Transitional provision in Recall Act violates Constitution
Judge Siegline Wijnhard on Monday announced that the transitional provision in Article 5 of the amended Recall Act is in violation of the Constitution. The judge made the announcement before announcing the ruling in the lawsuit that 3 political parties namely the Progressive Reform Party (VHP), the National Party Suriname (NPS), Pertjajah Luhur, and the persons Barkat MohabAli and Prem Sardjoe had filed against Raymond Sapoen, Diepakkoemar Chitan and the chairwoman of parliament, Jennifer Geerlings-Simons.
Article 5 of the amended Recall Act clearly states that the law applies to all cases where the judge has not announced a ruling yet. The judge pointed out that Article 5 is in violation of Article 131 paragraph 2 of the Constitution clearly states that any interference in ongoing legal proceedings is prohibited. She also pointed out that Article 5 is also in violation of guaranteeing a fair trial as is mentioned in Article 10 of the Constitution and international human rights treaties. She also referred to Article 137 of the Constitution and explained that she is not testing the inner value o the law but that she only utilized the possibility provided to her by the Constitution. Nailah van Dijk, the defense attorney of Sapoen, Chitan and GeerlingsSimons, pointed out that the judge declared herself incompetent with regards to Geerlings-Simons in the capacity of chairwoman of parliament. She explained that the judge pointed out that there is no civil dispute but a dispute of constitutional laws. Van Dijk pointed out that the lawsuit was rejected because this is not a case of subjective law but of a constitutional law dispute. The judge pointed out that it is plausible that Sapoen and Chitan were legally recalled in accordance with the Recall Act of 2005. Chandrikapersad Santokhi, chairman of the VHP, told Times of Suriname that he was pleased with the fact that the judge had declared that the transitional provision in Article 5 of the amended Recall Act is in violation of the Constitution.