The opposition Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) has released a position statement concerning what it describes as the recent “rumblings” from within the ruling Progressive National Party (PNP) suggesting that there is dissatisfaction with attorney general Huw Shepheard.
“Within recent months, we in the opposition have heard what began as an inaudible rumble became clearer AFTER the acting attorney general followed through to confiscate the PNP Headquarters on the Airport Road.
“Following the loss of their headquarters, the premier and ministers cannot seem to separate their role as “GOVERNMENT” from that as leader and members of the PNP party. There is a clear distinction. The PNP find themselves in a fight with the government over the loss of their headquarters that was built illegally on Crown land.
“There is NOT a joint campaign between the PDM and the PNP elected members to request or demand the recall of the attorney general. The premier has not defined or disclosed the grounds for the recall of the attorney general to his own party. This is evident from the email from former leader of PNP Mr Clayton Greene that made front page of the Turks and Caicos Sun newspaper. Based on an informal meeting with the premier after he adjourned the House on Thursday, October 3rd, it became clear to us that the premier has not thought this matter through based on his responses to the leader of the opposition AND experienced members of his own party. His wish lacks a considered plan that will produce results.
“We, in the PDM, are not persuaded by hype or emotions. We cannot and will not follow a drumbeat that is unclear in its message or direction. The position of the attorney general is a constitutional position that is entrenched. There are provisions for the qualifications and appointment of a person to that office by FCO on behalf of HMG to serve at their pleasure. There are also grounds for the demitting of office of such a person in the Office of the Attorney. Not liking the attorney general’s attitude is not grounds for his dismissal from office. We have our issues with him but we have to find the proper grounds for a request for his recall from office. We have demonstrated in the House that we do not flinch in the face of the attorney general when we feel he is acting outside of the rules.
“As it stands, the grounds for objecting to the person of the attorney general is known only to the premier. Whether he is deliberate in his not wanting to tell us what the grounds are, or whether he is bound by convention to keep matters of Cabinet a secret, he has remained silent. At this time we are not undertaking any joint initiative with the PNP seeking to have the attorney general removed,” the PDM’s statement said.
Today I learned of the resignation of the Attorney General and am convinced that it was due to the comments of the Premier to the media which can be viewed as defamation of character. The Premier should have only made the comments if the Attorney General was found to be malfeasance or misfeasance in his duty. I applaud the position of the PDM and would not be surprise if TCI does not have to pay in excess of $1,000,000.00 to the Attorney General.
The way to have an independent Judiciary is for politicians to stay out unless misfeasance or Malfeasance is found.