President Granger has once again proven to the world that he is a Burnhamite dictator and he is going to rule this country as an autocratic leader. Success or failure of that style of leadership would depend on whether the established entities allow it and, the final say which rests in the hands of the people. So far, most of the established bodies are giving him stout resistance as well as educated advice, while the people of this country are eagerly awaiting their say come next election. Either way, he will fail because autocrats or dictators – whatever your call them – cannot succeed in a democratic society.
In this regard, I shall delve into the most recent of decisions taken by the President. In his latest pronouncement, Granger in his usual autocratic style had submitted two names for appointment to fill the positions in the Judiciary that is the Chancellor of the Judiciary and the Chief Justice. These two positions were sent to the Leader of The Opposition for his immediate approval. He had submitted two names: Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justice Kenneth Benjamin as Chief Justice and Chancellor respectively. The Leader of the Opposition rejected the names, stating that he needed more time to study the two appointees.
At first glance, one could have that rush-to-judgment approach in saying that the Opposition Leader is playing politics or the usual delay tactics of stifling the smooth process of the justice system, but is this the case? This is certainly not the case, and Article 127 of the Constitution is on the side of the Opposition Leader where it expressly states that the President “must concur” or come to an agreement with his Opposition colleague. Mr Granger is not about meaningful consultation and the arrival at mutually acceptable personalities, he is all about himself and what he wants to see done in the Judiciary. It is a situation where he wants total control of the judicial arm of government. The Judiciary is the last bastion of hope for our nation’s democracy and equal justice, and we are not about to give it all up to Granger. We are going to resist it at all costs.
Now, the President has been clever in his submission of the two names, offering the two as a “package”, one being an acceptable individual, Mrs Cummings-Edwards, while the other, Mr Benjamin is the unacceptable one. His is the subtle way of getting his guy selected to the high office.
So, why foist Mr Benjamin on us is the question and the answer goes without saying he is on a drive to have another “yes man” on his list of appointed persons, those whom he can manipulate and control into decisions for his own narrow political purposes. This is not going to happen in view of the fact that the Bar Association has come out condemning these unilateral decisions of Mr Granger.
Finally, Guyana has had its fill where illegal appointments, unilateral appointments, the trampling of the Constitution and all forms of illegalities from this government are concerned. We are at the crossroads where good governance is concerned. The voices of reason must ring out! The time is now!