Skip to main content

President Irfaan Ali

October 29 ,2021

Source

President Irfaan Ali on Friday appeared to  back down from his long-held position that he would not be meeting with Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon to discuss key constitutional appointments unless the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) is recognised as being legitimately in office.

They include substantive appointments for the positions of Chancellor, Chief Justice and the Police Commissioner.  He also said when he returns from next month’s Global Climate Conference, the appointment of a Judicial Service Commission and Boards would be addressed.

The Guyanese leader told a news conference that he is prepared to meet with Mr. Harmon in accordance with Guyana’s constitution. “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,” he said.

President Ali, however, argued that Mr. Harmon now has a “moral problem” to reconcile how he will meet with the President for a government that he does not recognise. “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 so how does he explain talking to some government he is claiming is illegitimate; that is his moral problem and that will expose his duplicity,” he said.

Mr. Harmon and his A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change opposition coalition have said they do not recognise the government because of alleged electoral fraud by the People’s Progressive Party.

At the same time, Mr. Harmon is on record as saying that he is ready to meet with the President.

Replies sorted oldest to newest

President says committed to fulfilling his constitutional mandate to consult with opposition

Days after he was written to by Deputy Speaker Lennox Shuman, asking that he engages Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon on the appointments of a Chancellor, Chief Justice and Police Commissioner, President Irfaan Ali reassured that is he committed to the constitutional process.

The President, however, did not say whether he will meet with Harmon in keeping with the constitutional requirement for meaningful consultations.

Dr. Ali said previously that he will not meet with Harmon until he acknowledges his government as legitimate. Harmon and the APNU+AFC opposition continues to maintain, following its defeat at the March 2020 elections, that the PPP/C government is “installed,” a term used to suggest the government is illegitimate.

On Friday, during a virtual press conference, Dr. Ali insisted that he is committed to abiding by the Constitution, explaining that there are now no preconditions to ensuring he engages the Opposition Leader.

“As I said I am fully committed to abiding by every aspect of the Constitution. There is no precondition to fulfilling my mandate.

“I have no hesitation in fulfilling my constitutional mandate. It will be done in full conformity with the requirements of the constitution… I assure you this,” Dr. Ali said.

He noted that there is an issue with Harmon’s stance and that of the wider coalition opposition. To this end, he said a meeting between himself and Harmon would expose his duplicity.

As the President puts it, “he [Harmon] has a moral problem.

“How does he explain talking to some government he is claiming is illegitimate. That will expose his duplicity but I am very committed to what the Constitution requires me to do,” he added.

With no meetings between the two top office holders for more than a year, the Attorney General Anil Nandlall had recommended that the President and Opposition Leader “fashion a way forward.”

The office holders for Chancellor, Chief Justice and Police Commissioner are all acting in those positions.

Guyana has also been without a substantive Chancellor and Chief Justice since the amendment was made to the constitution in 2001 which included a requirement for the President and Opposition Leader to agree on the two top judicial posts.

There are also several important service commissions currently non-functional, one going as way back as 2017.

Guyana has also been without a substantive Chancellor and Chief Justice since the amendment was made to the constitution in 2001 which included a requirement for the President and Opposition Leader to agree on the two top judicial posts.

Since August, days after the Police Service Commission expired, Dr. Ali told the News Room that the constitutional procedure for a new Commission would be activated to ensure that a functioning PSC is in place soon.

It has not occurred with still no clear indication on how he will engage the Opposition Leader.

Demerara_Guy

Nah Django ... not at all ...

President Ali did not cave-in on this matter.

President and Opposition Leader must meet on government matters.

Thus far, the Opposition Leader is of the firm view that the President was  unconstitutionally installed in office; hence there is no compulsion and need to meet with the President.

Perhaps, the Opposition Leader wants to meet with the President based on his personal choice.

Or perhaps, the Opposition Leader has now finally recognized that the President is legally installed into office and hence meetings should be held between the two of them.

