Opposition Leader Joe Harmon has blasted President Irfaan Ali following revelations by the Chairman of the Police Service Commission that the President attempted to influence the Commission’s choices for promotions in the Police Force.
Mr. Harmon said he believes the President should leave office over his alleged interference in the work of a Constitutional Commission.
On Monday during a press conference, Police Service Commission Chairman Paul Slowe alleged that President Irfan Ali, during a meeting and phone calls tried to influence him to promote “his people”, Senior Superintendents Fazil Karimbaksh and Calvin Brutus to Assistant Commissioners. The President has since denied he ever attempted to interfere in the PSC’s work.
But in a statement, the Opposition Leader said the response by the President appears incoherent, erratic, and irresponsible and shows that the President is worried about the revelation made by Mr. Slowe.
Mr. Harmon said that there has been a trend in constitutional breaches on the part of the government since it assumed office and therefore, he has no reason not to believe Mr. Slowe.
“The APNU+AFC Coalition views the allegations made by Mr. Slowe, of political interference on the part of Mr. Ali as exceptionally serious and egregious. These allegations warrant independent and perhaps international investigation. Such interference is not provided for in the Constitution of Guyana nor should it be acceptable in any democracy”, Harmon said.
Mr. Harmon said the President’s alleged actions threaten both the independence and existence of constitutional bodies and are antidemocratic.
“The attempt to influence the work of the Police Service Commission is reprehensible and renders the President unfit to hold office and he should resign at once. This is a grave breach of the Constitution,” the Opposition Leader said.
The Opposition Leader made a call on Chairman and Prime Ministers of CARICOM, foreign governments, international and multi-national financial agencies, the United Nations and international human rights organizations to take note of what he calls worrying developments in Guyana.
In response to the Opposition Leader’s statement, the People’s Progressive Party said Mr. Harmon and the APNU/AFC should be the last to speak about these matters and the Opposition Leader’s outpourings constitute hypocrisy, duplicity and the shedding of crocodile tears.
According to the party, during its time in Government, there were numerous occasions when Government officials attempted to interfere in the work of various Service Commissions.
The PPP has also dismissed the statements made by the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and question his timing with the release of the statements.