Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo will meet officially with President David Granger today at State House to consult on the appointment of members of the Police Service Commission, the Public Service Commission, and the appointment of a substantive Police Commissioner.
This was revealed by Jagdeo on Wednesday at his weekly press conference held at his Church Street, Georgetown office, where he noted that his meeting with the President was based on an official invitation extended to him.
The National Assembly had approved the nominees for both Commissions on June 25, 2018. Retired assistant Commissioners Paul Slowe, Clinton Conway, Vesta Adams and Claire Jarvis will sit on the Police Service Commission, while Vibert Bowman and Mortimer Livan will sit on the Public Service Commission.
However, the Opposition Leader said he would not release the names of the proposed nominees for the Commissions, until possibly after the completion of
consultations with the President. This is especially given that Granger’s nominees for the Chairpersons of both Commissions have not been made public.
“I’m not aware that the President has released the names of the people that he intends to consult with me on, so out of courtesy, what I will do, I will not release those names today, I will await the consultations to take place and maybe after the consultations I can then speak again with the media,” he said.
However, he noted that he was concerned about the President’s nominee to head the Police Service Commission. According to him, the individual is political and has done political work on behalf of the coalition Government. “The Police will not be treated fairly, that is my fear…the Police Force, I think, will be further demoralised. I will address these concerns with Granger,” he said.
Currently, Assistant Police Commissioner David Ramnarine is acting in the capacity of Guyana’s Police Commissioner. He has been interviewed as part of the selection process.
The other seven Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) interviewed for the post are Crime Chief Paul Williams; ACP (Operations) Clifton Hicken; Force Finance Officer Nigel Hoppie; A Division Commander (ag) Leslie James; substantive A Division Commander Marlon Chapman, who is currently on leave; B Division Commander Lyndon Alves; and ACP (Administration II) Maxine Graham, the first woman contender ever for the post of Police Commissioner.
However, the Police Service Commission must first be fully constituted before any selection could be made. The National Assembly has approved some of the names following consultations with key entities.
The nominations for the Police Service Commission were received from the Association of Former Members of the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Police Association.
Meanwhile, Jagdeo said since it was a rare opportunity to meet with the President, he would try his best to raise several other issues that have serious national consequences for Guyana. He said he planned to raise the issue in relation to the syndicated bond for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) among others. Both men are also expected to also discuss a number of constitutional matters.
“So, I’ll try to eke out a few minutes to try to raise a couple of the issues I have concerns about…And it is GuySuCo and the bond, because I believe we are borrowing billions of dollars that will harm the treasury … if they have a clear plan to phase the borrowing … and other important matters that came up recently that I will chose to speak about tomorrow (today),” he added.
The Opposition Leader had already said that having looked at the Private Placement Memorandum for GuySuCo, he was shocked by the contents of the agreement.
Jagdeo, an economist by training, had said the general perception was that Government was raising $30 billion to spend on GuySuCo, on the remaining three estates. However, the memo tells a different story, as it has stated explicitly that the $30 billion that they agreed to would go to long-term projects instead.
“We don’t know what the projects are as yet, but you would recall that this bond is only for five years. So, they’re borrowing on a short to medium term, for long-term projects. You tend to match your borrowing with the life of the project. Normally, we would borrow on concessional terms for long-term projects.”
The last meeting between Granger and Jagdeo occurred in May, when the two sat down to have meaningful consultation on the appointment of the persons to the two highest positions in the judicial system. The men had differing opinions and to date, no appointment has been made in that regard.