Demerara_Guy
Last edited by Demerara_Guy

Nah Django ... not at all ...

President Ali did not cave-in on this matter.

President and Opposition Leader must meet on government matters.

Thus far, the Opposition Leader is of the firm view that the President was  unconstitutionally installed in office; hence there is no compulsion and need to meet with the President.

Perhaps, the Opposition Leader wants to meet with the President based on his personal choice.

Or perhaps, the Opposition Leader has now finally recognized that the President is legally installed into office and hence meetings should be held between the two of them.

Prezi Ali and his party wanted recognition before meeting with the opposition leader,follow Ali statements ,he caved in from pressure.

Django
Last edited by Django
Trending in the Guyana media from authentic sources.
Too little too late, or is it consequential and must be addressed in the near-term?
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, UWI Cave Hill, Barbados had a lecture series. During the discussions sessions, the debate focused on the last general elections in Guyana.
All of the presenters and the discussions panellists disagreed with the outcome of the election and further expressed concerns about its impact on Caribbean Jurisprudence and Electoral Processes.
Late last year, the Bar Association of Trinidad and expressed similar sentiments. In fact they even called on the entire CCJ to resign. Besides, a call was made, for CARICOM to meet in an emergency session, to register it's concern about the situation in Guyana, one of its founding members.
Today in the Stabroek News, Justice Claudette Singh, GECOM'S chair wrote a letter to the editor, in response to the UWI debate. She effectively acknowledged that, the Granger-led group of parties won the election, as per Guyana's Constitution. She intimated also that, in her capacity as chair of GECOM, she could have intervened; however, she concluded that her " hands were tied."
Post from member of FB group.
Django
@Django posted:

Prezi Ali and his party wanted recognition before meeting with the opposition leader,follow Ali statements ,he caved in from pressure.

No caving-in, Django ... not at all. 

One of the numbers of reports on the President and Opposition Leader meeting regularly plus the issues recognition.nonrecognition of the present government.

====================

Recognising the gov’t is not a condition, it is a fact

— says President on meeting with Opposition Leader

PRESIDENT, Dr. Irfaan Ali, has elucidated that for the Leader of the Opposition, Joseph Harmon, to meet with the Government of Guyana, it is a fact that he must first recognise who he is meeting with, before any such consultation occurs.

The President made the remarks at the sidelines of the handing over ceremony of the 50 SsangYong Musso pickups to the Guyana Police Force on Monday at the Police Sports Club Ground, Eve Leary, Georgetown, when asked by reporters about engaging the Opposition Leader on fulfilling constitutional obligations.

President Ali made it explicitly clear that he is committed to fulfilling his constitutional responsibilities which requires him to consult with the Leader of the Opposition, and he is ready to do so; however, Harmon must recognise the government.

“It’s not a condition, it’s a fact. If I want to talk to this gentleman and I don’t recognise him as someone in the media, then who am I talking to if I want to talk to him as a media personnel,” the President said while using an example to explain.

“So it’s not a condition, it’s recognition of the fact that he’s coming to the government, he is coming to have consultant with the elected President of Guyana,” he added.

For context, as mandated by Article 127 of the Constitution of Guyana, the Chancellor of the Judiciary and the Chief Justice can only be confirmed by the President, acting after obtaining the agreement of Leader of the Opposition.

Article 124 of the Constitution explicitly states that the Chancellor shall be the President of the Court of Appeal. The Chief Justice, on the other hand, is the President and most senior judge of the High Court.

The position of Chancellor is one of utmost importance, pursuant to Article 95 of the Constitution, during any period when the office of President is vacant the office shall be assumed by, the Prime Minister or if there is no Prime Minister, a minister as elected by Cabinet may assume the position. However, when there is no Cabinet, the Chancellor will act in the role.

In March 2018, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards and Justice Roxane George were sworn in to perform the functions of acting Chancellor of the Judiciary and acting Chief Justice, respectively.

