Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is calling for the resignation of Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi following the collapse of the Police Service Commission (PolSC). She also called on the President’s Office “to explain.”
Persad-Bissessar’s call comes after PolSC Commissioner Dr Susan Craig-James resigned making the body inquorate.
“The authors of this shameful debacle which plunged the Police Service and the nation into a constitutional crisis must be held to account,” she said in a media release yesterday.
Persad-Bissessar said PolSC Chairman Bliss Seepersad and Commissioner Roger Kawalsingh “must have some shame and follow their honourable colleagues’ actions and resign immediately.”
“The Office of the President must explain why it failed and/or neglected and/or omitted to follow the Constitution and forward a notification to the Parliament of the merit list of nominee/s for the post of Acting Police Commissioner,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar also said it was “alarming” that the Office of the President could say that Parliament was apprised.
“This is categorically not true. There is no notification with Parliament,” she said. “In any event, the law provides that before any notification is sent to Parliament, Her Excellency is obligated under law to first consult with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. To date, no such consultation has taken place with me as Leader of the Opposition.
“Her Excellency appears to be once again falling into legal error,” Persad-Bissessar said.
But her ire seemed more directed to Al-Rawi, who she claimed “birthed” the entire situation with his “incompetent and dangerous legislative work and advice.”
“This is the second time the Attorney General has interfered and tinkered with the process of choosing a CoP. His first attempt was struck down as being unconstitutional by the court, after a team of lawyers including myself, challenged it in court,” she said.
“This second attempt has now resulted in the disastrous collapse of the entire PolSC and questions about the role of the Office of the President.
“Even the Prime Minister now accepts the advice of retired Judge Nelson that the Attorney General’s order was bad. It must be noted that the Attorney General has consistently defended the actions of the PolSC, the same actions which have now led to the PolSC’s demise,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley accepted that the AG “acted incompetently over this serious matter.”
“No one in Trinidad and Tobago can now have confidence in Faris Al-Rawi to continue to hold his post,” she said.
“I remind the Prime Minister, Attorney General Al-Rawi, Chairman Bliss Seepersad, Roger Kawalsingh and Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes that no one is above the law or above accountability. These individuals must answer to the people of Trinidad and Tobago for the crisis they created,” Persad-Bissessar said.