My answer to Freddie Kissoon question is: Yes there is a law to remove Carvil Duncan. Article 225 of Guyana’s Constitution is clear. The President is empowered to execute disciplinary control where he can “suspend the officer from performing the duties of his office and any such suspension may at any time be revoked by the President”. In some cases, the President may establish a tribunal or consult with his Chancellor.
Allow me however to revisit his ascendency and trace how we got to such a disgraceful situation and the relevance of Carvil Duncan to Guyana’s politics today. Carvil Duncan was a roots trade unionist, unassuming, unfashionable, seemingly pedestrian, emerging from the ramparts of Critchlow and Burnham’s Guyana Labor Union (GLU). He was made Chairman of the Public Service Commission and by Constitutional edict, sits on the Judicial Service Commission, Police Service Commission, Teaching Service Commission. By discretion of the previous government, he was appointed to the Board of Directors for Guyana Power and Light (GPL). Carvil Duncan is a mixed metaphor of a trade unionist and a politician who quickly bought into the culture of the greed and graft of the previous administration.
Carvil Duncan’s ascendancy to these political offices is no mystery since the chasm grew wider between the Guyana Trade Union Congress (GTUC) and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions (FITUG); the latter being loyal to Jagdeo’s PPP mandate. In the thrust to further break the Unions, Duncan in the Guyana Times of October 15, 2013 argued that contract workers had the right to join Unions. Historically, it is in the courts’ jurisdiction, not trades union, to arbitrate when there is a dispute in an independent contract. There is further confusion of his role as Chairman to the Public Service Commission when he lost his voice as legally appointed public servants were fired by order of Government Ministers and their hand-picked Permanent Secretaries, but I presume we will hear much more of his stewardship from the COI into the Public Service.
So, this ordinary waterfront workers’ advocate of the 1970’s would have logically traded in P50 motor cycle for a Prada or something as exotic to keep apace with his Pradoville comrades of the Millionaire Club. Carvil Duncan, like many others in the previous government, lives in denial of the changes since May 11, 2015. Even in the face of larceny charges while on the GPL Board of Directors, he has so far not taken the moral high-ground to resign from the Commissions, especially the Judicial Service and Police Service Commissions, until his case is finished.
The lack of political action by the coalition government to recall Duncan is also baffling, based on the fact that it was elected on a platform for political change and anti-corruption. It should not fall prey to the opposition cry of witch-hunting.
Carvil Duncan seems to lack the necessary obligation to this nation. He joins the company of open opportunist and perks masters. He is a liability now and his services should be dispensed with or at the least, he must be reined in! Article 225 of Guyana’s Constitution is clear. The President is empowered to execute disciplinary control where he can ”suspend the officer from performing the duties of his office and any such suspension may at any time be revoked by the President”. In some cases, the President may establish a tribunal or consult with his Chancellor.
Finally, if Duncan is not aware of his moral obligation to the Guyanese tax-payers or believes that he can continue to serve on these Commissions unchecked, he should have a rude awakening. President Granger is on solid constitutional grounds to act by the powers vested in Article 225, Article 203(6), and Parliamentary Act 199(3).
The Commission of Inquiry(COI) Report and Duncan’s relevance to politics and the public service is another matter.
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