By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Carol Sooba will remain the Town Clerk, but will revert to acting in the position. This decision was made following the ruling by Chief Justice (ag), Ian Chang that the Local Government Minister does not have the power to appoint the Town Clerk.
iNews (www.inewsguyana.com) understands that the Chief Justice ruling does not remove Sooba from office.
Sooba was officially appointed as the Town Clerk by the Guyana Government on December 4, despite several objections about her lack of qualifications for the post.
Following her appointment, Public Relations Officer of the Mayor and City Council, Royston King moved to the High Court, challenging her appointment. King had also applied for the Town Clerk position.
King was represented by Attorney – at – Law Nigel Hughes. On Friday, April 11, Hughes revealed that the ruling by the Chief Justice is a classic case of “Trojan Horse.”
According to Hughes, the Chief Justice has allowed Sooba to remain in office while he formally declared that the Minister had no power to appoint her.
In explaining the ruling, the Attorney said, “Please note that the Chief Justice has upheld the arbitrary basis on which Ms Sooba was appointed after she failed to satisfy the Minister’s own criteria. The Chief Justice has in effect protected the Minister’s arbitrary appointment while purporting to rule on an issue which was not raised and on which Counsel for either side were not permitted to address the Court.”
He further noted that, “What will happen now is that the Minister will appeal, the Court of Appeal will allow the appeal based on the Chief Justice’s ruling on a point which the Attorneys were not permitted to address the court and Sooba will return and or remain in office. It is our intention to appeal those parts of the decision including the upholding of the arbitrary selection of Ms Sooba as Town Clerk.”
The Chief Justice in his ruling said that the Constitution specifically gives the power to appoint the Town Clerk to a Local Government Service Commission; members of whom shall be appointed by the Prime Minister.