Saturday 19 September, 2020

Motion to approve Top Cop nomination defeated

The motion to approve the notification of acting Deputy Commissioner of Police Harold Phillip to the office of the Commissioner of Police was defeated in Parliament on Monday.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley moved the motion to approve the President’s notification of nomination of acting DCP Phillip during a special sitting of Parliament this afternoon.

Today’s special sitting of the House came after Leader of Government Business Camille Robinson-Regis last Tuesday indicated that she was informed by the Clerk that a document had come to Parliament as it relates to the notification for the nomination of Phillip.

The Minister said she instructed the Clerk that the matter will not be proceeded with.

Opposition Leader accused the government of gross incompetence over what she said was moves to subvert the Constitution with regard to Minister Camille Robinson-Regis’ instruction to the Parliament not to proceed with debating the nomination.

The Opposition Leader was not present during today’s sitting.

During his contribution on Monday, Rowley said the Leader of Government Business was right to assert that the Government will not support the nomination from the beginning.

He said Government cannot support the nomination as the process is flawed.

The law requires the creation of a merit list. That merit list for Commissioner of Police exist. The government is not prepared to accept persons who didn’t apply for the job and therefore Mr. Harold Phillip does not qualify to get government support,” he said.

The Prime Minister further criticized the current system for the appointment of a Top Cop.

“We have now put a system in place where the Prime Minister must have no say in the appointment of a Commissioner of Police. What we have now is a veto on steroids where everyone must agree. We are now following the law as outlined and now the country is confused but we have to follow the law,” Rowley said as he made his contribution.

Meanwhile, Chaguanas West MP Ganga Singh accused Government of gross incompetence.

He said Government did not follow the law when Minister Robinson-Regis instructed the Clerk that the notification for nomination of Phillip will not be proceeded with.

The House was adjourned sine die.


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