No Chancellor or Chief Justice has been confirmed in the positions since 2001; Justice Cummings-Edwards took up the mantle following the retirement of Justice Carl Singh, while Justice George was elevated to the post following the retirement of the late Justice, Ian Chang, SC.

President Ali said Harmon has to “recognise that he would be having consultation with the duly-elected government and the President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana”. This will pave the way for these confirmations, among other constitutional obligations which requires opposition consultation.

Demerara_Guy
Last edited by Demerara_Guy
@Django posted:
Trending in the Guyana media from authentic sources.
Too little too late, or is it consequential and must be addressed in the near-term?
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, UWI Cave Hill, Barbados had a lecture series. During the discussions sessions, the debate focused on the last general elections in Guyana.
All of the presenters and the discussions panellists disagreed with the outcome of the election and further expressed concerns about its impact on Caribbean Jurisprudence and Electoral Processes.
Late last year, the Bar Association of Trinidad and expressed similar sentiments. In fact they even called on the entire CCJ to resign. Besides, a call was made, for CARICOM to meet in an emergency session, to register it's concern about the situation in Guyana, one of its founding members.
Today in the Stabroek News, Justice Claudette Singh, GECOM'S chair wrote a letter to the editor, in response to the UWI debate. She effectively acknowledged that, the Granger-led group of parties won the election, as per Guyana's Constitution. She intimated also that, in her capacity as chair of GECOM, she could have intervened; however, she concluded that her " hands were tied."
Post from member of FB group.

Interesting! That boy Ali is good at back pedaling.

Mitwah

Mandatory injunction granted by the Court against GECOM and CEO impeded my intervention

Dear Editor,

It is commendable that the Sunday Stabroek  took the time to critically analyze and contextualize a UWI Cave Hill Campus virtual presentation by Political Scientist, Professor Cynthia Barrow-Giles and Law Lecturer Dr. Ronnie Yearwood in its 24th October, 2021 Editorial titled, `Politics and the courts’.

Notably, the Editorial quoted Professor Barrow-Giles’ view that “it was GECOM which should have had an overriding role to play in the developments that took place in the wake of the 2020 elections, but that it had been sidelined.” This statement is quite accurate; I dare say to those who understand, respect and are obligated to the Constitution.

However, I am perplexed that the author of the Sunday Stabroek editorial seemingly does not understand the concept of obligation to the Constitution and respect for the Court and went on to express the view that, “it might be remarked that under the current arrangements what matters is the resolve and fortitude of the Chairman, and under extreme pressure Justice Claudette Singh shied away from doing what was necessary at the very earliest stages of the crisis last year. As things stand it is not a post for the faint-hearted.”

Although the Commission has repeatedly justified its actions at that point, I believe the author of the Sunday Stabroek editorial has conveniently missed it. In this regard, I take this opportunity to remind all Guyanese that on 5th March, 2020, a mandatory injunction was granted by the Court against the Commission and Chief Election Officer which as a consequence impeded my intervention and by extension that of the Commission to implement a legally guided decision and approach to finalize the electoral process.

As a former Law Officer and a retired Justice of Appeal, I wish to categorically state that I will always uphold and respect the Laws of Guyana and whether strong or weak, whoever is the Chairperson of GECOM must also abide by the Constitution and decisions of the Court.

Yours faithfully,

Justice Claudette Singh SC, CCH

Justice of Appeal (Ret’d)

Chairperson

Django
@Django posted:

Mandatory injunction granted by the Court against GECOM and CEO impeded my intervention

Dear Editor,

Although the Commission has repeatedly justified its actions at that point, I believe the author of the Sunday Stabroek editorial has conveniently missed it. In this regard, I take this opportunity to remind all Guyanese that on 5th March, 2020, a mandatory injunction was granted by the Court against the Commission and Chief Election Officer which as a consequence impeded my intervention and by extension that of the Commission to implement a legally guided decision and approach to finalize the electoral process.

