Sunday, June 16, 2013

Letter: President must act on Rowley-Gordon matter

In our constitution, Section 80 (3) (c) mandates the President to act in accordance with his own deliberate judgment when appointing the Leader of the Opposition and revoking any such appointment. 

That word ("judgment") pops up again in Section 83 where the power to appoint and dismiss an Opposition Leader is bestowed upon the President.
To cut to the chase, "judgment" means "discretion", "the ability and power to assess a situation and, having reviewed everything, decide and implement the best option regardless what town says". 

Hence, persons of sound judgment remain cool as Lara under the most withering attack; persons who follow the crowd stay around as long as a public servant in an office where the airconditioner is broken.

When Section 83 prescribes for those "who, in (the President's) judgment, is best able to command the support of the greatest number of members of the House of Representatives who do not support the Government", what exactly does that imply?

Can the answer be reached by ignoring the reason why such support is needed or given, or turning a blind eye to the words "his own deliberate" in 80 (3) (c)?

Absolutely not: the word "support" refers to the well-being of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, for that's what being a Loyal Opposition requires; and so, "his own deliberate" binds the President to take a dim view of those who don't or won't understand the meaning of "Loyal Opposition".

When evaluating who to appoint or disappoint as Opposition Leader, the President consequently cannot solely, mainly or glibly rely upon written assurances received from any Opposition parliamentarian. 

The instant he does that he acts unconstitutionally, as the Constitution demands he act independently and, considering the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen amnesty precedent, to act, a President cannot be passive or figurative.

Then again, things coming from parliamentarians don't necessarily make a President jump: history has shown where laws are passed and held in abeyance for want of proclamation and, more aptly, how Raffique Shah couldn't out-jockey Basdeo Panday during the 1976-1981 era for the Opposition Leader's post. 

Therefore, concerning who must lead the Opposition, letters from MPs indicating whom they support or don't support aren't necessary to sway the President this way or that: one cannot grant the President powers and latitude he already has.

With these thoughts in mind, I think the President needs to remove Dr Keith Rowley as Leader of the Opposition, since his conduct over the past three years has been more detrimental to Trinidad and Tobago than beneficial. 

Dr Rowley's latest secret-meeting imbroglio has merely reconfirmed how beyond redemption he is. If the President doesn't do something fast, it'd mean he's not as cutting-edge as he made himself out to be in his inaugural speech.

Lyndon Gibbs-Guillard | Irving Street,San Fernando.

No comments:

Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai