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|Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Clinton Conway in a scathing letter to the media expressed, “utter dismay that the illegal and not fully constituted Police Service Commission (PSC) led by pastor, Patrick Findlay unlawfully promoted two hundred and fifty-three members of the Guyana Police Force,” and charged that the promotions represent “a flagrant violation of the letter, spirit and intent of some of the most sacrosanct constitutional procedures.”
Referencing Article 210 of the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, which requires the PSC to consist of five members, Conway stated that four commissioners were “unconstitutionally sworn as members of the Commission.” And, “It is apposite to note that since there are only four members of the Commission it is not fully and properly constituted, so any action taken by the installed Chairman and other members must be deemed null and void,” he said.
Going through the paces of establishing understanding, the retired ACP outlined what the extant Article 210 states:
“( 1 ) of the Constitution states about the composition of the Public Service Commission, ” The Police Service Commission shall consist of – ( a ) a Chairman appointed by the President after meaningful consultation with the Leader of the Opposition from among members appointed under subparagraph ( c ); ( b) the Chairman of the Public Service Commission; ( c ) four members appointed by the President upon nomination by the National Assembly after it has consulted such bodies as appear to it to represent the majority of the members of the Police Force and any other such body it deems fit; Providing that a person should be disqualified for appointment as a member of the Commission if he or she is a public officer. ”
The current PSC was reminded that in the absence of “meaningful consultation between the President and the Leader of the Opposition” before the members were appointed and sworn by the President, this represents a clear violation of Article 210 of the Constitution.
Addressing the letter Minister of Governance, Gail Teixeira, recently wrote Leader of the Opposition, Aubrey Norton via Opposition Member of Parliament, Roysdale Force, S.C, on June 29, 2022, inviting him to have consultation with the President in relation to the Police Service Commission and other Commissions on July 4, 2022, Conway said this “is a belated effort to legalise the appointments of the members of the Commission.” The letter requested a meeting between the Opposition Leader and President to deliberate and validate in the present time appointments the President unilaterally made in the past.
The composition of the PSC, constitutionally, requires a member from the Public Service Commission in the person of the Chairman. To this, Conway pointed out,
And given that the present PSC is not established within the constitutional guidelines, Conway advised that “any action taken by the installed Chairman and other members must be deemed null and void [because] when you are illegal and you try your illegal best you are still illegal. Fraud is fraud.” In other words, all acts that flow from an illegally appointed commission are null and void.