Kamla: Armour wrong on judges
OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Friday rejected Attorney General Reginald Armour's reasoning that the Government's decision to postpone the 2022 local government elections was subsequently supported by more judicial opinion than had opposed it.
Activist Ravi Balgobin-Maharaj's challenge was opposed by one High Court judge, three Appeal Court judges and two out of five judges at the Privy Council whose majority of three upheld his appeal in a ruling on Thursday.
In a statement, she said the AG's briefing on Thursday was characterised by alleged "self-admiration and absurdity."
Persad-Bissessar said, "He humiliated himself and the entire legal profession by adding three judges from the Court of Appeal to two Law Lords from the Privy Council and then claimed a five to three victory for himself and the PNM. This was a first in the history of the Commonwealth.
"Our very democracy is threatened by one who should be the guardian of the public interest."
She accused Armour of an alleged incompetence, an exaggerated opinion of his own importance and a total lack of legal acumen, all dangerous to the AG's office, confidence in the legal system and the democratic rule of law.
Persad-Bissessar said, "He chose to ‘interpret’ the interpretation and unilaterally revised the Privy Council's decision that the postponement of local government elections was unlawful and illegal to now be lawful."
She lamented the AG telling the media, commentators and citizens to report the whole Privy Council judgment or be in contempt of court, saying that was totally false. That comment, she said, could have "a chilling effect on freedom of speech and expression."
Persad-Bissessar said Armour had decided to waste taxpayer dollars to seek more bad advice on the judgment from PNM senior counsel lawyers, whom she dubbed "eat-a-food' grovellers" who have received over $1.2 billion dollars in legal fees under this Government.
"Now, instead of calling the local government elections, Armour and the Government are seeking advice to bring bills to Parliament to validate the actions taken since the date the local government elections were due and extend the time for calling the date of new local government elections."
She urged Rowley to acknowledge that his Government has committed an unlawful act by postponing the elections and said he must now do the right thing.
"He must fire his disgraced and dishonourable AG Armour and name the date of the local government elections now!"
"Kamla: Armour wrong on judges"