Service commissions to be appointed after Guyana gets new opposition leader

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo says that once a new Opposition Leader is in place, the government will be ready to establish several service commissions that constitutionally require consultations.

With Mr. Joseph Harmon having resigned from the post of Opposition Leader, the People’s National Congress Reform-led opposition coalition is continuing internal manoeuvres for Mr. Aubrey Norton to become a parliamentarian and voted in as Opposition Leader by a majority of parliamentarians from A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC). 

“Now, they are in the process of electing a new Leader of the Opposition so once that person is in place, we anticipate that by the end of February, we should have all of the Service Commissions in place,” Mr. Jagdeo said. The Teaching Service, Judicial Service, Public Service and Police Service commissions have the constitutional authority to recruit, promote and discipline personnel at certain levels.

He noted that already four names have been approved for the appointment of a Police Service Commission, with the next step being a motion to go to the National Assembly for approval.

Vice President Jagdeo also remarked that the current internal politics of the coalition proves that then Opposition Leader Harmon had no mandate to make decisions.

The High Court is yet to rule on whether the previously constituted Police Service Commission had properly promoted more than 100 officers. President Irfaan Ali had then gone on to suspend the Police Service Commission pending disciplinary proceedings against that body, but a Judicial Service Commission had not been constituted to establish a tribunal.

A High Court action had eventually dragged out leading to the eventual expiration of the life of the PSC. The Attorney General Anil Nandlall wants the High Court to throw out the case on the grounds that the legal action could no longer be proceeded with by a now expired Commission.

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