Thursday, November 24, 2011

Discharge of injunction against ERC foiled Opposition destabilization plot

HEAD of the Presidential Secretariat (HPS), Dr. Roger Luncheon said, yesterday, that the injunction filed against the officers of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) by Opposition Leader, Robert Corbin was no coincidence but part and parcel of a plot to silence the body.

On Tuesday, Justice Diana Insanally discharged the injunction that was granted last May by Justice James Bovell-Drakes on an application by Corbin, which had restrained Juan Edghill, John Willems and Carvil Duncan from performing their duties as commissioners.
Luncheon remarked on the action at his usual post-Cabinet media briefing at Office of the President, in Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, also in Georgetown.
He described the Tuesday ruling as a “most worthy” one and observed that the “politically inspired” injunction sought to have an impact on the functioning of the commission, as had also been the case of the Advisory Committee on Broadcasting (ACB) when it was similarly “injuncted.”

Luncheon said, currently, the ACB is without a representative of the Leader of the Opposition, despite repeated requests, since June, when the appointee by former President Desmond Hoyte volunteered to resign.
“We’ve been trying to constitute Guyana National Broadcasting Authority requesting, reminding Corbin of the requirement for him to nominate a member to sit on this body and, again, virtual silence,” the HPS disclosed.
Luncheon said these instances remain part of “a grand strategy to prevent, impair the ability of these bodies, statutory and otherwise, from discharging their responsibilities, particularly in the context of the general and regional elections and from the perspective that these bodies may very well have contributions to make that Mr. Corbin and his ilk would prefer that they did not make and would remain silent.”
The HPS said the decision by Justice Insanally was, therefore, timely and would allow the ERC to discharge its mandate unfettered by Corbin and others.

Following the court decision Tuesday, Edghill told a press conference, at the ERC office, in Queenstown, also in Georgetown, that the intent of the injunction was to stop the ERC from functioning during the elections period.
He said the applicant had delayed the process by asking for time and extensions.
“At the appropriate time, when the written judgement is ready, you will discover that there was no basis for such an action to be filed and injunction granted in the first place.
“The judge said clearly Corbin claimed that the ERC was unconstitutional since 2007. There was no emergency for four years that you waited until May to come and file such an injunction. She also said that the conservatory orders that were granted ought not to have been granted. So that means it has all been discharged,” Edghill said.
He said he knew there was a diabolical plot to ensure that the ERC is not in place and that Corbin became the front person to use the court as a way of seeking to get that end achieved.
“This was a grand plot that was being revealed…the plan of the PNC/R and those in opposition who wanted to perpetuate a racist agenda in this election to ensure that the ERC was not in place and the court was being used as a way of tying up the commission from doing its work,” Edghill charged.

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