Go back to parliament for Top Cop’s appointment

-Govt urges PNCR

Stabroek News
December 14, 2002

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The Government is calling on the opposition People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) to return to parliament so that Commissioner of Police designate Winston Felix can be appointed and other policemen can be promoted.

In a release yesterday, the PNCR said it understands that the acting Commissioner of Police, Floyd McDonald had “applied for an extension of his tenure for another six months, from January 1, 2003 and the PPP/C regime, ridiculously enough, has indicated an intention to grant it.” But the Home Affairs Ministry, in a press release, described the PNCR’s allegation as “mischievous and untrue”.

“The President has, after consultation with the leader of the opposition earlier this year, indicated that [Felix] would be appointed the new Commissioner of Police,” the Home Affairs Ministry said.

The ministry release further pointed out that the PNCR is needed to “facilitate the urgent constitution of the Police Service Commission (PSC) so as to allow for the appointment of [Felix]...and the promotion of hundreds of hard working and deserving gazetted ranks of the Guyana Police Force.”

Additionally, the ministry stated, consultation with the PSC is a constitutional prerequisite to the appointment being made. The police service commission is also constitutionally empowered to make promotions of the gazetted ranks of the Guyana Police Force. It said the promotion and disciplining of officers of the Police Force cannot be addressed because of the non-existence of the PSC.

“By staying out of Parliament, the PNCR is denying our police ranks bread. Sadly, other categories of deserving Guyanese are being denied promotions and appointments as a result of the PNCR staying out of Parliament. The urgency and necessity of the Police Service Commission and other constitutional commissions being set up require the presence of the Opposition in Parliament which cannot be over-emphasised,” the Home Affairs Ministry stated.

The impasse between the government and the opposition parties over a range of matters has prevented the setting up of the Appointive Committee of Parliament which is pivotal to the constitution of the service commissions.

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