The legality of the appointment of acting Police Com-missioner Leroy Brumell is in doubt as there was no required consultation on it between President Donald Ramotar and Opposition Leader David Granger, but Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon yesterday said that anyone with objections can move to the courts.
“Why you want a comment about it? This is rather belated in the day, he has to act…,” Luncheon said when approached by Stabroek News on the issue.
“We made a point of the unconstitutionality of a matter and you know the course of actions we took,” Luncheon said in reference to the Constitutional Motion government has filed to overturn a parliamentary vote on the composition of the Committee of Selection. The government has argued that the make-up of several key committees must be based on the proportionality of seats that parties won at last November’s election.
Attorney Christopher Ram, in a letter published in yesterday’s edition of the Stabroek News, stated that the Article 211 of the Constitution provides for the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Police to be appointed by the President, after meaningful consultation with the Leader of the Opposition and the Chairperson of the Police Service Commission. Speci-fically, Article 211(2) makes the appointment of an acting Commissioner subject to the same constitutional requirements as the Commissioner.
“I am advised that there has been no consultation on the ‘appointment’ of Mr. Brumell. It is therefore my opinion that Mr. Brumell’s purported appointment is unconstitutional, null and void,” Ram said.
Opposition Leader David Granger, when contacted yesterday, told Stabroek News that he was not consulted on the appointment of Brumell as acting Commissioner even though the Constitution makes it clear that this should be done.
“I have not met with the president on the appointment of Mr Brumell, I have not even been told that Mr Brumell has been appointed as acting commissioner,” Granger said, adding that Brumell’s appointment is unconstitutional.
Luncheon would not comment directly, but suggested the court offers a remedy to settle the issue. “There is a debate by someone one… about the constitutionality of [Brumell’s] appointment, [and] I think that the remedies are available and [have] been used by us and for those who feel strongly those remedies are available to all Guyanese,” Luncheon said.
Asked whether the executive of the country should not uphold the constitution, Dr Luncheon said that executives all over the world, where constitutional laws rule supreme, continue to be challenged on constitutional matters.
“All over, we are not the first,” he said.
In addition to Brumell’s appointment, Ram also suggested that the substantive Police Commissioner Henry Greene is also holding the office illegally. “For good measure Mr. Henry Greene who is the substantive Commissioner was required, under Article 211 (3) to vacate office when he attained age fifty five (55).
He did not do so because according to Dr. Luncheon the government has entered into an agreement with him to continue until age 60. That agreement too is unconstitutional.
“So we are in the unique position where both the substantive Commissioner (Greene) and the acting Commissioner (Brumell) exist in a constitutional illegality,” he said.
If Brumell’s appointment is deemed illegal, it will call into question all of the actions he has taken in this capacity.