President George Maxwell Richards says while he is unable to comment on the issue surrounding the revocation of Nizam Mohammed's appointment as the chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), a statement may be expected from his office "in due course" and he anticipates that notification will be sent to the Parliament for the appointment of a new chairman within the next two weeks.The President was speaking with reporters yesterday at the launch of the official Web site of the Office of the President at Knowsley, Queen's Park West, Port-of-Spain..Pressed by reporters to respond to Mohammed's termination of appointment, Richards said it was not appropriate for him to discuss the matter at that juncture and that a response to public concerns and questions over his decision may follow if and when it became necessary.He said of the issue: "I don't think we are taking interviews on this stage at the present time, I'm very sorry... not on this issue. Maybe we would, in due course, say something else."
On Monday, the President, in exercising the power vested in him under Section 122A (1) (d) and (f) of the Constitution (as amended), revoked Mohammed's appointment as chairman and member of the Police Service Commission with immediate effect.The revocation came ten days after Mohammed, at a Joint Select Committee sitting in Parliament, cited an ethnic imbalance within the upper echelons of the Police Service which saw African officers outnumber their East Indian counterparts.The cited particulars of Section 122A of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2006 state: "The President shall, after consultation with the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, terminate the appointment of a member of the PSC, if the member (d) fails to perform his duties in a responsible or timely manner;" and, "(f) demonstrates a lack of competence to perform his duties."
Asked whether he received any word on a replacement to Mohammed, Richards said there was a procedure which needed to take place before he was allowed to exercise any discretionary powers in regards to making an official appointment.He added: "There is a procedure for his (Mohammed) replacement which involves, first of all, the President, consulting with the Leader of the Opposition and the honourable Prime Minister, and on the basis of this, he will take a notification to the Parliament which will presumably, in its affirmative resolution, appoint a member."It is only when that happens, can the President appoint a new chairman in his own discretion," Richards said.
He was referring to Section 122 and sub-sections (1) - (6) of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2006, which stated that "a chairman and four other members", inclusive of the remaining commissioners-Jacqueline Cheesman, Martin George, Addison Khan and Kenneth Parker-"shall be appointed by the President in accordance with the section."The President added while he could not dictate the processes of Parliament, he anticipated a new chairman of the PSC would be appointed soon.He said: "I have no way of speeding up the Parliament in its activities."I have already initiated the process of consultations and I hope we can come to a conclusion in terms of a notification within the next week or two."