President Anthony Carmona has deferred two planned appointments to the Integrity Commission.
Carmona, who had initially planned a media conferencefor June 12 at9 am to announce the two new commissioners, suspended the proceedings after he received an "undated, faxed" letter from Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley at 8.15 am on Friday morning.
The media conference began some two hours after its scheduled time when Carmona confirmed that he was not naming the two commissioners as planned because of the letter from Rowley.
"I am prepared to exercise my discretion to afford additional time to Honourable Leader of the Opposition and in the circumstances, I have since dispatched a letter to the Honourable Leader of the Opposition indicating that I have afforded him additional time and that I expect his response to my proposed appointments by Monday 22 June 2015," Carmona said.
Carmona detailed the timeline in which his picks for the Integrity Commission were communicated to both Rowley and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, saying that both offices had received letters of consultation on his two picks since June 9.
He said Rowley did not communicate with his office on the proposed appointments but instead took the public forum to state his dissatisfaction withCarmona's picks.
"It is indeed regrettable that the honourable leader of the opposition in his wisdom sought to first ventilate, inter alia, his request for additional time in the public domain," he said.
Carmona, prior to the "undated faxed" letter from Rowley, the Office of the President was never contacted.
He said Rowley never acknowledged his letters of consultation, nor did he object to the proposed appointments.
Carmona said Rowley never requested dialogue and discussion since the letters were first dispatched on June 9.
Another letter was sent to Rowley today giving him the additional time requested, he said.
"I have afforded him additional time and that I expect his response to my proposed appointments by Monday 22 June, 2015," Carmona said.
The Integrity Commission was hit last month when two members suddenly walked out of their posts. The first resignation by Dr Shelley-Anne Lalchan was reportedly for personal reasons, but deputy commissioner Justice Sebastien Ventour quit suddenly after chairman Zainool Hosein authourised a statement terminating the protracted Emailgate investigation into key government ministers, including the Prime Minister.