You are here
Check out AG’s timeline—James
Political analyst Dr Winford James feels the only way to get to the bottom of the controversial Section 34 is to check the timeline of Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to determine if he misled Cabinet. James was giving his take on the issue, hours after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar fired justice minister Herbert Volney on Thursday for misrepresenting to Cabinet the opinions of the Chief Justice and Director of Public Prosecutions on the early proclamation of Section 34.
James said while Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley and several citizens have called for the AG to be dismissed or to step down, “I don’t have, right now, a case to be made against him. I would have to check out the timeline and determine if the AG misled Cabinet. I don’t know. However, we have to understand ...Cabinet responsibility.” If it is proven that the AG misled Cabinet, James said, then it would be a case of “if he goes the Government goes.”
Insisting that the AG holds a special office, James pointed out that a government can only be formed with a composition of the Prime Minister and the AG. However, James said, the wrong the public has been seeing was that the AG advised the Government to go to the President to have Section 34 proclaimed. “I am suggesting that he could not have done that on his own initiative.
Others have to be involved. People have been asking if the AG will resign on his own volition, the bigger question is whether the PM feels there is a basis, as there was a basis with respect to Herbert Volney. My own sense is that since he is Attorney General he would have been part of the move to have the exceptional Section 34 proclaimed.” He said the PM in her address to the nation never sought to explain why the rush to take Section 34 to the President for proclamation.
James said while the PM exonerated the AG, he questioned if Volney’s dismissal was even-handed, given the notion of collective Cabinet responsibility. With certain quarters calling for a general election, James said, the PM will ensure she serves her full term. “A fresh election can be accelerated if the COP leaves the Partnership. If they decide to pull out the Government they will not have a majority.
“To me, since the UNC wants to go the distance the critical component is the COP and how they behave. Everything will hang on how the COP responds to further scandal.” James said with the COP flip-flopping, the party’s leader, Prakash Ramadhar, buckled under pressure from the Prime Minister and stayed, thereby “going against the direction of his executive.”
Ragoonath: We need better clarification
Political analyst Dr Bishnu Ragoonath sidestepped on whether the AG should resign or be fired. “I can’t say if he should resign.” Without any new information, he said, “we cannot tell the man to resign.” Ragoonath said the PM has attempted to clear the AG from all wrongdoing. “I don’t think we have gotten the whole story. But I think we should get some better clarification.” Ragoonath viewed the PM’s action as good and strong, “I think her explanation left some to be desired. We will have to wait and see.”
With the PP facing its sternest credibility test since assuming office, Ragoonath said he believed the Government would not crumble. “Its just a matter for the Government to take a decision and they have taken a decision. She (PM) has made sure the COP stays within her Government.”
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.