Jagdeo says Harmon wrong on presidential immunity


Opposition Leader; Bharrat Jagdeo, today, slammed the APNU/AFC Government for suggesting that he (Jagdeo) should not benefit from Constitutional immunity due to the fact that he is actively involved in day-to-day politics. Voicing his opinion on the matter, Jagdeo said he was ashamed for the Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, for taking such a position since, with his [Harmon’s] legal background, he should be aware that no one can remove a constitutional protection.“Harmon is wrong on this and as a lawyer I am so ashamed for him to think that anyone can remove a constitutional protection,” Jagdeo said while noting that contrary to Harmon’s claims that the police can determine presidential immunity, “only the courts can determine these issues.”Harmon, during a post-Cabinet press briefing last week, proclaimed that former Presidents should relinquish their constitutional right of immunity upon returning to active politics.His comments came on the heels of past President and present Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo being cleared from answering to any SOCU officials after he invoked his immunity under Article 182 of the Constitution of Guyana.Harmon had indicated that it was unreasonable to claim that immunity while being actively involved in day-to-day politics.In summary, Article 182 states that a President shall not be personally answerable to any court for any act done in the performance of the functions of his office; no criminal nor civil proceedings can be instituted against him, in his personal capacity in respect of any acts done in the performance of his office, either during the term of office or thereafter; and while he holds office or performs the functions of Office of the President, no criminal nor civil proceedings shall be instituted or continued against him in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by him in his private capacity.Jagdeo held the office of President and performed the functions of that office during the period August 11, 1999 –December 3, 2011.Pradoville 2, a housing project currently under SOCU’s investigation, was developed and lots allocated thereof to the several allottees during the period that Jagdeo was President.Harmon had posited that the Constitution is very clear about immunity relating to a sitting president, who takes certain steps while he is in office. He had said that despite the level of immunity there are certain exceptions. (Ramona Luthi)  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPresidential immunity could be re-examined as part of Constitutional reform process, says HarmonMarch 10, 2017In “latest news”Harmon unwittingly admits to political witch-hunting of PPP leaders – NandlallMarch 12, 2017In “Politics”“Jagdeo had his time, no third term” – APNU’s HarmonFebruary 4, 2015In “Politics”

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