…or bought out?
Suddenly, Moses Nagamootoo thinks the time is ripe for “constitutional reform”!! Really?? With constitutional reform the main plank of the AFC for a decade or more, one would’ve thought it was so ripe, the reason why no one heard about it during the three years they were in power in coalition with the PNC, was it fell off the tree and got lost in the grass!!
What’s even sadder about the deep-sixing of constitutional reform was that Moses “Rip Van” Nagamootoo was actually tasked with ensuring that their promises on the subject, which were enshrined in their manifesto, were effectuated!! There were SEVENTEEN proposals, which included the president being elected separately from MPs and having to garner a majority of votes. His powers and immunities were to be reduced and the PM’s portfolio would be buttressed accordingly! This PM would be the leader of the party garnering the second largest number of votes!!
Obviously, Nagamootoo himself would’ve gained immeasurably if these promises were kept – especially after Granger gave as his reason for not even implementing Nagamootoo’s Cummingsburg-promised chairing of the Cabinet that it wasn’t “constitutionally sanctioned”!! To his credit, Nagamootoo started off like a house on fire, setting up within months (Aug 2015) of assuming office, a “Steering Committee on Constitutional Reform” with ex-AFC Chair Nigel Hughes as its convenor. But from then on, it was all downhill after the Committee held hearings and submitted their recommendations to Nagamootoo by April 2016.
Nagamootoo buried it in the Standing Committee for Constitutional Reform – headed by the inimitable AG Basil Williams (newly minted “SC”) – which only met once in the three years it was in existence!! As to why there was no action on such a critical piece of business, “Van Winkle” Nagamootoo threw the Committee under the bus. “I have never heard any calls, not even from the Opposition, for this committee to meet and without the Commission, there can be no Constitutional Reform.” And as to why HE didn’t ask his Cabinet Colleague about what was going on…he was struck mute!!
The sad truth is the principle enunciated by Martin Carter back in the day – after he’d accepted “Minister wuk” from Burnham – “The mouth is muzzled by the hand that feeds it”, had kicked into gear. Nagamootoo was too enamoured with his salary and perks – especially those siren-wailing outriders that cleared the rabble from the path of his black Land Cruiser!! So here we have this sorry excuse for a Prime Minister lamenting that constitutional change wasn’t effected!
Soon he’ll be weeping crocodile tears as he attempts to push wool into the noses of voters.
To dull the stench of dead meat!!
…or subverting GECOM
Control of GECOM is succinctly stated in the legislation: “GECOM is headed by a Chairman and six Commissioners. GECOM is supported by core staff in its Secretariat.” Get that? GECOM isn’t the personal fiefdom of the Chairman – which is what the incumbent seems to believe. Acquiescing to a request from the ABC-EU diplomats to be briefed on the “readiness” of the body to conduct elections, the Chairman and the CEO – who heads the Secretariat – met with the diplomats without even informing the Commissioners!!
Now this didn’t bother the PNC Commissioners, since the Leader of the PNC – who just happens to be President Granger – had unilaterally appointed the Chairman, completely ignoring the nominees of the Opposition Leader. Talk about “outcome determinative” actions!! Obviously, it was for situations such as this – and of course – announcing the winner of the upcoming elections – that Patterson was deemed the only man “fit and proper”!!
One hopes this high-handedness of the Chairman was noted by the Western diplomats for what it is: degutting of President Carter’s institutional arrangements for free and fair elections.
Britain wants to eat its cake (exiting the EU) and have it too (no controls at the Irish Border) and its MPs have reiterated this once again.
The EU, however, is firm: it’s “deal or no deal”!!