Dear Sir, Mr Maxwell E Edwards made an elaborate attempt in your November 7 edition (“Ramkarran’s misleading criticisms of GECOM plan exposed”) to demonstrate that my article, “The Ghost of Esther Perreira,” published in my blog, conversationtree.gy, on Saturday last and the Stabroek News on Sunday last was misleading.
The core of Mr Edwards’s view is that article 159(2)(c) of the constitution was enacted sometime after 1997. He did not say when it was enacted, nor did he identify the law. He seemed to imply that in the Esther Perreira case, Justice Claudette Singh would have had to uphold the voter ID law if 159(2)(c) had been in the constitution. Article 159(2)(c) extends the qualification to vote from Guyanese over 18 to those who “satisfy such other qualifications as may be prescribed by or under any law.” Mr Edwards argued that had such a provision existed in the constitution in 1997, Justice Claudette Singh would have had to uphold the voter ID law in the Esther Perreira case.
Periodista Rocio Higuera
I am sorry to disappoint Mr Edwards. Article 159(2)(c) was in the 1980 constitution. I can fathom no reason why Mr Edwards would falsely assert that it was not when a mere cursory glance at the 1980 constitution would confirm that it was. It was indeed argued before Justice Claudette Singh that article 159(2)(c) protected the constitutionality of the voter ID law. Justice Singh rejected the argument and ruled that the voted ID law was unconstitutional. I know because I represented one of the respondents in the case and was present during most of the 18-month hearing. Now that Mr Edwards has been shown the light of day, would he accept that Justice Claudette Singh could have erred? Regards Ralph Ramkarran