Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Let senators serve out their term

With the forthcoming election of our new President, the suggestion arises that the Independent senators should resign to make way for president-elect Justice Anthony Carmona to make his own appointments.

This has come from former senator Dana Seetahal and former Public Service head Reginald Dumas, and very inappropriately, too, from Minister Jack Warner, who sees no wrong meddling in "presidential" protocol.

Similar questions arose in 1987 when Noor Hassanali succeeded president Ellis Clarke, who had appointed independent senators to serve in the tenth Parliament which was inaugurated in January 1987.

Several "independents" were uncertain of the protocol, and the Senate president was requested to meet with president Hassanali to clarify the matter. At the meeting, Hassanali dismissed the notion of any resignationsódeeming Clarke's appointments of independent senators to be effective for the life of the Parliament.

Out of an abundance of caution, I prepared a written statement to ensure I was accurately reporting Hassanali's advice and invited the senators to meet in my office for my report. To my dismay, they went their merry way, apparently oblivious of the task assigned to me.

I gather they met at some "secret" location to avoid the media and the public glare. But they all served out their term under president Hassanali.

Michael J Williams

Via e-mail