DID it have to take the Chief Justice (CJ) to inform or remind the leader of the parliamentary opposition that he cannot dictate to the President of the Republic on issues of national security – or any other, for that matter?
It’s normal to expect Opposition Leaders to naturally oppose, but in the new national, regional and global normal it’s also widely and largely expected that they will rise to the new challenges and start charting new chapters to show possibly better value and worth.
However, the current office holder, Mr Aubrey Norton, as already aptly noted by Vice-President Bharrat Jagdeo not too long ago, is still stuck in Stone Age thinking in the first quarter of the 21st century.
The current PNC leader and overall APNU+AFC alliance parliamentary chieftain has for some time now held all the positions he demanded from his reluctant predecessor, but months later has failed miserably in the delivery department. Instead of upping his game to better the brigadier, he’s instead lowered the level of political and parliamentary leadership to one where ‘the devil takes the hindmost.’
Guyana has been steaming ahead with careful confidence, energised by oil and gas, mindful of not powering forward too fast, instead ensuring that needs are addressed and development is delivered on time.
The current PPP/C administration, under the distinguished and distinguishable leadership of President Dr Irfaan Ali and Prime Minister Brigadier Mark Phillips and the valuable experience and support of Vice-President Jagdeo,has done more in less time to ensure Guyana’s new wealth reaches more citizens.
But instead of embracing new opportunities to upgrade his old role to one of co-operating with a willing government in the common interest of ensuring that all of the best gets to most Guyanese at all times — even while disagreeing on matters that don’t impede or delay taking development to the people — Mr Norton has opted to try to play hardball, but without bat or ball.
The current Opposition Leader is stuck in the outdated and unproductive, backward and divisive traditional mode of playing legal games of luck and chance with citizens’ futures, instead of honouring his constitutional duty to serve as a useful part of the republic’s national governance mechanism.
Unfortunately, Mr Norton insists on continuing to play with Guyana’s future, mindlessly shifting draughts on a chessboard at a time when those who voted for his party and backed him to become the PNC’s new maximum leader, expect him to do more to better represent them. But the gentleman seems to have opted for an addicted pursuit of power by daily rolling dices with eyes wide shut, harbouring dicey hopes of “one day” eventually hitting the evasive political jackpot.
Unless bent on trying to milk what looks like a cash cow, his legal advisers ought to be fair enough to warn their political leader he’s barking up a wrong tree when trying to use legal and judicial avenues to chart his lost way to State House.
After all, the presidency always has access to the best legal and judicial advice available, as indicated by the Chief Justice’s latest rulings on the Opposition Leader’s ridiculous efforts to dictate to the President of the Republic on making appointments to offices of national security and of public service import.
The CJ’s latest rulings on his childish claims (of not being legally consulted by the President as constitutionally required) ought to remind Mr Norton that he has a lot of catching up to do if he intends to legally outmatch the Attorney-General and his department.
Meanwhile, since time waits for no man, it’s obviously left Mr Norton way behind time!