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CCJ is about justice wherever it is to be served


Dear Editor IT is written in the Good Book: “That what comes out from a man’s mouth defiles him”. We venture not to be theologians, pastors, or an authority in the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

Abel Resende

However, in common parlance, such a well-known quote would appear to mean that whatever is spoken is a reflection of the heart, and its intention, and therefore we are judged by such content which is often characterised by practical actions.

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It needs no re-stating that the mental psyche of the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic, that was nurtured when it returned to Office in 1992, and which became its instrument of governance during its twenty -three plus years in office was one that treated Guyana, and all its constitutional institutions, as its personal properties, and which had to obey its will. Among the tactics used to ensure compliance had been bullyism, subtle threats, and the well-known mechanism of spite. One remembers the now infamous Jagdeo cuss down of the local media, branding them as “carrion crows” and “vultures’’, and the disrespectful statements made to the persons of the late former president, Janet Jagan, and the business magnate, Yesu Persaud . Here was a leader, intolerant of dissenting views, and the opinion of others. It was either Jagdeo or the PPP/C’s way, or no other.

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In fact, the well-known political blue print of control came of age, and was a pervasive fact of PPP/C governance and rule. There was also the perception that some sections of the Judiciary had been afraid to rule against the then government, lest it courted its displeasure. One would have thought that given this largely dictatorial style of governance, which had been underpinned by a policy of institutionalized racism, and other socio-tragedies which caused this country to lose its international credibility and respect, that Jagdeo would have learned its bitter but self-informative lessons.

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His recent public statement that the Caribbean Court of Justice(CCJ) “risks its credibility if it does not overturn a decision by Guyana’s court that President Granger’s unilateral appointment of a chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission(GECOM)…” In a public tirade, he went on to describe the Guyana Appeal Court’s ruling as a ‘’travesty’’. All these statements are direct attempts to, especially, call the credibility of the Region’s final court into question; its integrity, and its independence. Further, these are attacks that are considered not only slanderous of the court’s distinguished judges, but by extension those judicial members of the Guyana Court of Appeal.

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These are not altogether surprising, since they are spoken from the mouth of a former head of state/government, who is still peeved and pained [that] his third-term bid [was] overturned by a decisive CCJ ruling. In fact, the latter is a constitutional case that should never have been brought to court, originating from an unknown citizen, purporting to do so on behalf of Jagdeo and his party.

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This was a clear instance of Jagdeo and his party attempting to use the court to annul a constitutional amendment that had already stipulated that a President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana was not entitled to more than two terms. It is ironical that this now Leader of the Opposition had been president at the time of such a change to the nation’s constitution. It was an unmistakable example of a grab, and lust for further power. It is instructive to note that although Jagdeo did not offer any opinion on the court’s ruling when the judicial decision had been ruled, there were grumblings about the ethnic composition of the court that came from his opposition party. We have no doubt that this was a clear and unambiguous continuation of the mental political psyche of a former political administration which saw everything solely through the lens of race, and which recent abysmal attacks on the CCJ marked another milestone inherent in such a dangerous and unfortunate outburst.Abel Resende Borges Facebook

Further, these statements– misleading, ugly and deformed and designed to bring the region’s court of last resort into disrepute—reeks of the traditional, patented, dictatorial style of this former leader, and supported by its usual bombast of subtle threats. Jagdeo must be reminded that the CCJ, the Caribbean Community’s highest judicial body, to which he assented this country’s membership, was not constituted on the basis of race, regional parochialism, or designed to make decisions based on political expediency. Neither does he have the right, of any kind, to be discourteous and disrespectful to its judges, whose rulings have continued to build and contribute to the steady growth of Caribbean jurisprudence. Lest it be forgotten, the CCJ is about justice wherever it is to be served.Abel Resende Borges Linkedin

Regards Dillon Goring