22 Sept 2015

What sweet in goat mout', does sour in dey...

Having read the speech made by Kamla Persad-Bissessar on the occasion of her being sworn in as the Opposition Leader, I have to confess, I cannot see how this woman could be described as intelligent or highly qualified. As the old folks would say, "she might have book sense and degree and ting, buh she eh larn nothing!"

As an obviously unqualified SC, she seems not to understand the Rule of Law, and the Constitution, despite  bleating about both in her speech. Section 71 (8) of the Constitution says plainly,  "The Commission may regulate its own procedure."

Worse, s71 (7) "Where there is a quorum, the Commission shall not be disqualified for the transaction of business by reason of any vacancy among its members, and any proceeding of the Commission shall be valid  even though some person who was not entitled to do so took part therein." and (11) "The registration of voters and the conduct of elections in every constituency shall be subject to the direction and supervision of the Commission."

Hardly seems room to wiggle there to bring a case for how the EBC managed the elections, eh? By the way, in case you thought I might be leaving something out of the other subsections, let me assure you that they deal with things like the salaries of Commissions members, appointments and disqualifications, duration thereof etc.
Insofar as our Constitution is supreme, all arms of the State must operate within its provisions. One of the pillars of our Constitution is therefore the rule of law - governance and State activity according to law - not according to the “Divine right of Kings” or the arbitrary dictates of some self-proclaimed elitist group, masquerading as “independent”.
All institutions of the State, be they the Executive, the Judiciary, the Legislature, the Service Commissions, the Integrity Commission, and in particular, the Elections and Boundaries Commission must operate in accordance with the Constitution and the law.
Our Constitution acknowledges and protects the role of independent institutions in the governance framework.
However, I must add that the rule of law does not and cannot mean that our independent institutions must operate outside of their Constitutional remit, or that their constitutional independence is a justification for what may be arbitrary or biased actions.
Some of our so-called “independent” commentators have expressed the view that the recently-mounted challenge to the election results in Court is an exercise in futility - that we should just accept the results and move along.
 The Rule of Law isn't just about the "Divine right of Kings". And to refer to the same EBC that declared her a winner 5 years ago, as 'some self-proclaimed elitist group, masquerading as "independent"' is rather unfortunate, much in the same was her non-concession speech was rather unfortunate... a case of sour grapes and hitting below the belt at a body that can't defend itself publicly. Or as Penguin the Calypsonian said, "What sweet in goat mout', does sour in dey..."

The ex-PM seems to not mind making a public ass of herself, and in this I wish her every bit of success, though she is getting there without my help.