Monday, March 2, 2009

Constitutional Appointments-The song remains the same

Constitutional Appointments - The song remains the same 

The President has announced his constitutional appointments for 2009 and as predicted, the song remains the same. But there is a new SPPF kid on the block who is aspiring to the top position via the same route that today’s Chief Justice has acquired his chair.

Following the disastrous departure of Allear (who was compensated by a few millions – in forex - in case he would spill the beans), Anthony Fernando (then Attorney General) was appointed acting CJ. Mr. Fernando is of Sri Lankan origin and started his ‘career’ in Seychelles as a senior state counsel in 91 and was fast tracked to Attorney General in 99 until 2008 (a total of 18 years!). During this time there were several bright young Seychellois who had finished their studies in the UK and other parts of the world but were sidelined as their political inclinations were perhaps too close for comfort for the SPPF regime. The role of the Attorney General is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may in addition have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.

In tandem with the most corrupt CJ Allear running the show and for the many years that the SPPF has been in power, they have been conniving to enforce the government’s position through and through. The recent case of the illegal take over of the Plantation Club hotel is proof that Fernando has learnt his lessons well! The most ironic thing about this is that the Attorney General who spent most of his career defending the State has now been appointed as our new Chief Justice and his role is to be impartial and ensure that justice is done in a fair and just manner. How ridiculous! Will he be able to just turn his wig around? There are several competent Seychellois starting from Justice Sauzier (in the early days) to the likes of Philippe Boulle, Pesi Pardiwalla, Francis Chang-Sam etc…who could have done a fine job. But you are dealing with the SPPF! Unless you come out ‘lo laplenn’ during election time and show your true colours, you will not form part of a model justice system. Mancham’s idea of National Reconstruction will remain a utopia until the leopards are ready to change their spots. So prepare yourselves fellow lawyers, the CJ will remain the Attorney General in different regalia.

Now that we need a new Attorney General, SPPF has found their man. Moving around in his big jeep, he comes with a “pay one get two package” as his wife (Samia) is also a magistrate! So there you go, all’s set for the future and the Seychellois courts have been tainted for another 30 odd years (the time it will probably take to get the SPPF out of power by legal means – if they survive the economic tsunami!) Ronny Govinden has probably obliterated Usain Bolt’s 100 meter record of the Beijing Olympics when it comes to his appointment as the new AG. After a spell of 3 years in Mauritius (they send most of their law professionals to the UK Bar like most of our lawyers practicing today). Serving as State Counsel for a mere 5 years, he goes to senior, then deputy, in another 5 year. Well done my man!! Hopefully at this rate you can help the state to clean up on all the acts of malpractice, corruption, injustice, human rights, freedom of speech and association and other and civil liberties that are practically non-existing in our country (you must have had some good exposure of these sacred values from our friends in Mauritius). The bar is set high for such a young and aspirant AG – we expect you to fully defend our constitutional rights. We would also perhaps like to see what contributions you made if any in last year’s ‘Year of the Constitution’ as you take up your new functions. And by the way, the State will have a lot of cases that the people will be bringing forward to your attention from chasing down the Escobars to bringing back the millions stolen during the reign of the deposed princes such as Glenny, Mukesh, Francis etc… Remember that Michel wants some audits to be carried out….

As for the appointment of the electoral commissioner, the President has definitely wasted a lot of our foreign exchange on conducting the famous Reiley Report which strongly recommended that we have an Electoral Commission rather than a Commissioner. A Commission is made up of a group of members and adds more credibility to the institution. So Gappy gets another 7 years on a nice cosy salary and waits either until the s..t hits he fan and the people calls a referendum on Michel or he himself calls for one (which we doubt unless it is forced upon him). So he and his team get the instructions from State House or their agents on how to manipulate the list until 2011 before the next crunch time comes. By that time it would seem that we will have a lot of skeletons coming out on voting day with perhaps a few Sr. 10,000 rupee notes stuffed in their rib cage a la Zimbabwe!!

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