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Thursday 18 July 2019
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Kamla suggests to PM: Let’s talk to Carmona on CoP matter

Kamla Persad Bissessar
Kamla Persad Bissessar

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has proposed to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley that they meet with President Anthony Carmona to resolve the controversy surrounding the Police Service Commission’s (PSC) selection of acting Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Deodath Dulalchan as Commissioner of Police (CoP).

Persad-Bissessar is also proposing a special select committee (SSC) of the House of Representatives to treat urgently with the issue.

Her proposals arose out of correspondence over the last two days which was initiated by Rowley by e-mail on January 30.

On the Supplemental Order Paper for today’s sitting of the House at 1.30 pm, there are three notifications from Carmona filed as papers. The first is for the nomination of Dulalchan as CoP. The second is the nomination of Dulalchan as Deputy CoP. Third is the nomination of acting Deputy CoP Harold Phillip as Deputy CoP.

However no motion has been filed as yet to debate these nominations. Newsday understands a Second Supplemental Order Paper would be needed to do this. In his e-mail, Rowley said: “Given what is awash in the public domain and the requirement for the process to be now received by the Parliament, it is my view that we have a discussion on this assignment before it comes to the Parliament floor.”

Rowley proposed to Persad-Bissessar that they meet in Parliament yesterday at 3 pm with their smallest respective teams to discuss the matter. However, in an e-mail sent to Rowley at 1.35 am yesterday, Persad-Bissessar said the constitutional arrangements do not give the Government or the Opposition the power to compel the PSC to disclose the details of the process used to select the proposed nominees.

While she disagreed that the events which led to the nominations should form the basis of a meeting between Government and Opposition, Persad-Bissessar said, “I respectfully suggest that the public interest requires that there be full disclosure by the PSC in this matter.” She suggested this can be achieved by them approaching Carmona.

She further suggested that an SSC will be empowered under the House’s Standing Orders to summon the PSC before it.

Persad-Bissessar said this SSC would also be able to “secure the disclosure of all relevant material that was considered by the commission in arriving at its decision.”

She said to expedite the process, “a fixed reporting timeline can be determined, and relevant resources made available to the committee,” and the appointment of a CoP must be addressed immediately, “in light of the unprecedented level of criminality that our citizens have been experiencing since the start of 2018.”

Persad-Bissessar told Rowley, if the reports are true, “I am sure that you will agree that the process employed to select the proposed nominees falls far short of (the required) standard.”

She also said the proposed nominees have now been tried in the court of public opinion, even before they have been considered by the Parliament.

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