Justice must be carried out

Much has been said and will continue to be said about the General Elections held on May 20, 2009, and my name has been used quite extensively in relation to the challenging of the two UDP winners in Bodden Town, Mr. Mark Scotland and Mr. Dwayne Seymour, as a result of my media comments following the announcement of the results.

Let me make it quite clear from the onset that I am not a sore loser (I accepted my loss immediately), but my concern is for the upholding of law and order in this country. Everyone is aware that these two individuals violated S. 19(1)(g) of our Constitution by not declaring publicly (ie: by Gazette notice) their interest in Government contracts in the required time frame. If this is allowed to go unchallenged, simply on the basis that they were elected by majority, what does this say to others following or watching now? It’s OK to break the law, as long as the majority is on your side?

I don’t think this is the case and I am sure you the reader will share this view.

Individuals elected as MLAs are sworn to uphold our Constitution and to Legislate (ie: make laws) for these islands. It follows naturally that these are the last people that should be seen to be violating either of these. The Attorney General and the Governor share in this responsibility and I am totally at a loss as to why neither of these gentlemen have stepped forward in the public interest and dealt with this issue before now. The Attorney General is apparently off Island at this crucial time and therefore his views or those of his office are unknown or unheard.

The Governor made a statement and basically said that he cannot challenge as he is not a designated ‘challenger’. This is ironic, when one considers that this same Governor has cost the country millions of dollars by ordering investigations into ‘alleged’ corrupt practices of the judiciary and police, which to date have ended up with one law suit after another against this country. Yet, here we have a clear violation of our Constitution, which he is sworn to uphold and he does nothing – apart from swearing them into office!!

So I say to all and sundry that if this action by my new representatives in Bodden Town, Mr. Scotland and Mr. Seymour, is allowed to go unchallenged we will have set a dangerous precedent in this country. How are we going to stop future abuses of this type and others, when those at the top appear to have wanton regard for rules and regulations, by breaching our over-arching legal document, our Constitution? It’s ironic that this comes at a time when we have just finished the long drawn out process of getting a modernised Constitution for these islands, which has just been accepted by a majority of the people through the first ever referendum process and will be implemented in due course.

I anxiously await a response on this matter from the Attorney General of this country and I call on him to take a stand against this violation by our elected representatives and to request the Chief Justice of this country to make a ruling on the matter in the interest of all concerned. I need not remind the legal luminaries that delay defeats equity.

I agree with those that say let’s move on and work together for the betterment of the country but we cannot do this unless we start on the right footing. This matter must be resolved and then we can move forward in the proper manner.

Finally, I wish to thank the people of Bodden Town for the humbling privilege of being your representative over the past four years and I believe history will show that I served your interest well, with dignity and integrity in all my dealings. I also wish to thank all of my supporters Island wide for your outpouring of love and concern for me and my family, before and since the elections.

May God continue to bless these beloved islands we call home and may justice for all be upheld in our land forever.

Osbourne Bodden