“One should not play with the Constitution…

Interview: Maneesh Gobin, Attorney General


… nobody is ‘tinkering’ with the Constitution. It is my constitutional duty to make sure that our Constitution is respected by institutions and individuals alike”


We have interviewed the Attorney General Manish Gobin this week, and sought clarifications about the Commission of Enquiry set up by Government to look into the Commission set up by former president Ameenah Gurib-Fakim when she was forced to step down due to allegations of financial impropriety and her links with the controversial businessman Alvaro Sobrinho. The AG is categorical that the Constitution is being respected as due legal process has been used to set up this Commission, and requests that we wait its enquiry and report before we come to any advance conclusions about the findings and the eventual recommendations
.

“The terms of reference have been gazetted and it is open to anyone to carefully read and understand. There is no attack on anybody. There is a commission of inquiry appointed to inquire and report. I cannot however fail to pause to remark how the persons who were “operating” back in March of this year are the very same persons who have started to feel fidgety now that the Caunhye commission has been appointed to inquire and report…”

“presidential immunity stems perhaps from the age old convention of the British monarchy that the sovereign can do no wrong, hence the sovereign is immune! Do you know how such immunity is commented upon in international fora nowadays? The days of realms and sovereigns are long gone! If evolution has to bring positive changes, then let us embrace this evolution whether it comes from a constitutional reform commission or from the recommendations of a commission of inquiry…”

“Our electoral system has stood the test of time, hasn’t it? Reforms shall come, and I am very pleased to say that the ministerial committee chaired by our Minister Mentor has completed its task and is preparing its report. But please, don’t mix electoral reforms with the issue of “making political parties more democratic”. The democratic workings of a specific opposition party are giving goose pimples to many these days…”

“Are you aware whether and why the Jeehas and Obeegadoos have been indeed sidelined? Well, I am not. Political party matters go deeper than what meets the eye and surely deeper than what hits the local press! The same applies to the Boolells and Baichoos by the way. The equations of political party mathematics are yet to be formulated, and we are a long way from clear-cut “black or white” scenarios…”

 

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* Published in print edition on 25 May 2018

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