Guyana op­po­si­tion says Pres­i­dent’s Christ­mas par­dons make courts look weak

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL - - Caribbean360

The Op­po­si­tion Peo­ple’s Pro­gres­sive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has crit­i­cized the de­ci­sion by Pres­i­dent David Granger to let 11 jailed women go free this Christ­mas, say­ing it makes the le­gal sys­tem look “weak and in­ef­fec­tive”.

Granger an­nounced that he would par­don the 11 who were con­victed of non-vi­o­lent crimes. He said he was ex­tend­ing com­pas­sion to those in­di­vid­u­als, and hopes to make Christ­mas par­dons for young women a tra­di­tion, just as he in­tends to make In­de­pen­dence par­dons for young men a tra­di­tion – one which he started in May this year.

But PPP gen­eral sec­re­tary Cle­ment Ro­hee in­sisted it is the vic­tims of the crim­i­nals who de­serve com­pas­sion and Granger was un­der­min­ing the rule of law.

“Par­don­ing per­sons con­victed in the courts makes the sys­tem look weak and in­ef­fec­tive,” he said, adding “un­der the PPP/C ad­min­is­tra­tion, pres­i­den­tial par­dons were not abused”.

“This does not mean that the PPP/C pres­i­dents were not com­pas­sion­ate. They were com­pas­sion­ate in favour of the vic­tims,” added the for­mer home af­fairs min­is­ter.

He called on the pres­i­dent to tell the pub­lic what cri­te­ria he used in de­cid­ing who should re­ceive par­dons.

PPP gen­eral sec­re­tary Cle­ment Ro­hee.

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