CCJ Ruling validates work of Constitutional Reform Commission – PM Nagamootoo

 

  • Ministers Joseph Harmon and Raphael Trotman react

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Caribbean Court of Justice’s (CCJ) ruling on the presidential term limit case today is especially meaningful for those who served on the Constitutional Reform Commission in the 1990s, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said.

Reacting to the CCJ’s ruling today, PM Nagamootoo, who is performing the functions of the president, said the ruling validates the work undertaken by the Constitutional Reform Commission.

The CCJ, in a majority decision, ruled that the amendments to Article 90 of the constitution, to restrict who can become president and how long they can serve, were validly enacted.

“It means that our constitution is supreme. It means that if the constitution says there are only two terms for a person wanting to be president, then that is the law,” the Prime Minister said.

PM Nagamootoo noted he was a part of the Commission in 1996. The 1999 Constitutional Reform Commission conducted nationwide consultations to make the Constitution more relevant to citizens’ needs and reduce racial and political tensions.

Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman and a party in the appeal of the third term case supported PM Nagamootoo’ s assertions.

“Today, we are vindicated and today, we know that Parliament and its representatives … have managed to arrest, I believe, a sick attempt to thwart all of those gains and to wash away all of the labours of the last decade and a half,” Minister Trotman said.

President of the CCJ, Sir Dennis Byron, in his ruling, concluded these constitutional amendments reflected Guyana’s evolving democracy.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, noted the country can now move forward in unity to address issues affecting it as it puts an end to speculations on presidential term limits.

“It basically says that the interpretation which the courts have given to provisions in our constitution are important it also reinforces the fact that citizens of this country can utilise the judicial process to get an outcome,” Minister Harmon noted.

By: Tiffny Rhodius.

Images: Keno George and Jameel Mohamed.

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