‘Anyone who acted in bad faith should go’
The Congress of the People (COP) is maintaining its stance that anybody in Government, or even Parliament, guilty of acting “mala fides” (in bad faith) should get out—even Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.
Speaking at a news conference at the Ministry of Finance offices in Port of Spain yesterday, after a meeting with Finance Minister Larry Howai to discuss the 2012/13 budget, COP chairman Joseph Toney said if at the end of the day the Attorney General was found to have acted mala fides, then he ought to go.
He added, however, that the only information presented to the public on the Section 34 issue was the Prime Minister’s statement, and that gave no indication that Ramlogan had acted in bad faith.
Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley said on Sunday, at a town meeting in Arima, he was giving Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar an ultimatum to fire Ramlogan by today or there would be “further action”. Last week Tuesday, Rowley led a march against the Section 34 fiasco.
Last Thursday, Persad-Bissessar fired Justice Minister Herbert Volney after he admitted to making an error in judgment in sending Section 34 of the Administration of Justice (Indictable Proceedings) Bill through for Cabinet approval, to be proclaimed into law, without consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chief Justice.
Ramlogan was spared because, as Persad-Bissessar said in an address to the nation last Thursday, he did not participate in the process and was also on vacation from July 20 to August 4.
“Unless somebody can bring (other) information to me, I can only go with what (Persad-Bissessar) has said so far. That is all the information before the nation. So if anyone has any other info, please bring it forward... If it is we can do enquiries, we will do enquiries. But just remember that Cabinet is a place where there are certain rules that guide discussion, and it is only a Cabinet Minister who can say what takes place there,” Toney said.
“We stick to our position. If it is the AG—or anyone else, be it minister or parliamentarian—then we say they should not function within the arms of government. Anybody who acted in bad faith should be dealt with. That’s what we said and that’s what we maintain,” he added.