By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Deputy Speaker and APNU Member of Parliament Basil Williams has expressed disappointment, stating that it was unfortunate that the recently constituted Rodney Commission of Inquiry (COI) has been attended by duress.
The Walter Rodney COI was set up by President Donald Ramotar following a request by his (Rodney’s) wife to look into the 1980 death of the Guyanese politician and historian and provide closure.
Williams said his Party recognises the right of Mrs. Rodney to have closure with respect to her husband’s death but do not accept that she has a role in determining the formation and operation of the COI.
“APNU regards this as a sole preserve of the person in whom parliament has reposed this power.”
Williams while addressing the National Assembly on Monday (April 07) said the Commission of Inquiry Act gives that power to the person to act in his/her own deliberate judgment and not to be counselled or procured.
The Deputy Speaker told the House that his Party sees the acceptance of the advice from Mrs. Rodney to exclude the Working Peoples Alliance and the Peoples National Congress from being consulted on the setting up of the COI as an abdication of the responsibility given by the COI Act.
“The Rodney COI is therefore flawed ab initio (in the beginning). APNU calls on the President to consult the WPA and PNC on this inquiry and to remove TOR number four.”
Only recently, several members of the APNU including Joseph Harmon and Rupert Roopnarine met with the Commission’s Chairman Queen’s Counsel Sir Richard Cheltenham and two Commissioners, Senior Counsel Seenauth Jairam and Queen’s Counsel Jacqueline Samuels – Brown.
Following the meeting Harmon had said that the APNU which is made up of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) and the Peoples National Congress (PNC) formally addressed concerns that it had raised in the media in relation to several Terms of Reference (TOR), which the WPA had written to the President about.