Contrary to popular sentiments, Abe Dabdoub is to be commended for vigorously pursuing justice, for perceived wrongs, through legitimate means. If more Jamaicans followed his example, ours would be a better and more peaceful country. Mr. Dabdoub is a victim – “a prophet hath honour, save in his own country”. History will be kind to Mr. Dabdoub because of his consistently principled litigiousness. All legitimate tenets and/or principles of our Constitution are to respected and upheld at all times, in all seasons and under all circumstances. This has not always been our practice and in fact our leaders have dealt with it (the Constitution) according to their “whims and fancy” and that in large measure accounts for our current state of lawlessness, law enforcement impotency and near anarchy.
Mr. Dabdoub is understandably disappointed because his cause was just. And as we have come to expect from him, he gave it his best shot- he went beyond the call of duty. But alas, even though justice and the Constitution are on his side, the rights of the voters of West Portland (the major) take precedence, yes, supersede his rights, in this unique case.
Mr. Danville Walker, Director of Elections, published a counter notice when Mr. Dabdoub had previously advised voters of Daryl Vaz’s ineligibility on the grounds that he had willingly sworn allegiance to another country. Mr. Vaz renewed and travelled on his United States passport when he attained adulthood thereby swearing allegiance to the United States of America. This act is in contravention of the Jamaican Constitution which prohibits such individuals, dual citizens, from sitting in Gordon House.
The notice from the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) that all 120 candidates were duly elected and that any other notice to the contrary was “political gimmickry” prejudiced Mr. Dabdoub’s case and may have caused a majority of the voters to dismiss his (Dabdoub’s) notice as “politricks”. The voters of West Portland cannot therefore be faulted. Mr. Walker is supposed to be a non-partisan, disinterested third party and Mr. Dabdoub is supposed to be a political contender. When faced with uncertainty, the major of voters of West Portland did what was expected – they believed Danville Walker and the EOJ.
Justice and the Constitution demanded that the voters of West Portland went to the polls after the matter of Mr. Vaz’s eligibility to sit in parliament was fully ventilated. This is now the case and the Courts have decided. And we hope both parties will accept the verdict of the now informed voters of West Portland when it is handed down come the night of Monday, March 23, 2009.
Carlos R. King, Voter Empowerment Advocate, Old Harbour, Jamaica, email@example.com