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President Granger instructs Police Service Commission to halt promotions; Opposition Leader says order “unconstitutional”

FLASH BACK: President David Granger escorts Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo to the Conference room for their meeting Wednesday evening

President David Granger  has instructed the Police Service Commission (PSC) not to go ahead with promoting officers of the Guyana Police Force, a move that has raised concerns by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon confirmed Tuesday that the President last week advised the Commission not to proceed further appointments. “That’s the President’s decision. He doesn’t want them to proceed with any further promotion until further notice,” Harmon told Demerara Waves Online News.

The three-year life span of the current PSC expires on September 4, 2017 and the offices of Chairman and commissioners become vacant automatically.

The President’s instruction comes at a time when there is a Commission of Inquiry into the effectiveness of the Guyana Police Force in investigating a June 2015 alleged assassination plot against him that was reported in March, 2017.

The State Minister said it was the President’s decision and he would not comment on what influenced the decision or comment on concerns about its constitutionality.

The President, after meaningful consultation with the Opposition Leader and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, is responsible for the appointment of the Police Commissioner and the Deputy Police Commissioner. The PSC is responsible for appointments from Inspector to Assistant Commissioner. All lower promotions are done by the Police Commissioner.

Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo on Tuesday urged the PSC “not to succumb to these unconstitutional and unlawful directives but to continue to discharge its mandate in the manner provided for by the Constitution.”

Jagdeo charged that Granger demonstrates absolute disrespect and disregard for the letter and spirit of the Constitution and therefore, continues to contravene its provisions with impunity. In this case, the Opposition Leader cited Article 226(1) of the Constitution which states “In the exercise of its functions under the Constitution a Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority”.

“This is yet another vulgar and authoritarian attempt by the President to trample upon the independence and functional autonomy of a Constitutional Agency. The President and his Government continue, on a daily basis, to violate the rule of law, assault important democratic institutions and breach, in the most egregious fashion, the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana,” Jagdeo said.

The Commission of Inquiry has so far heard testimony that have implicated Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud and Acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine in alleged procedural wrongdoings connected and unconnected to the assassination plot.

  • Trump is a strong leader.Mr Granger has to become a strong leader…..not a wimp.No wonder we have so much confusion and dilatory behavior at the top of the GPF.
    Commissions life should end at Election Day. The new administration should not be hamstrung by having to deal with Commissions whose loyalties may very well be with the previous administration.

    • Col123

      ” Trump is astrong leader” ?????? Oh God… where are you?

      • rs dasai

        Col123
        Trump’s Mouth is.

    • rs dasai

      Burch
      Or with any ‘current’ administration which nullifies its mandate and send us back to square zero?

      • Col123

        Burch is acknowledging that Pres. Granger is not a strong leader. I suspect so also…looking at the level of Commissioned officers in NATO, most are with academic background in the arts..eg..Prince Charles kids ..but they are promoted to high ranks mostly NOT on merit..and I suspect Pres. Granger reached rank not on his merit…It is the reason why US will not permit Command and Control of its forces under any foreign Commander..they are some exceptions which are basically window dressings.
        btw..it is not difficult to square a zero..

        • Bro.,from de time yuh join de military, you are given a number and barring any promotions etc that number is significant in determining seniority.So ,all things being equal,by a process of seniority and promotion you will reach the top……unless as was started by Burnham and rigidly copied by Jagdeo,……. dem played around ; offered retirement; postings to Brazil; other hanky panky shenanigans, etc…..so that your “favored “wishes can be fulfilled.

          • Col123

            I have no doubt that promotions in the military and other related disciplines are favored… these are congressional appointments as you clear the promo. board….I have a friend from my CG&S class who made it to O8 ..MAJ Gen. in next to no time, simply because he treated a congressman’s father ..

  • Second Coming

    If the testimonies at the COI and other factors point to a breakdown and division in the police force, it makes no sense forging ahead with promotions. The police force needed overhauling and de-politicizing to function independently. But don’t hold your breath lest you turn blue.

    • rs dasai

      Expediency ,with fear, trumps.

  • Col123

    I hear you B…it is difficult and annoying to defend folks and their BS all the time..