The resignation of Dr. Susan Craig-James from the Police Service Commission, (PolSC) coupled with the recent resignation of Courtney McNish means that the Commission has collapsed as it is now inquorate.
The authors of this shameful debacle which plunged the Police Service and the nation into a constitutional crisis must be held to account.
1) PolSC Chairman Bliss Seepersad and Member Roger Kawalsingh must have some shame and follow their honourable colleagues’ actions and resign immediately.
2) The Office of the President must explain why it failed and/or neglected and/or omitted to follow the Constitution and forward a notification to the Parliament of the merit list of nominee/s for the post of Acting Police Commissioner.
3) President’s Office Error in law again
a) It is alarming that today’s media release from the President’s House (see attached para 2) states that “there is a notification which is with Parliament at this time”.
b) This is categorically not true. There is no notification with Parliament.
c) In any event, the law provides that before any notification is sent to Parliament, Her Excellency is obligated under law to first consult with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. To date, no such consultation has taken place with me as Leader of the Opposition. Her Excellency appears to be once again falling into legal error.
4) This entire crisis was birthed by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi’s incompetent and dangerous legislative work and advice. This is the second time the Attorney General has interfered and tinkered with the process of choosing a CoP. His first attempt was struck down as being unconstitutional by the court, after a team of lawyers including myself, challenged it in court. This second attempt has now resulted in the disastrous collapse of the entire PolSC and questions about the role of the Office of the President.
Even the Prime Minister now accepts the advice of retired Judge Nelson that the Attorney General’s order was bad. It must be noted that the Attorney General has consistently defended the actions of the PolSC, the same actions which have now led to the PolSC’s demise.
Keith Rowley accepts that Attorney General Faris acted incompetently over this serious matter: no one in Trinidad and Tobago can now have confidence in Faris Al Rawi to continue to hold his post.
I remind the Prime Minister, Attorney General Al-Rawi, Chairman Bliss Seepersad, Roger Kawalsingh and Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes that no one is above the law or above accountability. These individuals must answer to the people of Trinidad and Tobago for the crisis they created.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC MP
Leader of the Opposition
25th September 2021