Appointments of the members of the Police and Public Service Commissions are expected soon following a consultative meeting yesterday between President David Granger and Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, at State House.
The Leader of the Opposition was accompanied by former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, and Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira.
Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams, accompanied the President.
Following the meeting, Jagdeo said that he expressed concerns over the proposed appointment of Paul Slowe as Chairman of the Police Service Commission.
“I expressed my concerns about Paul Slowe, about how partisan he has been. From my understanding, he has substantial baggage with the leadership of the Police Force; that is, bad inter-personal issues and I expressed the hope that these will not cloud his judgment in that particular position,” Jagdeo told reporters.
The Opposition Leader stated that the President assured him that he will speak to Slowe about the concerns.
Slowe was appointed last July to head the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the alleged assassination plot against the President. By August 31, after public hearings, the report was submitted to the President with wide-ranging recommendations to reform the top brass of the Force.
It was during the PPP Government that Slowe, an Assistant Commissioner, was denied promotion within the Guyana Police Force before he retired in 2010. If the President holds firm to his decision, Slowe will chair the Police Service Commission, which is empowered to undertake promotions and disciplinary proceedings in the Force.
Slowe was nominated by the Parliamentary Select Committee of Appointments along with Clinton Andrew Conway, former Assistant Commissioner of Police; Vesta Geneva Adams, former Woman Assistant Commissioner of Police; and Claire Alexis Jarvis, former Woman Assistant Commissioner of Police.
The life of the former Commission, which was chaired by Omesh Satyanand, expired in August 2017.
The National Assembly has approved the nominees for the Public Service Commission as Vincent Bowman and Mortimer Livan, which were put forward in the eighth report of the Committee, which was published in March.
The life of the Public Service Commission also expired in August 2017.
Minister Harmon said that the President as required by the Constitution, has consulted with Jagdeo and he expects that the Commissions will soon be sworn in.
“As you are aware, these two Commissions, the life had come to an end many months ago but the process had required the National Assembly to nominate some of these persons for both Commissions and once those were done; the President would consult with the Leader of the Opposition. So this is what took place,” Harmon noted.
He further explained that the requirement was for meaningful consultation and not necessarily agreement.
“That consultation took place and now I believe we can proceed with having the two Commissions established and the President at a short time from now will have those two Commissions sworn in so that their work can continue,” Harmon said.
The appointments and consultations are being made under Article 210 (1) of the Constitution.
The two sides also discussed other national issues including security, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the humanitarian concerns at the border communities with Venezuela.
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