What are the special procedures with regard to incidents involving senior government officials?

Dear Editor,

Minister of Finance Ashni Singh’s careless driving has resulted in yet another avoidable and senseless road accident. Soon after the incident, photographs of the minister at the crash scene were displayed on every social media site. There have been allegations that Minister Singh appeared to be inebriated.  His act of leaving the scene and failing to offer assistance to those he injured speaks for itself. SN reported a police source as saying that certain procedures have to be followed with regard to incidents that involve government officials.  My question is what are these special procedures which have to be followed when government officials allegedly break the law? Are they above the law? What has happened to that very important doctrine of the rule of law enshrined in our constitution? Why should a minister in such circumstances be given special privileges? What is the message to the ordinary man?

Of course Dr Singh has precedents he can use in his defence should President Ramotar ask him to leave. His first reaction would be to ask the President why no one touched Kellawan Lall following his incidents with a firearm in the streets and in a rum shop. This government likes to throw the word democracy around but in democratic countries government officials are held accountable and are expected to abide by the law of the land.

In June of 2012 former Secretary of Commerce of the Obama administration, John Bryson, hit the back of a car then took off after speaking briefly to the occupants. The same day Bryson was cited by the Los Angeles Police Department for hit and run, a felony. Regardless of the fact that Bryson served in President Obama’s cabinet, he was treated like any other person who breaks the law, as he certainly is not above the law. Upon investigation Bryson was found to have suffered a seizure while driving, and a few days later he turned in his resignation. Will Dr Singh do the honourable thing and turn in his resignation? Or will he walk into the National Assembly and pretend that the laws which derive from that honourable House do not apply to him? It is time that this government treat the Guyanese people with some respect and do what is right.

 

Yours faithfully,
Lurlene Nestor

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