9 Feb 2013

Presidential nominee does not qualify

Presidential nominee, Justice Anthony Carmona, does NOT qualify to become President, as he fails under one of the constitutional criteria. The Constitution says the nominee/appointee must have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in Trinidad and Tobago for 10 years prior to his taking up the post. However, from 2001 to 2004, Justice Carmona was on the Appeals Counsel of the International War Crimes Tribunal, in the Netherlands. Persons have argued that he was still ‘ordinarily resident’ in Trinidad and Tobago as he still maintained his home there (Flagstaff, St James).

Sources close to the judge yesterday disclosed that he continued paying his rent for his Flagstaff condominium when, during the three-year tenure in Netherlands, and had never severed his ties with this country.

The Express was told all of the judge's mail continued to be sent to his Flagstaff home and that his wife, Reema, had returned to the home one year before his contract ended.

"He would come (to Trinidad) and go back (to the Netherlands) all the time," said Carmona's father. "He and his family would be back and forth. He always kept the residence in Flagstaff and maintained it." [http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/___He_always_maintained_T_T_residency-190309021.html]

Now, this is so much hot, wet, fresh bullshit I am speechless.

In following his example, I myself am still ‘ordinarily resident’ in Trinidad and Tobago, despite living in England for the past ten (10) years… I still receive mail at my home there, and I still am the legal rent payer on the property there. I still come and go to Trinidad, yearly or sometimes even twice a year. But those facts belie the correctness of the situation… I am resident in England, no matter how much the truth is stretched.

While there is no statute covering ‘ordinarily resident’, the courts have interpreted the meaning on several occasions. One of these is Tuczka v HMRC [2010] UKFTT 53 (TC).

In this case Dr Tuczka was an Austrian national who came to work in the UK but who had no intention of staying here more than three years; his purpose in coming here was to obtain some international work experience and to return to Austria.

What this case highlighted was that although Dr Tuczka clearly intended to leave the UK eventually, his intentions were irrelevant – other than to show his UK residence was voluntarily adopted. What mattered was whether there was a degree of settled purpose. In his form P86 Dr Tuczka said he moved to the UK to work and expected to be here for two and a half years. The working bit was relevant, but the fact that he was going to leave within three years was irrelevant. What was important was his purpose. His purpose was to work in the UK from the outset (found to be a settled purpose), therefore he was to be ordinarily resident from the outset.

It’s as plain as the nose on your face then… if Justice Carmona took up employment in the Netherlands, then his intention to return to Trinidad is irrelevant… what matters is ‘whether there is a degree of settled purpose’. Since his purpose was to work, and he lived (with his family) in the Netherlands, it is correct to say that there was a ‘degree of settled purpose’.

A second criteria is automatically filled by Justice Carmona… Under ordinary circumstances, a person would need to show s/he maintained local ties… but the single exception is going abroad to work fulltime! Under this exception, evidence of severance of social and family ties is not required. Therefore, the subject of whether Justice Carmona maintained local ties is irrelevant. In other words, its just another layer of bullshit that he maintained his local Flagstaff home.

If Justice Carmona accepts the Presidential Nomination (as he appears to have), then he has already tainted that Office even before his appointment, and has the appearance of politicking (or prostituting) himself for social stature. An ethical person would refuse the post, but as we all know, ethics in Trinidad, whether you have a Harvard Doctorate in it or not, does not exist.