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Kamla: President must demit office over police commissioner crisis – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, seen here in 2018 with President Paula-Mae Weekes, has filed a motion with Parliament calling for a tribunal  to investigate Weekes' conduct in the appointment of a police commissioner. File photo -
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, seen here in 2018 with President Paula-Mae Weekes, has filed a motion with Parliament calling for a tribunal to investigate Weekes’ conduct in the appointment of a police commissioner. File photo –

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is adamant that the President must demit office due to her disrespect of the public and the Constitution in the selection of a new Police Service Commission (PSC) and the process of selecting a Commissioner of Police (CoP).

She said the President, Paula-Mae Weekes, has tarnished the selection process and the Opposition will move on with its impeachment motion against her on which the electoral college will vote on Thursday.

Speaking at the United National Congress (UNC) virtual forum on Monday night, Persad-Bissessar described Weekes’s action as scandalous and disingenuous.

“I once again remind Her Excellency that no one is above the law. The Opposition will continue to hold the President accountable for her role in the constitutional crisis that we now face.

“The motion which I have filed in the Parliament to establish a tribunal to investigate the removal of Her Excellency Paula Mae-Weekes, ORTT, as President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is required more than ever to determine the facts of the events that led TT into this constitutional abyss.”

Weekes on Saturday issued a statement published in daily papers in which she explained that a merit list for the substantive CoP sent to her by the former PSC was withdrawn, she raised concerns about a change in a legal notice on the appointment of an acting CoP that did not state what was her role, and she had not engaged in misconduct.

But Persad- Bissessar said the statement raised more questions than answers.

She pointed out that there was a conflict in the statements by Weekes about the dates a public officer met with her about the merit list and who that person was.

These discrepancies among others, she said, needed further clarification and sent a letter to Weekes on October 18 requesting that.

The letter stated, “In that advertorial, Your Excellency shockingly revealed that the Police Service Commission merit list for the Commissioner of Police was sent to you but then withdrawn. At no time over the past month did Your Excellency disclose that the PSC merit list was withdrawn.

“Furthermore, Your Excellency appears to acknowledge that a public official was responsible for interfering with this process at President’s house.

“I call once again on Your Excellency to disclose the identity of the public official and state categorically whether it was indeed the Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley or not.”

Persad-Bissessar said two affidavits sworn on September 27, by acting director of personnel administration Corey Harrison and acting deputy director of personnel administration Helen Warner, which were publicly available, showed the dates and that the explanations did not match.

“To compound matters, Her Excellency would have us believe that she remained silent when the merit list given to her was withdrawn that she didn’t ask any questions as to why it was being withdrawn and on whose authority?”


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