Acting Police Commissioner Erla Christopher's name has been submitted to Parliament for debate for the position of Police Commissioner, after the Police Service Commission (PolSC) delivered the merit list for the position to the Office of the President yesterday..
This was also confirmed via the Order Paper for Friday's sitting of the House of Representatives
Christopher's appointment will be the first order of business on Friday.
Guardian Media was informed that members of the PolSC delivered the merit list, with an accompanying letter, to the President’s office yesterday, just one day short of their January 31 deadline.
An official statement from the Office of the President stated that the notification was delivered to the President’s office, signed by outgoing President Paula-Mae Weekes and forwarded to the Parliament.
Once the recommendation reaches the Parliament, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is expected to lead the debate on whether the PolSC’s top candidate will be accepted or rejected.
According to the House of Representatives Order Paper for the February 3 sitting of Parliament, the first order of business will be the notification from the President in respect of the nomination of Christopher, the current acting CoP, for appointment to the office of Police Commissioner.
Guardian Media understands Christopher, former Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and former acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob all applied for the position.
According to Section 123 of the Constitution, the Commission shall select the highest-graded candidate on the Order of Merit List and submit that candidate’s name to the President.
The Constitution further states that if the House of Representatives does not approve the highest-graded candidate, other nominations in order of merit may be submitted to the House.
“Where the Order of Merit List is exhausted, the process set out in this Order shall be recommenced,” the Constitution states.
The current PolSC, led by retired Justice Judith Jones, was appointed in November 2021, after the sudden resignation of all members of the former Bliss Seepersad-led Commission.
Seepersad’s team had submitted a merit list to President Weekes but that list was immediately withdrawn, leaving in its wake accusations of political interference by Prime Minister Rowley.
The withdrawal of the list came after Rowley submitted a report on the operations of the TTPS Firearms Unit to the Commission. After much public outcry, Weekes eventually broke her silence, denying she had participated in or encouraged interference in the separation of powers.
The Prime Minister also denied seeing the merit list or giving any instruction related to it.