Constitutional appointments: No one will hold our Govt at ransom – AG

Attorney General Anil Nandlall

Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall has contended that the PPP/C government will not allow Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton to ridicule the appointment process of the various Service Commissions to fit his own agenda.

Speaking during his social media programme “Issues in the News”, Nandlall responded to recent utterances by the Opposition Leader following the appointments of the Police Service Commission and the Integrity Commission on Tuesday.

President Dr Irfaan Ali went ahead and swore in the members of these Commissions after Norton failed to show up to a second meeting with the Head of State on Monday, citing that he was busy.

According to Nandlall, the Opposition Leader has displayed a lack of understanding of the importance of these appointments as well as the role of his Office.

“We cannot wait. Judges have to be appointed, teachers have to be promoted, police; important decisions have to be made by the Police Service Commission, we cannot allow Mr Norton to ridicule this process and reduce it to one of his egocentricities that he seems to be engaged in, in the public domain,” Nandlall contended.

“His busyness is more important than advancing the cause of hundreds of police officers whose welfare are affected by a Commission that is not appointed? I get the clear impression that Mr Norton has not yet come to grips with the importance of his Office.”

“I don’t think he has gotten accustomed to the environment and certainly he is not prepared, from his own actions, to discharge the functions of that high office in the manner contemplated by the constitution,” Nandlall added.

The Attorney General went on to reassure that the government and President Ali have complied with the provisions of the constitution in relation to these appointments and will continue to do so with other similar appointments.

“No one will hold our government at ransom and try to bully, like a bull in a China shop and behave in any way that is contumacious and contemptuous either of our government or the important constitutional processes. That will not be tolerated.”

“Every effort will continue to be made to engage Mr Norton, in compliance with the constitution. Wherever Mr Norton is unwilling to engage, the process will be proceeded with in accordance with the constitution.”

On May 13, President Ali and Norton met for the first time and agreed to consult in keeping with the constitution, which stipulates that meaningful consultation be held on the appointments of these Service Commissions.

Norton was invited for another meeting on Monday to continue these talks but he did not show up nor did he send his contributions in writing as was requested by the government.

President Ali had made it clear that the development of the country will not be held hostage by political objects as he labelled the Opposition Leader’s actions as immature.