr. Granger is double-speak and lip service to the decision, “I accept”, but we shall not have elections…”From Bartica, he declared to the press that he “cannot proceed with the current list of voters”, and he now “awaits a recommendation from GECOM”, and he will then issue “a proclamation”. This goes against the grain of the letter and spirit of the CCJ decision. It is in this regard that I am urging former President Bharrat Jagdeo to place his trust in the CCJ and ignore these political squatters and usurpers.
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