Nandlall slams opposition over claims of looming ‘constitutional crisis’

Former Attorney General & Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall and President David Granger.
Attorney General & Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall and Opposition Leader, David Granger.
Attorney General & Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall and Opposition Leader, David Granger.

[] – Attorney General Anil Nandlal has lashed out at the opposition, stating that the term “constitutional crisis” is being used with discernible frequency for reasons he described as a pretense at profundity or an expression of paranoia.

Nandlall was making specific reference to the main opposition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – claims that the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) is bent on provoking a constitutional crisis.

The APNU in supporting its claims had pointed to the Finance Minister restoring monies which had been withheld by the joint opposition during budget deliberations , the President non-assent to opposition Bills and the Attorney General challenging certain actions by the Opposition in the House in the High Court.

To this end Nandlall points out that firstly, there was compliance with each of the above processes; explaining that the administration acted in conformity with express provisions of the Constitution.

He therefore questioned “how can the resort to constitutionally authorized processes result in the provocation of a constitutional crisis is a matter which only those who are articulating this novel concept can explain?”

In a further explanation of the APNU contentions, the Attorney General referred to Article 218(3) of the Constitution that authorizes the Restoration of Monies by the Minister of Finance. He reiterated that the latter “had acted in accordance with and in obedience of the letter and spirit of the said Article.”

On the issue of the President not assenting to Bills, the Attorney General pointed to Article 170(2); explaining that this allows the Chief Executive such powers.

Nandlall said too that “anyone who feels that the Constitution is being infringed, or is likely to be infringed, can approach the Court for appropriate redress”.

He concluded that having to “resort to the High Court to complain about a Constitutional breach is a legal right”, and that such an “invocation can never result in a constitutional crisis.”

[Extracted and modified from GINA] 



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