Court rules in favour of Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee

Court rules in favour of embattled Guyana home affairs minister

Clement Rohee

Clement Rohee

Opposition Leader David Granger had moved a motion last November seeking to bar Rohee from speaking in his capacity as Home Affairs Minister.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Saturday January 12, 2013 – A Court has ruled that embattled Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee is entitled to speak in the National Assembly, putting aside an opposition inspired motion to gag the minister in the legislative chamber. 

Chief Justice Ian Chang Friday ( January 11,2013) ruled in favour of a motion filed by Attorney General Anil Nandlall in November last year that challenged the constitutionality of a no-confidence motion against Rohee and the subsequent temporary gag-order by the Speaker until the matter was determined by the House’s Privileges Committee.

Opposition Leader David Granger had moved the motion last November seeking to bar Rohee from speaking in his capacity as Home Affairs Minister.

Speaker Raphael Trotman subsequently referred the motion to the Privileges Committee to determine if the House had the power to so do and in the interim ruled that bills and motions appearing in the minister’s name would not be entertained.

The opposition had argued that Rohee was unfit for the post of Home Affairs Minister because of what they had claimed was his very poor management of the security sector including the killing of three Lindeners on July 19,2012 during protests in the bauxite mining town.

But in his 34 page ruling the Chief Justice said that was a matter of pure law as Rohee has a right to speak on behalf of the people whom he was elected to represent.

Lawyers for both parties still have the option of going ahead with aspects of the motion as they relate to the issue of the prohibition of from speaking or not recognizing him for the purposes of presenting any Bills, Motions or making any other presentations in the House.

“Needless to say that, in these interlocutory proceedings, the court has found it fitting, and indeed necessary, to make final and definitive pronouncements on pure questions of law which may have the effect of rendering it unnecessary for the parties to proceed to  a hearing of the substantive motion,” Chief Justice Chang.

He described the emphasis by attorneys representing Granger and Trotman in a no-confidence motion on Rohee as Home Affairs Minister was flawed.

The Chief Justice said that Rohee derived the right or privilege to speak in the National Assembly as a member of the legislative body and  “not on the basis of his office as Minister of Home Affairs.

”If Mr. Rohee’s name was on a successful list of candidates and his name was extracted from that list of candidates to hold a seat in the National Assembly on behalf of all members of that list but he was not assigned a ministerial portfolio, his right or privilege to speak in the National Assembly would not have diminished one iota by his non-tenure of a ministerial portfolio.

“Therefore, the prohibition must necessarily relate to Mr. Rohee only as a member of the National Assembly and not as a Minister of Home Affairs,” Chief Justice Change added. (CMC)

Speaker to seek legal advice on CJ’s Rohee ruling – http://bit.ly/11qdCab 
 
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Comments

  • chandra  On 01/13/2013 at 8:33 am

    Let the opposition take heed and manage the people’s affairs rather than trying to bring down the government by creating chaos in the country and making frivolous charges. What have they accomplished or done for the people since taking office other than creating pandemonium? The court will continue to speak.

  • wycs  On 01/13/2013 at 9:41 pm

    I agree with the above writer. The opposition parties are making Parliament a mockery. If they continue like this, Guyana will not make any improvement with regards to creation of new industries. We should not be going to court so often as to prove a point. This is holding back Guyana from joining the band of 1st world countries. The Govt must decide to get these puppets out by having a snap election this year.

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