COP, DCOP appointments: President sends list of 5 to Opposition Leader

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Maxine Graham

Assistant Commissioner of Police Lyndon Alves, Maxine Graham, Leslie James, Nigel Hoppie and Paul Williams have been selected by President David Granger to fill the positions of Commissioner of Police (COP) and Deputy Commissioners.

Notably absent from the list was acting Police Commissioner, David Ramnarine.

The list was sent to Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Tuesday evening.

This publication understands that the President did not identify his preference for the Top Cop post and that of the Deputy Commissioners but rather presented five names to the Opposition Leader.

Paul Williams

This however, is in contradiction with Article 211 (1) of the Constitution which states “The Commissioner of Police and every Deputy Commissioner of Police shall be appointed by the President acting after meaningful consultation with the Opposition Leader and Chairman of the Police Service Commission after the Chairperson has consulted with other members of the Commission”.

The consultation between the President and Opposition Leader is set for Thursday morning at State House, Main Street, Georgetown at 11:00h.

At that meeting, it is expected that the new Police Commissioner and the deputies will be named.

Lyndon Alves

While Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has recommended current acting Top Cop David Ramnarine for the post of Top Cop, he was not considered for the post or that of the Deputy Commissioner.

Only recently President David Granger had said that he wants an “unbribable” person to be appointed in that capacity. Following the retirement of Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud, there has been much speculation over who will succeed him.

Jagdeo, had voiced his opinion that Granger’s assertion that the Police Commissioner has to be “unbribable” leaves room for judgment to be passed on the rejected nominees.

Leslie James

“…what is he saying about the candidates who are there and generally, the [Guyana] Police Force? …In a way, it’s disparaging the people there and whoever he selects. People will feel that the other candidates were bribable, that’s why they were not selected,” he said.

While current acting Police Commissioner Ramnarine has held the fort for some time now and was perceived as a possible successor, the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into an alleged plot to assassinate the President put a damper on those chances.

Over the course of the CoI, a number of officers were summoned and even upbraided for their work during the investigation. Besides the senior officers, junior officers were also criticised by Commissioner Paul Slowe, who was appointed by the President to carry out the probe.

Slowe now heads the Police Service Commission.

Ramnarine was one of those who made an appearance before the CoI.

Nigel Hoppie

When the dust settled and the report handed over, it included recommendations for sanctions against Ramnarine for the handling of the investigation by the officers involved.

Ramnarine was later interviewed for the position of Police Commissioner.

In fact, Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo had raised concerns with the lack of transparency and openness surrounding the operations of the controversial Lindo Creek CoI.

He noted that it could very well result in stories being concocted and falsified to accomplish a particular political outcome.

More so, he added that the CoI was held to undermine those in the Police Force who had indicted their interest in the Top Police post.

Also interviewed for the top post were Assistant Police Commissioner Clifton Hicken and Marlon Chapman.

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