Moments after the Guyana Police Force announced that Assistant Commissioner Clifton Hicken has been appointed to act as Police Commissioner, the Opposition People’s National Congress Reform called the move “illegal”.
“The Party, therefore, would like to use this opportunity to remind the government of Article 211 (1) of the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana which states that ‘‘the Commissioner of Police and every Deputy Commissioner of Police shall be appointed by the President acting after meaningful consultation with the Leader of the Opposition and the Chairperson of the Police Service Commission, after the Chairperson has consulted with the other member of the Commission’’, the PNC said.
The party noted that in the temporary absence of a Leader of the Opposition and the Police Service Commission, any appointment of Commissioner of Police or Deputy Commissioners of Police is plainly unconstitutional.
Additionally, the PNC reminded that the Public Service Rules clearly state that acting appointments must go to the most senior officer and based on the current structure and line of statutory succession, Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Williams remains the next in line.
The party said Mr. Clifton Hicken is an Assistant Commissioner and therefore, is junior in rank to Mr. Williams.
According to the PNC, To promote Mr. Hicken to the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police or to have him act in the office is “a blatant violation of the Constitution, and will be challenged in a court of law”.
“We hereby use this development to again call on the government to desist from the wanton politicization of the GPF. Further, we demand of the government to rescind this appointment and allow for a process of full transparency, legality, and meritocracy within the Guyana Police Force”, the PNC said.
There has been no Police Service Commission in place since the life of the last Commission expired last year while its members were under suspension from the President.