Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform, Aubrey Norton is making his position clear that he is not prepared to support the appointment of Assistant Commissioner of Police, Clifton Hicken to head the Guyana Police Force.
Hicken has been coming in for high praises from some sections of society since his appointment as acting Top Cop, with even one private sector organization calling for him to be confirmed in the position.
But for Mr. Hicken to be confirmed in the position of Police Commissioner, he will need the support of Mr. Norton who is set to become Opposition Leader at the next sitting of the National Assembly.
During a press conference today, Mr. Norton criticized Mr. Hicken’s appointment.
“The appointment of Hicken remains unconstitutional and is of no legal validity. Article 211 (2) of the Constitution, which specifically mandates meaningful consultation with the Leader of the Opposition and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, makes that abundantly clear,” Mr. Norton said.
There is currently no Police Service Commission and the Opposition is currently without an opposition Leader. The Attorney General has argued that the President acted out of necessity in his decision to appoint Hicken as Acting Police Commissioner.
The PNC Leader has shut down that position.
“Many Guyanese have noted the lame efforts of the PPP/C government (through its Attorney General) to justify the appointment of Clifton Hicken as acting Police Commissioner. Before an unconvinced public, the PPP and its Attorney General submitted the excuse that the so-called Doctrine of Necessity has forced their hands. The Doctrine of Necessity cannot. It cannot be used to excuse a flagrant breach of the Constitution. In the case of David Patterson v Attorney General, the Courts have only recently rejected the Attorney General’s embrace of this doctrine”, he said.
According to Norton, he is convinced that there are moves to politicise the Police Force.
“The appointment of Hicken is another manifestation of the lawless and undemocratic approach to governance which has always characterized PPP misrule. It is also a clear manifestation of the politicization of the Guyana Police Force and confirmation that the PPP does not believe in, or practice, governance based on the Rule of Law,” Norton said.
Two former Assistant Police Commissioners who both served on the last Police Service Commission have also raised a red flag over the appointment of Mr. Hicken to the position of Acting Police Commissioner.