Vincel Edwards

Retired Deputy Commissioner of Police Commissioner Vincel Edwards has withdrawn his name for consideration as a member of the Police Service Commission.

Edwards was nominated to be a PSC member.

The nomination is on the Order Paper of the House of Representatives and was to be read on Monday. But yesterday President’s House said Edwards’ withdrew his name, as he wanted to allow the President a free hand moving forward to select a new PSC.

This was revealed by President’s House in a statement.

The President has to reconstitute the PSC after three commissioners­—Courtney McNish, Susan Craig-James and Roger Kawalsingh—resigned in the last week followed by former chairman Bliss Seepersad on Thursday.

The three former Commissioners disagreed with Seepersad following the start of the selection process for a Police Commissioner in June. A key issue that subsequently developed was said to have been the matter of administrative leave for acting Police Commissioner Gary Griffith.

After the leave was ordered, Griffith challenged it. But the PSC later dropped the order for leave and Griffith went on leave voluntarily. He’s currently overseas and will reportedly return around mid-month.

Edwards’ name had been submitted to the 11th Parliament in July 2020 nominated by the President for the PSC. That Parliament‘s term ended in 2020. Edwards’ name was resubmitted to the Parliament and last month the clerk of the House of Representatives was asked to place the notification on the Order Paper.

But yesterday Edwards put a stop to the process.

According to President’s House, “Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes has today withdrawn the notification of Dr Vincel Edwards as a nominee for member of the Police Service Commission.”

The statement explained that, “Dr Edwards who was recently conferred with a Doctorate of Philosophy in Law from the University of Wolverhampton, has stood down in order to allow Her Excellency the widest consideration in re-constituting the five-member Commission.”

The statement explained the legislation requires that the members be persons qualified and experienced in the disciplines of law, finance, sociology or management.

“After suitable, willing candidates are identified, the President will consult with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition before issuing a Notification to Parliament which is subject to affirmative resolution of the House of Representatives.

“As each Notification is approved, Her Excellency will appoint the Member to the Police Service Commission,” the statement added.

A source told Guardian Media debate on notification for members of the PSC may not take place until November, once interested people are found.