President nominates fifth, final candidate for PSC

President Paula-Mae Weekes
President Paula-Mae Weekes

The President has now selected five people to fill the vacancies in the Police Service Commission.

A statement issued on Friday said the fifth nominee was attorney Rajiv Persad.

Four other people – retired high court judge Judith Jones, management consultant Maxine Attong, chartered accountant Maxine King and criminologist Ian Ramdhanie – had already been nominated.

It is now up to the Government to table the names of the nominees before the House of Representatives for approval.

In keeping with the provision of the Constitution, President Paula-Mae Weekes consulted with the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader before making the recommendations.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar did not respond and has said previously she will not participate in the process until clear answers are given surrounding the collapse of the previous PSC and the withdrawal of the order of merit list for the candidates to fill the vacancy of Commissioner of Police.

She argued that the President has no moral authority to nominate new names for the PSC until she clears the air on the alleged meeting between a government official and former PSC chairman Bliss Seepersad at the Office of the President on August 12, an act she claims subsequently triggered the withdrawal of the merit list of people selected for Police Commissioner.

Seepersad, preceded by Roger Kawalsingh, Courtney Mc Nish and Dr Susan Craig-James, resigned last month after the suspension of then acting CoP Gary Griffith pending the outcome of a probe into allegations of corruption into the granting of firearm licences.

Persad-Bissessar had also raised concerns about a previous nominee, attorney Ernest Koylass, SC, whom she accused of having known ties with the ruling PNM.

On September 14, Justice Nadia Kangaloo ruled that Griffith's acting appointment and the subsequent appointment of deputy commissioner of police Mc Donald Jacob to act were illegal, as Parliament had to approve the PSC's recommendation.

A new PSC is required to nominate someone to act as CoP and complete the process of appointing a substantive CoP.

Jacob is currently in charge of the police service and has been given the authority by the Ministry of Finance to be the accounting officer to ensure the organisation is kept running.


"President nominates fifth, final candidate for PSC"

More in this section