Minister did not flout Judge’s Orders

Dear Editor,
Reference is made to the article published in Sunday Stabroek April 2, 2017 namely: ‘Appointment of Mabaruma Mayor disregards court orders, Nandlall says’. The Ministry of Communities refutes the allegations and wishes to state that the Minister has not flouted the Judge’s Orders.

The Order of Justice Diana Insanally dated 6th April, 2016 regarding the appointment of Rupert Smith as Mayor of the Municipality of Mabaruma was only relative to the office of Mayor for the term of office for the year 2016.

In accordance with the Municipal and District Councils Act Chapter 28:01, the elections for the offices of Mayor and Deputy Mayor are to be conducted annually and therefore the Order prohibiting Mr Smith from functioning in the office of Mayor for the year 2016 has therefore been abated.

The order of the court was made following an Application for a Writ of Prohibition that was not made absolute nor was it meant to be ad infinitum.

Further, whilst the court’s ruling in the matter is highly anticipated, the people of the community should not be left to suffer; the work of the Council must be done. The drafters of the legislation did not envisage that a Council should be held to ransom for an extended period from doing its work. By due process and compliance with Chapter 28:01, elections for the ensuing year of 2017 were held in December, 2016 and as a Councillor of the Municipality of Mabaruma who was nominated, voted for and subsequently selected as Mayor, the official actions of Henry Smith should not been seen as illegal but recognized as fulfilling his mandated duties that he has professed under oath before President David Granger.

Yours faithfully,
Ronald Bulkan
Minister of Communities

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