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MSJ pleased with Pres-elect

Published: 
Monday, January 8, 2018

Pleased with Government’s nominee for president, the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) is hoping that Justice Paula-Mae Weekes restores the public’s confidence in the Office of the President and the Judiciary by appointing a new Chief Justice.

In the party’s first media conference of 2018, political leader David Abdulah said that the controversies involving Chief Justice Ivor Archie since former chief magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar was hired and fired as a judge, have brought the judiciary into disrepute.

“The choice of the Government of Justice Paula-Mae Weekes is a very commendable choice. We support Justice Paula-Mae Weekes as our next President.

“I think that she will bring a breath of fresh air and perhaps restore some sense of confidence in the Office of the President,” Abdulah said.

He continued: “The issue that the country faces is that we’re not now talking about whether all of the things that have been in the public domain reached the standard of impeachment of a chief justice.

“We’ve not said that because we don’t have all of the evidence, but quite clearly the Judiciary has been brought into disrepute. We said this just after the Marcia Ayers Caesar issue in a press conference.

“We said that we thought the position of the Chief Justice had become untenable because it created a crisis of confidence in the judiciary. It is not a new position and therefore we think that for the confidence in the institution to be restored, there needs to be a new Chief Justice.”

Recalling President Anthony Carmona’s inaugural speech in 2014, Abdulah said there was great hope among citizens.

Instead, his appointment was followed by controversies over his housing allowance and the costly importation of Italian wine. Like former President ANR Robinson, Carmona will only serve one term as President as opposed to the two terms served by Sir Ellis Clarke, Noor Hassanali and Prof George Maxwell Richards. Asked whether Carmona’s lone term was an indictment of his performance, Abdulah said that there was a general view that presidents change when there is a change in government.

He said the system of electing a president needs to change along with many other aspects of the Constitution.

Abdulah said it was just one of many crucial decisions that must be made in 2018, with the appointment of a new Commissioner of Police and a public procurement regulator due.

Issues that need to be dealt with include the poorly functioning sea and air bridge, the non-delivery of local government reform, which was promised since the 2016 local government elections, shortages in the public health system and the tardiness in the administration of justice.

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