EYEWITNESS: The occasion…


…on GECOM Head

Well, the other foot has dropped on the GECOM saga. And “saga” it is…almost as long as the Odyssey! With even more twists, turns and even a surprising ending? But your Eyewitness sincerely hopes it doesn’t end on a note of tragedy as most of those Greek Sagas were wont to do. The Chief Justice just released the official written version of her opinion on the rules of the game on selecting a GECOM Chairman.

There were no surprises and that’s the problem your Eyewitness has with the judgement – as he’d opined at the time of the oral statement. Madam George reiterated that the President’s discretion is “not absolute” since he has to offer reasons for rejecting the names submitted by the Opposition Leader. And these reasons are justiciable. But if he rejects the entire list – and this is what sticks in the craw of your usually amiable Eyewitness – he can then go on to unilaterally select an ex-member of the Judiciary all on his lonesome!

The Chief Justice opined that even if the President finds ONE person on the list “objectionable”, he can reject the ENTIRE LIST!! Your Eyewitness has heard about the effect of one bad apple – but one “bad” GECOM nominee?? Well!! She continued “one would expect” the President to choose one of those “unobjectionable” nominees, but he doesn’t HAVE to!! Now what kind of vacillation is this??

We don’t expect another Solomon but Jeez!! The problem is, the Constitution’s very clear as to when Prezzie can select a person outside a list provided by the Opposition Leader. But this proviso wasn’t even one the Plaintiff had asked to be clarified: “provided that if the Leader of the Opposition fails to submit a list as provided for, the President shall appoint a person who holds or has held office as judge …etc…etc”.

The CJ’s ruling on this point is clearly wrong – Jagdeo has never and would clearly never “fail to provide a list”. Some had wondered why he was going along with Prezzie’s clearly arbitrarily arbitrary rejections!! It’s also dicta and can be ignored by the Plaintiffs. Prezzie cannot use it as stare decisis to do what we all know he wanted to do from the beginning – appoint ex-Justice Claudette La Bennet. It’s clear Prezzie’s made up his mind on this issue and as his Comrade Leader Burnham used to say, “Back to back, belly to belly; Ah don’t give a damn, ah done dead already!!”

The looming tragedy we alluded to earlier, however, it is Guyana that’ll be dead in the water for another three decades.

…on bridges

The Public Infrastructure Ministry’s ploughing straight ahead on their new and innovative Demerara Harbour Bridge with the “Ming Swing”. Minister David Patterson seems determined to follow in the track of the captain of the Titanic. This morning he took out ads in the dailies soliciting bids for folks to pre-qualify to “finance, design, build, and maintain” the said Bridge.

They can also “Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer” (BOOT) the structure, just like the PPP did with the Berbice Bridge. The difference, of course, is in the former, the winning company wouldn’t own the structure. Your Eyewitness isn’t even going to discuss the merits or demerits of the two options. He believes it’s like the scholastics of yore, arguing about how many angels could dance of the head of a needle!!

Fact of the matter, nobody from the Private Sector in their right mind will get involved with this Government in such a venture – after they cussed out the investors in BBCI.
Especially when those folks NEVER collected a penny for their investments!

…on oil contracts

Now that Trotman is signing away new contracts on oil blocks, does he understand the clause on confidentiality?

Your Eyewitness thinks he should really take evening lessons from Chris Ram!!


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