Harmon assures public: President will not breach Constitution

first_imgJudicial appointmentsGovernment has given its commitment that President David Granger will not make any moves outside of the Constitution and push forward with the appointment of a substantive Chancellor and Chief Justice, although the President himself has already announced that he is seeking legal advice on the matter.This comment was made after a statement was issued by the Bar Council of the Guyana Bar Association (GBA) on Monday when it stated that Government must stick within the limits of the Constitution, especially Article 127, which speaks directly to these top judicial appointments.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said he was concerned at the dangerous path the Association was treading with its insinuations and strong assertions, despite the public statements made by the Head of State with regard to upholding the Constitution.Minister of State, Joseph HarmonThe GBA has warned that “any action outside of the said Article 127 is unconstitutional, void, of no legal effect and would have embarrassing consequences”.Harmon also described as reckless the statement attributed to the Association, which states that the climate surrounding the appointment of the two office holders is “repugnant and shakes the public confidence in the legal system. It further unfairly undermines the dignity of the offices and office holders”.The Minister of State claimed that every action taken by President Granger was underpinned by the provisions of the Constitution and it was, therefore, surprising that the Association having regard to what the President has said, has arrived at a conclusion that basically stated that the current climate was repugnant.Further, he said while Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo would have rejected the nominations for the two posts, no explanations were provided. He noted, however, that when the Head of State had rejected the nominations for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the GBA was one of the many organisations, which voiced discontent and called for explanations to be given.While encouraging both Government and the Opposition to work towards reaching a consensus, the Bar Council of the GBA reiterated that the appointment of the Chancellor and Chief Justice was governed by Article 127 of the Constitution of Guyana, the country’s supreme law, which states that these persons shall each be appointed by the President in agreement with the Opposition Leader.The Association, therefore, reasoned that acting Chancellor Yonette Cummings-Edwards and acting Chief Justice Roxane George could not be removed and replaced by other acting appointees.Given the current circumstances surrounding this issue, the GBA has urged both parties to work to break the impasse and arrive at a consensual resolution, especially in keeping with the spirit and intent of Article 127, which it reminded was amended from its original form to foster collaboration.last_img

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