|File: ""The learned judge indicated that this was done without his knowledge, consent or permission..." |
- AG Anand Ramlogan
The party submitted Nelson's name in a letter to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Friday at which time it asked for a meeting to discuss what it called a "consensus" candidate. The PM is meeting Opposition Leader Keith Rowley and a PNM delegation Monday morning to discuss the matter.
However the Sunday Express said Ramlogan has stated that the judge is in the dark about the matter. "I have spoken personally to Justice Nelson and he has conveyed to me his shock and surprise over the fact that the PNM has taken the liberty to put forward his name as the PNM’s nominee for the Office of President," the Express quoted the AG as saying.
"The learned judge indicated that this was done without his knowledge, consent or permission and there was no prior consultation far less discussion with him about his name being proposed as the PNM’s candidate," he added.
Up to Thursday, the PNM had not suggested any name and had not nominated anyone for the post. Nelson's name came up on Friday.
Ramlogan said the PNM has "tainted and compromised the selection of someone who would otherwise be eminently qualified for consideration."
He added, "Instead of quietly submitting names to the government for it to consider, it has resorted to political gamesmanship by publicising Justice Nelson as its party’s nominee.
"This kind of one-upmanship can only compromise the selection process which the Constitution intended to be treated in a most sacred and confidential manner. Indeed, this is how the election of a President was dealt with on all previous occasions,” he said.
The paper said Ramlogan explained that he also spoke with the president of the CCJ, Sir Dennis Bryon, who indicated that he was unaware of this development concerning one of his judges.
“One would expect the president of a court to at least be informed or consulted if one of his judges had agreed to allow their names to be proposed as the PNM’s nominee for the head of state position,” the AG told the paper.
“This shows the PNM is not interested in genuine and meaningful dialogue to arrive at a consensus candidate. It is clear that they are operating in bad faith,” he said.