Gov’t defends Jairam on Rodney’s COI, says APNU is pulling at straws

PPP/C Candidate Gail Teixeira

By Fareeza Haniff

[] – Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira has defended the appointment of Trinidadian Senior Counsel Seenauth Jairam as a Commissioner on the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into Walter Rodney’s death.

At a post cabinet media briefing on Friday (March 7) Teixeira told reporters that the main opposition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) should not question Jairam’s competence in executing his duties without bias.

The APNU objected to Jairam’s appointment to the COI on the grounds that he was retained by the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic Administration to represent the Government in the budget cut case that was brought against the Leader of the Opposition, David Granger and Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman in 2012.

When asked to respond to the objections of the APNU, Teixeira said “The APNU is pulling at straws, they have right to their opinion and I think it is highly prejudicial if they feel that way.”

She then drew reference to the Nigel Hughes matter with the juror on the Lusignan matter and questioned why the APNU is not dealing with that instead.

Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira
Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira

“The Commission of Inquiry is made up of outstanding jurists in the region, whose integrity has not been challenged. Maybe there is a reason why some people are uncomfortable with the Walter Rodney Commission of Inquiry,” Teixeira said.

The APNU is of the view that Jairam will not be fair while on the COI. “There would be a likelihood of basis… We are not questioning the competence but certainly a man who has been involved in partisan politics against the opposition in Guyana ought not to be sitting to determine what was the involvement of the main political opposition party during that period,” Executive Member of the APNU, Basil Williams told a news conference on Thursday, March 6.  



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