‘A demonstration of immaturity’ – President says as Norton a no-show for planned meeting
Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton on Monday reportedly failed to show up for a meeting with President Irfaan Ali at his Shiv Chanderpaul Drive, Georgetown Office.
The President has since labelled this as not only regrettable and disappointing but also “a demonstration of immaturity.”
Norton was invited to the meeting by way of a letter delivered to his Congress Place, Sophia office on May 27, 2022, where he was also asked to indicate whether he would be attending the meeting which was set for May 30, 2022.
He did not respond nor did he show up for the meeting.
Dr. Ali said the Opposition Leader was asked to indicate in writing his additional contributions to the ongoing consultations towards the appointment of the Integrity Commission and three service commissions – Judicial, Police and Teaching Service Commissions.
That letter was never sent to the President up to the time of Norton’s no-show at the meeting set for 14:00hrs on Monday.
In a subsequent statement delivered live via Facebook, Dr. Ali said it is regrettable that Norton didn’t have the dignity to respond or show up for the consultations which are mandated by the Constitution.
“I don’t have a problem… I want to lay out the facts of this matter and I intend to move this country forward. Take it forward in keeping with the constitutional requirements,” Dr. Ali said.
The last time the two office holders met was on May 13. That was also the first time such a meeting took place since the change in government in 2020.
Dr. Ali said even before that meeting, Norton had requested information on the discussions to take place surrounding the appointments and the request was honoured.
At that May 13 meeting Norton further requested the resumes of those persons up for appointment and on May 16 some 14 Curriculum Vitaes were sent to him.
In a letter sent to Norton on May 27 by the Minister of Governance and Parliamentary Affairs, Gail Teixeira, the government had expressed disappointment to the approach adopted by Norton to formal invitations to consult with the President.
On Monday, Dr. Ali echoed that disappointment.
The President said he could not meet sooner after the May 13 meeting because of the Agri Investment Forum and Expo and the Independence celebrations which followed.
The constitutional bodies including the Integrity Commission, the Police Service Commission, the Judicial Service Commission and the Teaching Service Commission, all of which have since expired are up for appointment and this consultation is important to that process.