President, Opposition Leader meet on Public Service, Police Service Commissions

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President David Granger [second from right] meets with Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo [right]; Anil Nandlall [left] and Gail Teixeira. [Ministry of the Presidency photo]

Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo this morning led a team to meet with a government delegation headed by President David Granger at State House.

The meeting was the first set of “meaningful consultations” to discuss the nominees for the appointment of the Public and Police Services Commissions.

Jagdeo said he related concerns that were raised with him by stakeholders about the nominees for the Public Service Commission but told the Head of State that the final decision is up to him.

Additionally, the Opposition Leader said he raised his own concerns about the proposed Chairman for the Police Service Commission, Paul Slowe, whom he pointed out has a history of political affiliation with the APNU since he had campaigned for the party in 2015.

Jagdeo also highlighted that Slowe has “interpersonal problems” with members of the Police Force and might be out to “settle old scores”. However, the President has assured that he will speak to Slowe about separating his personal issues when performing official duties of the Commission.

Nevertheless, Jagdeo said while he did his part by raising concerns, the decisions are now in the hands of the president since he has fulfilled the constitutional requirement to have meaningful consultations with the Opposition Leader.

The Leader of the Opposition was accompanied by former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall and Opposition Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira while Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams accompanied the President.

According to a brief statement from the Ministry of the Presidency, in an invited comment after the meeting, Minister Harmon said that the President as required by the Constitution, has consulted with Jagdeo and he expects that the Commissions will soon be sworn in. The statement did not detail the outcome of the meeting between the President and the Opposition Leader.

“As you are aware, these two Commissions, the life had come to an end many months ago but the process had required the National assembly to nominate some of these persons for both Commissions and once those were done; the President would consult with the Leader of the Opposition. So this is what took place this morning. The requirement was for meaningful consultation and not necessarily agreement and so that consultation took place and now I believe we can proceed with having the two Commissions established and the President at a short time from now will have those two Commissions sworn in so that their work can continue,” he said.

 

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