…the same pack of cards
Three months after Chief Justice George declared that the unambiguous language of the Constitution barred dual citizens from sitting in the National Assembly, President David Granger finally moved to comply with her order; unanimously reiterated by the Appellate Court. The four APNU/AFC MPs — all of whom had ministerial responsibilities — finally resigned, and were “replaced”.
And it’s in these “replacements” that we see it isn’t only in Ukraine that a comedian is the president of a nation. Surely, Granger gotta be joking with his announcement! Imagine him saying that Joseph Harmon is no longer the “Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency”!! But since there was no replacement, what does this mean, when we all know he’ll be the Cabinet Secretary with all the powers he formerly possessed?? Basil Williams hoped that his number one rival would’ve been eliminated.
Just as shameful is the supposed “resignation” of Carl Greenidge, the Foreign Affairs Minister. No one was named to replace him, and most likely Granger will be handling the portfolio with Greenidge as his “Presidential Advisor”. Now, is this any way to run a country with its arch enemy Venezuela on the west – which has claimed two-thirds of our territory – unravelling and on the brink of a civil war?? And us having hauled them to the World Court!!
The resignation of his son-in-law, Dominic Gaskin, as Minister of Business is really irrelevant, since he’s done absolutely nothing in the last four years, and is totally clueless about business in any case. He’d set such a low bar for performance that his replacement, Hemraj Ramkumar, will have to start practising the limbo!!
The last replacement – of Rupert Roopnaraine – from the Ministry of the Public Service in the Ministry of the Presidency is of no consequence, since he’d been pretty much put out to farm. His WPA replacement, Tabitha Sarabo-Halley, should at least be able to perambulate to press the WPA flesh with the coalition’s full court press on elections!
Granger had the opportunity to deal with some of the scandalous behaviours of his Ministers, and here again, it was just the old three card monte!! Simona “I is” Broomes – of New Thriving “run them over for fried rice fame” – was moved from Natural Resources to Ministry of the Presidency with responsibility for Youth Affairs. Presumably, she’s needed there to ensure PNC youths inculcate her trademark bullyism as they “boom out” Marley’s “War!” to the PPP!!
Valerie Yearwood’s move from Housing to “Rural Agriculture” presumably leaves Holder with “Urban Agriculture”, for which he’s probably more suited!! She’s replaced by Annette Ferguson from MPI.
This was no “replacement” by Granger; just a reshuffling of the same old pack of cards!!
As we await the CCJ decision, we gotta admit the PNC got what they wanted – a ‘get out of jail’ card from the NCM. Even if the CCJ were to rule that 33 is in fact greater than 32, as the PNC’s GECOM ‘Plan B’ is executed, they would’ve gotten their full five-year term of office. But the question is, to what end??
Just look at what they’ve done to our Constitution and our bifurcated democracy to achieve that. In all political systems — but especially in severely divided ones like ours — if the rules of the game aren’t respected, but are bent and twisted opportunistically just to retain power, anarchy is inevitable. Our politics is analogous to two boxers duking it out in the ring, with the Constitution as the referee. If the latter’s decisions aren’t accepted as final – let’s say on hitting below the belt – boxing inevitably becomes brawling.
And that’s where we’re headed, aren’t we??
The TUC says the PPP shouldn’t be boycotting Parliament, since their MPs are collecting their salaries. Really? So when public servants strike – like for 57 days in 1999 – the PPP Government should’ve withheld their salaries??
Or, more pertinently, the union should return striking workers’ contributions?