Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton, through his representative Member of Parliament Roysdale Forde, is seeking answers to a number of questions regarding the President’s nomination of Asst. Police Commissioner Clifton Hicken to act as Top Cop and the basis for delayed consultations when the President has already made the appointment on his own.
In response to an invitation from the Government for meaningful consultation on the appointment of an Acting Police Commissioner, Mr. Norton is questioning whether the President is seeking to exercise his constitutional duty to appoint Hicken on two separate occasions and he also wants the President to point to the Constitutional provisions that he used for his earlier unilateral decision to appoint Hicken as the Acting Police Commissioner.
“If indeed, there is no error in your letter with respect to the declaration that the President did, in fact, consider it ‘his Constitutional duty to appoint Mr. Clifton Hicken to act in the office of Commissioner of Police, with effect from the 30th day of March 2022′, can you please indicate the basis and authority for the President to exercise his Constitutional duty again”, Norton requested.
The Opposition Leader said he considers the answers to the questions necessary and prerequisite to him engaging in any process of meaningful consultation with regards to the appointment of a person to act in the office of Commissioner of Police of the Guyana Police Force.
He said the need for clarity has assumed greater significance in light of the institution of two court proceedings over the President’s unilateral appointment of the Acting Police Commissioner and his unilateral appointment of a Chairman of the Police Service Commission.
Mr. Norton said he would only consider engaging in meaningful consultation with the President when he is in possession of the answers to the questions raised.
The Government has indicated that the President’s unilateral appointment of Mr. Hicken as Acting Police Commissioner was done at a time when there was no Police Service Commission and no Opposition Leader in place.