PPP will not support amendment to Integrity Commission Act; calls on Granger to establish CoI to investigate Sittlington’s role in SOCU

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By Stacy Carmichael-James

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party Bharrat Jagdeo has made it clear that his party will not be supporting the amendments to the Integrity Commission Act as put forward by the Coalition Government.

Bharrat Jagdeo- General Secretary- PPP

Jagdeo during a press conference on Tuesday said the amendments being put forward by the Government would put enforcement power in the hands of the President and Minister of State Joseph Harmon to decide the fate of Members of Parliament. This power being vested in the State Minister is unconstitutional Jagdeo is contending.

He presented a document which was dispatched to him by the Prime Minister titled “Code of Conduct for Ministers of Government, members of the National Assembly and Public Office Holders.”

He noted that Government ministers are already in breach of the Integrity Commission Act since they have refused to present declarations. Jagdeo said the fact that the commission has been disbanded and staff sent home, is another cause for serious concern.

 Meanwhile, the PPP General Secretary also disagreed with comments attributed to Minister Harmon, who noted that the presidential immunity can be removed if a person enters active public politics.

Minister of State- Joseph Harmon

Harmon’s claim that the police can decide on immunity, Jagdeo said is also incorrect noting that only the court can make that determination.  This, The PPP General Secretary claimed is just another tool for the Government to seem as if it is doing something, but in actuality, it is setting the basis for further witch hunting.

Financial Crime Expert- Dr. Sam Sittlington

Despite the British High Commissioner’s response to Crime Expert Sam Sittlington’s involvement in the operations of the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) Jagdeo told media operatives that he has proof to the contrary.

According to Jagdeo, this is a clear situation of a foreigner trespassing on the rights of citizens and it is being condoned by the Government. He made allegations that Sittlington may have been the one who drove the officials from SOCU over to the Office of the Opposition Leader when they took him (Jagdeo) into custody for questioning.

Jagdeo is calling on President David Granger to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate Sittlington’s role in SOCU.

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