Debate over Commissioner of Police …”A FLAWED PROCESS”

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The Government is going to have a problem convincing the Parliament that everything is okay for the debate in the appointment of Harold Phillip as the next Commissioner of Police.

Government is already on record, in the Parliament, as saying that the process used to recommend Deodat Dulalchan for the post of Commissioner, was flawed.

It is the same process used to recommend Phillip for Commissioner.

So how will the Government get past this hurdle? The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Bliss Seepersad, has said that the Commission did nothing new. They had no money to do anything new.

It was the same process used for recommending Dulalchan,

So when Parliament debates the President’s notification on Monday, the same flawed process will be used.

So if it was not okay for Dulalchan, would it be okay for Phillip?

The country waits and the Opposition must have a say in the matter.

The Opposition has been discussing the notification of nomination of Phillip  and its position will be revealed in Parliament.

Notification of nomination of Phillip for the post was sent on Tuesday by the Police Service Commission to the Parliament.

This, after the notification of nomination of DCP Deodat Dulalchan for the post was rejected by Government last month on the basis that PSC’s process was flawed. PSC chairman Bliss Seepersad, in a July 1 letter on Phillip’s notification, stated Senior Counsel advised that the second ranked candidate on the merit list (for CoP) should be submitted to Parliament according to Legal Notice 218 of 2015 on the matter.

Phillip is the second ranked on that list done by the previous PSC.

Government in Parliament on Tuesday refused to debate the notification sent to the Parliament, maintaining PSC’s process was flawed.

UNC MP Ganga Singh said refusal to debate the notification was constitutionally wrong and on Wednesday Government House leader Camille Robinson-Regis said Government would debate it next Monday. She said she had only seen a letter from the Police Service Commission concerning the notification after Tuesday’s sitting and Government would debate it especially after issues in Seepersad’s letter. She declined to say if Government would support or reject notification on Philip.

Singh said: “The Leader of Government Business clearly erred in seeking to instruct the Clerk of the House not to proceed with the notification from the President, that’s why I spoke out against the subversion of the Constitution and usurping of Parliament’s power to debate the process. The Speaker also erred in allowing an impermissible intrusion on Parliament’s role in this matter.”

“Their action created gridlock between the constitutionally entrenched PSC, the President and Parliament. It demonstrates Government’s incompetence and insidious attempts to stymie democracy and ‘strong-arm’ the Parliament’s processes. The Speaker attempted to give me a ‘red card’ when the ‘foul’ was really committed by Government. It’s clear: democracy requires eternal vigilance.”

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