President Breaks Her Silence…

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By Prior Beharry

THE Order of Merit List for Police Commissioner was submitted to the Office of the President (OTP) on August 11 and withdrawn that same day. And currently there is no list before the President.

This according to President Paula-Mae Weekes in an unprecedented statement that appeared as advertisements in the Sunday newspapers.

Hudson, Awninings

She said, “I can confirm that an Order of Merit List in respect of Commissioner of Police was delivered on August 11, 2021 the OTP and withdrawn almost immediately thereafter that day. I therefore had no list from which a Notification could issue. To date no other list has since been submitted. The OTP has been advised that ‘the recruitment and selection process for the Office of Commissioner of Police has not yet been completed.’”

President Weekes said that while the President appoints and removes service commission members in accordance with the Constitution, service commissions were independent, “even of the President.”

She said the President also does not direct, participate or interfere in their deliberations.

President Weekes referred to the enquiry into the issuance of the firearms users’ licences and asked a number of questions.

She asked if there was credible information that might impact on the deliberations on an important constitutional function of the PolSC, should it not be brought to the commission’s attention.

Political interference

She said many public statements including “political interference,” “clandestine,” “secret,” “subversion of the Constitution” have been made without consideration for confidentiality.

President Weekes said, “Our Constitution provides that the party in power nominates the President, often leading to the groundless, unfortunate and dangerous assumption that the President is a tool of that party.

“The Constitution envisages a non-partisan, apolitical President who not only performs the routine duties and functions of office, but can be trusted to where necessary and appropriate, make decisions in the national interest; of course, within the Constitution and the law.

“Those who choose to consider and promote the Office as nothing more than a rubber stamp do not admit this important role and erode the very trust that is essential to the Office’s optimal functioning.”

She said she neither allowed nor encouraged any attempts or improper interference or breach of the principle of the separation of powers in the operations of the PolSC in the matter of the CoP.

President Weekes said, “I certainly did not willfully violate any provision of the Constitution nor have I behaved in a way that could lead one reasonably to conclude that I have brought the OTP into hatred, ridicule or contempt or endangered the security of the State.”

Legal Notice 183, Paragraph 4

In reference to the ruling of Justice Nadia Kangaloo last Thursday, President Weekes said that in striking down the appointments to act as CoP, the court returned the status quo to what it was on August 12.

On that date, she said the PolSC submitted to her an Order of Merit List for the acting position under the Legal Notice No.183, paragraph 4.


President Weekes said that as was stated on the court proceedings, she harboured concerns about the effect and legality of this legal notice.

She said the OTP discussed these concerns with the PolSC and the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and did not send the Notification for the acting appointment forward to the Parliament because she did not feel the president had the power to do so under the specific law by which it was sent to her.

Acting Police Commissioner appointment

Regarding the matter of an acting police commissioner, President Weekes said she must await a list of nominees submitted by the newly constituted PolSC.

She said there were now three notifications for nominees with the Clerk of the House for the position of commissioner on the PolSC.

President Weekes said there was also one nomination that is under ongoing consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition and she was “assiduously” working to identify a fifth nominee.


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