Opposition calls on President to address nation on CoP fiasco

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Photo by Sureash Cholai -
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Photo by Sureash Cholai -

The Opposition Leader has written to the President calling on her to address the nation on her role in the Police Service Commission's (PSC) selection of the Commissioner of Police (CoP). The letter was signed by all 18 Opposition MPs.

The letter, dated October 7, said the Opposition was concerned about allegations of executive interference in the appointment process for the office of CoP.

It said the President had not commented on complaints by former PSC member Roger Kawalsingh to the chairman and members of the PSC to say the list of nominees for the CoP was not delivered to the President because of “concerns expressed by another public official who was present at President’s House that day.”

It said the Opposition has since confirmed this official was the Prime Minister.

It pointed out to the President, “Neither your office nor the Office of the Prime Minister has sought to refute or explain Kawalsingh’s allegations. In fact, Kawalsingh has reportedly been upbraided by your office for disclosing alleged confidential information. Your Excellency, any allegation about orime ministerial interference in the process of selection of the CoP is not “confidential information” and your good office ought not to be perceived as attempting to hide embarrassing and unlawful behaviour.”

The letter said it is not the President’s function to interpret the law or to suggest to the PSC what the law should be. It said the President should have consulted the courts if she was uncertain about the law.

The nation deserved an address, the UNC MPs said, to explain the perception engendered by reports in the media that the President facilitated or possibly participated in interfering with the selection process by the PSC for the post of CoP, and violated her duty under section 123(4) of the Constitution.

“We deserve an address where the matters raised in this letter may be addressed unequivocally, in simple language devoid of glib semantics or legal posturing. To remain aloof in the midst of constitutional crisis is no longer an option. Any appearance of subversion of our Constitution must be immediately dispelled as far as your Excellency’s reported role is concerned. The perception of integrity and independence of the Office of the President of the Republic is being undermined every day.”


"Opposition calls on President to address nation on CoP fiasco"

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