The PPP is very willing to lie to the
public concerning the fact that the parliamentary standing committees are
working in the interest of all and there was consultation at every level in the
appointments of the nominees to the judicial service Commission, the Public
Service Commission and other commissions.
These commissions make fundamental
decisions regarding the lives of all of us regardless of political preference.
Any judge who is stealing or is rendering perverse decisions for money or for
political favour is a threat to the rule of law in this country and it is
happening with increasing frequency in Guyana.
Recently nominees of two of the
commissions, the Judicial Service Commission and the Public Service Commission
were approved by Parliament.
The PNC opposition were very vocal in
their condemnation of the persons who were finally chosen to be members of the
judicial and public service commissions notwithstanding that they were
appointed by a committee of which they are members.
Here is why.
Let's deal with the Judicial Service
Commission first now the parliamentary committee which made the recommendation for
the appointment to the Judicial Service Commission is called the Committee of Appointments,
the members of the committee are as follows Minister Ramsammy, Minister Robert
Persaud, Mr. Brindley Benn, Minister Manickchand, Minister Jennifer Webster and
Ms Gail Teixeria who was chosen to be its chairperson.
The PNC's nominees are Ms. Deborah
Backer, Dr. George Norton, Amania Ally, and from the AFC Sheila Holder.
The minutes of the Committee since the 21st
December 2006 to the present time show that the committee met eight times since
this 9th Parliament started.
The committee decided that they would
ask the following three organisations to put up proposals for the two vacant positions
as required by the constitution from organisations that represent lawyers in
this country and they chose the following associations to do so the Guyana Bar
Association, The Guyana Association of women lawyers and the Guyana association
of legal practitioners which was formally the Berbice Bar Association.
The Berbice Bar association were
required to put up two names but they only put up one Justice Prem Persaud some
members of the committee noted that there was some irregularity with this
nomination since no one could determine when the meeting which decided this
nominee was held now remember that Debbie Backer a member of this committee is
a practicing Lawyer so she would have been in receipt of any information of
shenanigans in this nomination and apparently there were some..
The Guyana Bar Association, the really
big body that represents lawyers in this country nominated Mr. Brin Pollard and
Dr. Harold Lutchman.
The Guyana Association of women Lawyers
failed to nominate anyone, but the Bar Association alleged that they had made
their submission after consulting with the Association of women lawyers and
requests by the parliamentary committee to have the association of women
lawyers to confirm that this was true got no response. So apparently they did
give their vote to the Bar Association of which some, if not all of them, are
The parliamentary committee therefore
had three names Dr. Lutchman, Justice Prem Persaud and Mr. Bryn Pollard.
The committee decided that they wanted
gender, ethnic, geographical and religious balance, so they asked the
associations to submit more names the only organisation that did was the bar
Association and they supplied the following names Ms. Sandra Veronica Bart and
Justice Aubrey Bishop, after some consideration the committee agreed to
nominate Bryn Pollard on the 17th April 2007 and on the 24th
of April the committee decided to submit the name of justice Prem Persaud using
the PPP's bigger numbers on the committee to do so. So notwithstanding that the
Guyana Bar association by far the biggest association of lawyers in this
country nominated five names, a small organisation from Berbice, probably prompted
by the PPP nominated Justice Prem Persaud and the PPP used their majority in
this Parliamentary committee to get what they wanted. The fact that Prem Persaud
is currently before the court since his currently being the chairman of the
Public Utilities commission and the judicial service commission at the same
time which appears to be a clear violation of the law, seemed to be irrelevant
to the PPP.
To get what they want the PPP is
prepared to violate this entire process and so the claim by the PNC that this
process was violated by bad faith was well founded.
The position with the nominees to the public Service Commission was no
different, it was a process highlighted by bad faith and deception and the
process went this way;
The members of Committee of Appointments
were of course the same 6 PPP representatives three PNC representatives and the
Ladies and gentlemen article 200 (1) (b)
says this two members appointed by the president upon nomination by the
national assembly after it has consulted such bodies as appear to it to
represent public officers or classes of public officers. So ladies and
gentlemen we are talking about unions here, since no one represent this class
of person in any formal way.
But it was decided that the following
bodies would be eligible to submit the names of persons eligible to sit on this
commission the 1. Guyana Public Service Union; 2. The Public Service senior
Staff association; 3. The Federation of Unions of Government Employees; 4.
National Union of Public Service Employees and 5. The Guyana Labour Union.
The Guyana Public Service union
submitted the following names 1. Mr. Herman De Souza and 2. Ms. Vera Lynette
The Public Service Senior Staff
Association submitted 1. Mr. Celil Seeparsaud and 2. Mr. Meryn St. Hill.
The Federation of Unions of Government
Employees nominated 1. Mr. Carvil Duncan and 2. Mr. Earl Aloysius Welch
The National Union of Public Service
Employees nominated Mr. Carvil Duncan and Mr. Alyshious Welch
The Guyana Labour Union nominated Mr.
I am not going to get into politics here
but the PPP's first and only choice in this matter was Carvil Duncan and Cecil
Seepersaud; the PNC in an effort to compromise at first nominated Ms. Vera
Naughton and Mr. Cecil Seepersaud but when they saw that the PPP was not going
to yield, they changed their selection to Herman De Souza and Vera Naughton the
AFC member voted for Mr. Cecil Seepersaud and Ms. Vera Naughton, if the AFC
member was attending all of the meetings and saw what was going on she should
have stood with the other opposition parties and vote for anyone other than Seepersaud
a person who was clearly being pushed by the PPP, in the end using their
majority and refusing to see the sense in putting Ms. Vera Naughton a retired
Senior Education Officer, the nominee put forward by the Public Service Union
which is really the major union that represents public servants in this country
and since Ms. Naughton is also a woman, which can give gender balance to this
committee, the PPP disregarded all of this and chose Seepersaud and Carvin
Duncan and used their majority to push it through all the stages in the house.
There is no justice in Guyana ladies and gentlemen none at all.