PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, October 20, 2021 - Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar is hell bent on move on with its impeachment motion in Parliament against President Paula-Mae Weekes on Thursday, forcing her to demit office due what is said to be her disrespect of the Constitution in the selection of a new Police Service Commission (PSC) and the process of selecting a Commissioner of Police (CoP).
Persad-Bissessar said President Weekes had tarnished the selection process and the Opposition will move on with its impeachment motion against her on Thursday, on which the electoral college will vote.
The Opposition Leader told a United National Congress (UNC) on-line forum on Monday night that Weekes’ action was scandalous. “I once again remind Her Excellencythat no one is above the law. The Opposition will continue to hold the President accountable for her role in the constitutional crisis that we now face.
“The motion which I have filed in the Parliament to establish a tribunal to investigate the removal of Her Excellency Paula Mae-Weekes, ORTT, as President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is required more than ever to determine the facts of the events that led TT into this constitutional abyss.”
The President issued a statement on Saturday explaining that a merit list for the substantive CoP sent to her by the former PSC was withdrawn. She said she raised concerns about a change in a legal notice on the appointment of an acting CoP that did not state what was her role, and she had not engaged in misconduct.
Persad- Bissessar however said there was a conflict in the statements by Weekes about the dates a public officer met with her about the merit list and who that person was.
These discrepancies, she said, needed further clarification and sent a letter to Weekes requesting clarity: “In that advertorial, Your Excellency shockingly revealed that the Police Service Commission merit list for the Commissioner of Police was sent to you but then withdrawn. At no time over the past month did Your Excellency disclose that the PSC merit list was withdrawn.
“Furthermore, Your Excellency appears to acknowledge that a public official was responsible for interfering with this process at the President's house.I call once again on Your Excellency to disclose the identity of the public official and state categorically whether it was indeed the Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley or not.”
According to Persad-Bissessar, two affidavits sworn on September 27, by acting director of personnel administration Corey Harrison and acting deputy director of personnel administration Helen Warner, showed the dates and said that the explanations did not match.
“To compound matters, Her Excellency would have us believe that she remained silent when the merit list given to her was withdrawn, that she didn’t ask any questions as to why it was being withdrawn and on whose authority?”