See below the full text of a statement issued on Wednesday by the Alliance for Change (AFC) regarding a statement made by Local Government and Regional Development Minister, Nigel Dharamlall following Tuesday’s ruling by the Court of Appeal to take jurisdiction to hear an appeal against a ruling by Chief Justice Roxane George, SC to dismiss one of APNU+AFC’s elections petitions:
The Alliance For Change condemns in the harshest manner the repugnant and blatantly racist position of a sitting minister in the Irfaan Ali-led Administration. The AFC sees the statement by Ali’s Minister of Local Government Nigel Dharamlall as an attack against judges who exercise their independence and is a clear indication of the arrogance of the Ali government. It becomes even more repugnant when the attack is directed at two black women judges.
Dharamlall in his Facebook post called for the esteemed judges, Chancellor of the Judiciary Yonnette Cummings-Edwards and Appeal Court Judge Dawn Gregory to be ‘defrocked’ criticizing the judges’ decision that the Appeal Court has jurisdiction to hear in an elections petition related matter and called for their dismissal.
The Alliance For Change has always upheld the doctrine of separation of powers and respect for the judiciary and judicial officers even when judgements passed are not in our favour. The Party finds it abominable that a sitting minister of government believes that he can attack Judges of our Court especially our women Judges without fear of reprisal.
Dharamlall’s statement is also viewed as an open attempt to intimidate Judges into ruling in the government’s favour. It threatens the independence of our Judiciary.
The Alliance For Change demands a full and unequivocal apology be issued to Chancellor Cummings-Edwards and Justice Gregory and calls on the President, Attorney General, Guyana Bar Association, Women Lawyers Association, Human Rights Association, and other leading civil society groups and individuals to condemn Minister Dharamlall for his statement.