“We reject completely and unreservedly the assertions by the President of the Senate Senator Chester Humphrey that we must not question the conduct or actions by the Governor General.”
Those were the words expressed by Political Leader of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in response to statements made by Sen. Humphrey, during a recent sitting of the Upper House of Parliament in relation to a letter written by the NDC to the Governor General out of concern for the unceremonious dismissal of 8 out of the 15 registration officers at the office of the Supervisor of Elections.
Addressing this issue during Monday’s weekly press conference at NDC’s headquarters’ in St. George’s, Sen. Burke told reporters that he “did not hear the comments” himself, but understands “that Sen. Chester Humphrey took issue with the fact that we (NDC) were writing to the Governor General.
“We will write to the Governor General. We will write to the President of the Senate. We will write to the Prime Minster. We will write to every single public and senior official in this country, who we believe is acting unethically or improperly, contrary to the Constitution and laws and norms of the country and to the conventions of the state,” he declared.
Sen. Burke was at the time touching on concerns that have been expressed by individuals in the St. Patrick’s area surrounding the appointment of certain persons known to be politically affiliated with the ruling New National Party (NNP) administration to top offices in the country.
Referencing the most recent appointment of Ms. Gretha Franklyn to the position of Deputy Supervisor of Elections, Sen. Burke said, “The fact that these concerns are being raised by the public does tell you that people are concerned about political affiliations and the independence of persons who are simply put in those positions and questions are being raised about whether these persons are sufficiently independent to act with independence and in a manner that will not cause others to question whether or not they are acting in the best interest of our country.”
He went on to encourage persons who may have information to support this claim or concern to come forward.
“We would want to say that if you have information that will give you reason for concern, we want to encourage you to write to the Governor General,” he added.
“We must make it absolutely clear as far as we are concerned not a single individual in this country is above the law. Every single person is answerable to the law, is subject to judicial review and is subject to conduct that is befitting to the office that they hold.”
“So if you want to butcher or prostitute the office and to do things that are completely outside the expectations of the office and the norms of conduct in the office we must call you out on it.
We are not here to sit and try to be nice boy and nice girl. The reality is every person has a responsibility to act in accordance with the norms and standards expected of the office and if we believe there are deviations, whether they are intentional or unintentional we must bring it to the attention of the office holders,” Sen. Burke declared.