There is the submission to the CCJ by Guyana’s Attorney General Basil Williams of a purported confession statement made by defector Charrandas Persaud that he knew beforehand that he was an illegal occupant of Parliament, being a dual citizen. That late submission, according to him, is the proverbial smoking gun which should cause the CCJ to rule in his favour.
Now, if we are to take Williams’ argument for what it is worth, then it meant that the Government side was aware of Charrandas’ as well as its other members’ dual citizenship and did nothing about it, only holding them there for “yes men” or rubber stamp purposes.
That situation only became a real problem when Charrandas voted against his own party’s coalition. Had it not been for Charrandas voting with the Opposition, then this matter of dual citizenship would not have been an issue.
The supposed confession statement when taken in context is saying here you have two top Government officials discussing their possible voting options at the No-Confidence Motion and one is weighing in on his option in voting but instead of fixing the glaring anomalies in their House, he is pointing to the Opposition instead, that they are guilty, because they have dual citizens also. In essence, what Ramjattan was telling Charrandas is that the law only applies to the Opposition and not to the Government.
And that has been my main concern with this Government. They believe that the law should be one of convenience, crafted and suited to their own choices, whenever and wherever it seems fit. That is not how the law runs, the law is there as a blanket statement for all governments and oppositions alike. If it is good for the goose, certainly it is good for the gander.
Here is where the doctrine of clean hands come into play, you cannot now feign ignorance of the law when Charrandas was a legal entity all along. What suddenly made him illegal on December 21? For over three-plus years, he voted for bills and other major matters, which were legally passed in the House by his one vote. Why is his vote shunned and disregarded now? These are questions that the Government needs to answer. You cannot cherry pick when it comes to legal issues, that is not how the law works. Charrandas was legal all along, which makes him just as legal on December 21, period, end of discussion!
So, let’s for discussion purposes say that the CCJ buys into that asinine reason that Charrandas was an illegal occupant on December 21, hence his vote was null and void, then here is the real case scenario; then, the Government has to go back and change all bills and decisions where Charrandas’ vote merited passage through the House. It means that all decisions in the House involving Charrandas has to be revoked, that’s the law. Since courts cannot make retroactive rulings, the original High Court ruling stands.
The summary of all of this is you cannot pick and choose how the law should apply, what is good for one is good all, you cannot arbitrarily make decisions like that. Basil Williams is just trying another delaying tactic by stalling things at the CCJ and I am of the opinion that the court should not have entertained this latest ploy. It shows how this court can be insensitive to the Guyana situation by entertaining such a ludicrous argument.
As someone rightly said, it seems that the CCJ is about to throw the Guyana Constitution out of the window and grant Williams his request. I am not one to come to a hasty conclusion, however, I am somewhat concerned as to the inordinate delay.