CCJ’s instructions defied and authority undermined

first_imgDear Editor,Failure to carry out the directives of the CCJ undermines the authority and legitimacy of the court. While not agreeing with the court’s decision or ruling, one should not attack the court. It should be recalled that a year ago, the court ruled that a President cannot run for a third term. The court was not attacked; the ruling was respected. Now the court has ruled that a no constitution vote is valid and was successfully passed on December 21. The ruling should be respected. No disputants in the case should attack the court or stand defiant as such behavior hurt’s the court’s status.After ruling on June 18 that the government had fallen on December 21 and the appointment of James Patterson as Chair was unconstitutional, the court directed the parties to meet and reach a consensus on orders for the court to issue on June 24. The parties could not even meet much less discuss and reach any consensus on a way forward. Now the court will issue orders after asking the parties to make written submission on a way forward. As the highest court of Guyana, while the CCJ is empowered to effect judicial orders, the problem is it has no instruments or any infrastructure to enforce these orders. Those who are obstinate could have serious sanctions, even arrest.The remit of the court is to interpret the laws (constitution) and hand down rulings. It is for the government to enforce the laws through its police power. While the government stated that it respects the court’s rulings, it cannot prepare budget or engage in new undertakings.The court ruled that the chairman, James Patterson, of the elections commission (Gecom) was improperly appointed. His resignation is welcomed. But it should have happened within hours after the court’s ruling and not a week later after a complaint was lodged with the court.The court instructed the opposing parties to meet and try to reach a consensus on consequential orders for the appointment of a new Gecom Chair and a date for elections and to advise the court of their agreement on June 24. President Granger wrote the opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo inviting him for a discussion on the issues but only after the 24th. Thus, there was no way for a consensus agreement by the time the court convened on June 24. Mr. Doug Mendez, the opposition lawyer, said he penned a proposal for an order and sent to Gecom lawyer on June 21 but got not response.The court has re-directed the opposing sides to submit written proposals for consequential orders by July 1 and will issue orders on July 12. The court also instructs them to meet and reach a consensus on a way forward by July 12.I urge both sides to please meet and carry out the instruction of the court – reach a consensus on appointment of a Gecom Chair and a date for elections to help bring stability to the country.Yours truly,Dr. Vishnu Bisramlast_img

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