It remains a fact that the GECOM proviso was initiated under the PPP

Dear Editor,

Christopher Ram in a letter in yesterday’s Stabroek News headed `Mr Norton was wrong about the date of the GECOM proviso’  wrote that Act No 2 of 2000 has nothing to do with the Elections Commission, rather it has to do with taxes. Attached is a copy of Act No 2 of 2000 entitled Constitution (Amendment) Act 2000.  (Editor’s note:  Mr Ram did not say that Act No.2 of 2000 didn’t have anything to do with the Elections Commission. He said that Bill No.2 of 2000 had nothing to do with the Elections Commission. Mr Norton’s original letter said Bill No.2 of 2000 not Act No.2 of 2000. Mr Ram’s statement about Bill No.2 is therefore correct.)

It is mind-boggling that Chris Ram and Kamal Ramkarran `Constitutional provision relating to GECOM Chairman was passed with PNC support’ (Sunday Stabroek, Nov 12) would seek refuge in the view that it was a consensus clause rather than face the reality that this clause was initiated by Jagdeo and the PPP.  (Editor’s note: The proviso first appeared in 1995. Mr Jagdeo was not President then.) Suddenly the PPP cannot remember who initiated it. Even their two spokespersons, Teixeira and Nandlall, are struck by convenient amnesia. Let me remind them: Jagdeo and the PPP did. In the history of the National Assembly, all bills that were tabled and debated while the PPP was in government came from the PPP. Raphael Trotman did table a Freedom of Information Bill. It never saw the light of day—Jagdeo and the PPP refused to have it debated.

I find it the summit of stupidity for a lawyer to ask: how did Aubrey Norton vote on the issue, having asserted that the Act was a consensus/unanimous document? The Senior Ramkarran, who is a knowledgeable person, should advise him that you don’t vote in such circumstances—the Speaker merely notes that the ayes have it.

Yours faithfully,

Aubrey C. Norton

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