As a former Law Officer and a retired Justice of Appeal, I wish to categorically state that I will always uphold and respect the Laws of Guyana and whether strong or weak, whoever is the Chairperson of GECOM must also abide by the Constitution and decisions of the Court.

Yours faithfully,

Justice Claudette Singh SC, CCH

Justice of Appeal (Ret’d)

Chairperson

After the various legal matters were addressed by the Courts, the PPPC was installed as the government of Guyana.

====================

Guyana gets new President

https://caricom.org/wp-content/uploads/Irfaan-Ali.jpg

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali was sworn in as Guyana’s ninth Executive President on Sunday.

The swearing-in brought an end to a protracted period of challenges to the results of the 2 March General and Regional elections.  It was done shortly after the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) declared Ali the President-elect from those elections.

In a Statement after taking his oath of Office, President Ali promised that his PPP/Civic government “will serve all the people of Guyana”.

Out-going President Mr. David Granger, in a Statement on Sunday, publicly acknowledged GECOM’s election declaration.

“I have stated, repeatedly, from the start of the electoral process, that the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition would respect the lawful ‘declaration’ of the Elections Commission.  I have never altered this position and I do now acknowledge the ‘declaration.’”

Former President Mr Bharrat Jagdeo, who was sworn in as Vice-President, will head a transition team. President Ali announced that a full inauguration ceremony will be held later in the week at which he will provide greater details of his Administration’s plans for governance, and complete appointments to his cabinet. The new Prime Minister  Mr Mark Phillips, Attorney General Mr Anil Nandlall and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Ms Gail Teixeria were sworn in on Sunday.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) mounted an Observer Mission for the 2 March Elections and a High Level Team of Scrutineers for a Vote Recount which was used for the declaration of the results.

https://caricom.org/wp-content/uploads/caricom_recount_scrutineers-1024x682-cropped-640x470.jpg

The CARICOM High Level Team of Election Recount Scrutineers arriving in Guyana in May

In March a Team of CARICOM Prime Ministers, led by then CARICOM Chair, Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, and including Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica; Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell of Grenada; Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, met with leading political figures in Guyana, including Mr. Granger and Mr. Ali.

https://caricom.org/wp-content/uploads/CARICOM-PMs-in_Guyana-640x360.jpg

CARICOM Prime Ministers and Secretary-General speaking to the media following their meetings in Guyana in March

Demerara_Guy

That boy, Irfaan Ali on Friday has  backed down from his long-held position that he would not be meeting with Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon to discuss key constitutional appointments.

Bring out the fried rice and mauby.

Mitwah
@Mitwah posted:

That boy, Irfaan Ali on Friday has  backed down from his long-held position that he would not be meeting with Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon to discuss key constitutional appointments.

Bring out the fried rice and mauby.

Fried rice and mauby for Irfaan? 

T

Harmon meeting with ‘illegitimate’ government will expose his ‘duplicity’ – Ali

https://www.guyanastandard.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/IRFAAN-ALI.jpg

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!”

Demerara_Guy

Since the reports indicate that the Leader of the Opposition continues to consider the current Government as an "illegitimate entity/‘installed’ regime"; it would be interesting to know when he will meet with the President of Guyana.

Perhaps, the Leader of the Opposition considers that it is his sole decision if and when he will meet with the President.

Demerara_Guy
@cain posted:

That it is!

Harmon is a military man. He may decide to meet with Ali but I don't think that he will budge from his position that the PPP was installed and not elected.

Election petitions are still outstanding before the courts.

Mitwah

After the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House were elected in September, 2020, members of parliament were then sworn-in into office.

The Speaker of the House is from the PPPC.

Joseph Harmon maintains that the PPPC is an "illegitimate entity", then perhaps, he was "illegitimately sworn-in" as a Member of Parliament.

===============

Swearing in of Members of Parliament

Demerara_Guy

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×