Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo …PM warns against persons trying to influence judiciary PRIME Minister Moses Nagamootoo has warned against persons trying to influence the judiciary by constant commentary on the no-confidence vote matter which is currently before the Court of Appeal.
He said such influence should neither come from the executive nor the parliamentary political opposition. His remarks come also against the background of calls by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, for President David Granger to call elections by April 30, 2019 despite the Guyana Elections Commission indicating that it is not ready to conduct the polls.
The President has instead opted to rely on the advice of the GECOM to determine the shortest possible time in which the commission is capable of holding new elections. “I rely on the commission’s readiness, the provision of funds and the expansion of time by the National Assembly to conduct credible elections. I rely on the outcome of legal challenges by the Court of Appeal. I rely, also, on public confidence in the institutions responsible for executing these processes. They demand political cooperation, not confrontation,” the Head of State told the nation on Friday.
In his weekly column ‘My Turn’ which is published in the Guyana Chronicle on Sunday, the prime minister added his analysis to the matter, stating: “Our constitutional judiciary has to carry out its mandate without pressure from the executive or the parliamentary political opposition party. It has to protect the Constitution by giving to its provisions purposive interpretations, and to render clarity to its intentions within the ambit of broad, acceptable, democratic principles.”
Since the ruling of the High Court on the passing of the December 2018 no-confidence motion, the government has challenged the decision and the matter is awaiting judgement at the Court of Appeal. While the opposition has also criticised the government for seeking legal challenge, the President has reminded that Speaker of the National Assembly, in declining to reverse the December 21, 2018 decision, recommended the settlement of the issue by the court.
The prime minister further emphasised the need for this process to be allowed its due course as he referenced former acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh’s address to Commonwealth Magistrates and the Judges Association Conference. “Guyana’s Constitution provides that all courts and all persons presiding over the courts shall exercise their functions independently of the control and direction of any other person or authority, and shall be free and independent from political, executive and any other form of direction and control,” Singh was reported stating in 2016.
He noted that similar support for a “constitutional judiciary process” came from new American Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, who he deemed as having a remarkable understanding of the unfolding of local events. Even as these processes run simultaneously with the ongoing legal matters, Nagamootoo reminded: “The President has invited the Elections Commission to advise him on these matters. It requires cooperation for consensus, and realistic expectations that elections could be held this year once the constitutional judicial, parliamentary and electoral processes are concluded.”
LINK ORIGINAL: Guyana Chronicle