Former president Anthony Carmona. –
FORMER President Anthony Carmona is appealing to those in authority not to use the wrongs of the past to justify the wrongs of the present.
The country celebrated its 45th anniversary of becoming a Republic on September 24.
The former judge, who served as this country’s fifth president, explained, “The move to republicanism over 40 years ago means that sovereignty or power is derived from the will of the people.
“If you accept this notion, you must employ all lawful means in defending what is right and eschewing what is wrong. One cannot and must not allude or refer to the wrongs of the past, to justify the wrongs of the present.”
In a Republic Day message, he said this approach is counterproductive because wrongs must not be repeated under any condition or by any rationale.
He did not identify any particular issue, but may have been alluding to the imbroglio in the handling of the appointment of a police commissioner.
The Opposition has accused the Government of political interference in the Police Service Commission, which the Prime Minister has debunked.
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the bypassing of Parliament to appoint a police commissioner and an acting police commissioner has led to a constitutional crisis.
She questioned whether PSC chairman Bliss Seepersad acted unlawfully in sending a letter to former CoP Gary Griffith to say he was acting, when Mc Donald Jacob was also appointed to act at the same time.
Carmona said, “Notwithstanding the separation of powers provided under the Republican Constitution, the founding fathers did envision levels of cooperation among the different branches of Government in matters that are germane to the welfare of all citizens.
“It is in your interest, dear brothers and sisters,” he advised, “to become watchdogs and demonstrate patriotic fervour, and request that the relevant authorities work together to resolve issues affecting the entire Trinbagonian family, if you feel that this is not being done.
“You must remember that you are a citizen, and with citizenship comes both burdens, benefits and responsibilities.”