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Analyst: PP’s ethics can be the question
While the People’s Partnership Government has the parliamentary numbers to withstand calls for Attorney General Anand Ramlogan’s resignation, a challenge could arise concerning public perception about the PP’s ethics, political analyst Derek Ramsamooj has said. The Opposition PNM has given the Prime Minister 72 hours to obtain Ramlogan’s resignation on the Section 34 fiasco, and Ramlogan has dismissed the calls, saying the PNM leader was “afraid of pending legal matters.”
Ramsamooj, commenting on whether the AG and the PM could ride out such calls, said: “The fact that the PM in her statement last week placed an argument in the public domain that Ramlogan was not responsible for the Clause 34 fiasco shows clearly that the Prime Minister is intent on ensuring Ramlogan remains Attorney General.
“Regardless of the public utterances for his removal, the Prime Minister’s side has the parliamentary strength in numbers that will ensure her Government can remain intact despite the public utterances of the Opposition leader. “Where the challenge would arise would be the abdication of the principles of ethics in public life.”
Ramsamooj added: “The population two-and-half-years ago had anticipated a change of governance structures in which there would be a greater level of accountability and transparency and most importantly that national integrity would be on the political landscape and guide political behaviour. “Electorally and legislatively, the PM can sustain any call for Ramlogan’s removal but the challenge will be that of managing public perception that she is delivering the type of governance the electorate expected.”
The PNM had no authority to call for integrity in public life, he added, saying: “Throughout their political history there has been the occurrence of questionable political behaviour by PNM politicians.” Ramsamooj said: “So the issue is, can the PM sustain Ramlogan in the office of the AG and still be in a position to defeat the PNM at THA elections and/or local government polls and whether there will be any political fallout at the next general election by her failure to improve the governance structure of the society, which can only come about through delivering on the promised constitutional reform.”
Analyst Bishnu Ragoonath said: “Yes the AG can ride out the calls for his resignation. He is under no obligation to resign and the Prime Minister is under no obligation to fire him unless there is evidence of wrongdoing on his part.”
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