Harmon meeting with ‘illegitimate’ government will expose his ‘duplicity’ – Ali
The main Political Opposition and the Irfaan Ali-led regime’s reluctance to have dialogue continues to stonewall crucial constitutional appointments and other important actions that require mutual participation. The political stalemate has rendered several appointments to remain with proxies with at least four top posts including those of the Chief Justice and the Commissioner of Police being held by persons ‘acting’ in those capacities.
Fourteen months after the declaration of the March 2020 General and Regional Elections’ results, and the Coalition, the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) still refuses to concede defeat. It maintains fraud was committed during the contentious five-month-long electoral process, which saw the party demitting office after spending five years. Before 2015, it was the now-governing People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPPC) that governed for 23 years.
APNU+AFC’s Leader, Joseph Harmon, last year dubbed the government as an ‘installed’ regime. However, his party continues to occupy opposition benches and has participated in the installation of an official Office of the Leader of the Opposition.
The government, on the other hand, refuses to meet with the Opposition, saying that it will not engage any entity that does not recognise its legitimacy. Harmon, in response, said that the government’s bid to seek an acknowledgement of legitimacy is a ‘precondition’, which is not provided for in the Constitution. Harmon declared that the government is only seeking to fuel its ego by demanding acceptance. That utterance was repeated by the Leader of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan several weeks ago.
Ali stressed today that he is committed to adhering to the constitution but noted the likelihood of Harmon being faced with a dilemma, or as he puts it “a moral question” when he inevitably meets with a government – which he describes as illegitimate – to act in the capacity of Opposition Leader.
The President posited, “I am fully committed to abiding by every aspect of the Constitution. There is no precondition to fulfilling my mandate in accordance with the Constitution, but there is an issue, and this is outside of that mandate in relation to my Constitutional role, where you have someone who is continuously saying that this government is illegitimate. So, he has a moral problem. How does he explain talking to some government he’s claiming is illegitimate…That’s his moral problem and that will expose his duplicity…That would expose his duplicity! I think that is his problem!”