Sunday, December 17, 2017

...Rowley: He resigned out of frustration


Not surprised: Keith Rowley

Mark Fraser

OPPOSITION Leader Dr Keith Rowley yesterday said he was “not surprised” by Prof Ramesh Deosaran’s resignation as the chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), as he believes it was done out of “frustration”.

Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi yesterday said the People’s National Movement (PNM) is willing to repeal the law to select this country’s Police Commissioner, which Deosaran has consistently deemed a “convoluted” process.

Rowley and Al-Rawi made the statements at Bali­sier House, Port of Spain, yesterday before the party’s general council meeting.

“I am not surprised (at Deosaran’s resignation). As a matter of fact, you would recall that I did not support his return as chairman, so my perspective of the whole situation is that we were not making any progress there,” Rowley said.

On May 16, members of the PNM abstained from voting to approve President Anthony Carmona’s nomination to have Deosaran re-appointed as PSC chairman.

“I have not read his resignation as yet, but I get the sense that it is frustration,” Rowley said.

“There is a general lack of confidence in Trinidad and Tobago which is being masked by bomb blasts and misinformation and when Prof Deosaran could have gone there only a few months ago, resign now; it really does not help our effort in the face of an extractable crime wave and all the other matters taking place now,” he said.

Al-Rawi said the resignation of Deosaran is “very, very serious”.

“We as an opposition have told the Government that we would convene any day, any time with five minutes’ notice to repeal the unwholesome arrangement for the appointment of a commissioner of police. In five minutes flat in one sitting of the Parliament,” Al Rawi said.

“Those arrangements were put in by UNC (United National Congress) insistence in what you call shotgun legislation, where there was no clear parliamentary majority for the PNM when in government and they insisted on these arrangements,” he added.

“The appointment of a permanent position for Commissioner of Police is a critical issue and we think the Parliament would be by far better served in spending its time in emergency session in dealing with an appointment of a full-time commissioner of police rather than limping along in the limbo we are in for national security,” he said.

Rowley said the PNM meeting yesterday was not as a result of panic, but rather confidence.

Rowley is expected to chair a news conference at 10 a.m. today to discuss what took place at last night’s meeting.