Letter: The People’s National Congress and its livid folly

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Dear Editor,

The recent announcement of the appointment of Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifton Hicken as Guyana’s Acting Top Cop has raised a stupendous objection from the leader of the People’s National Congress Reform, Aubrey Norton. This was even before Mr Hicken appointment takes effect from March 30, 2022. The People’s National Congress has called the appointment of Mr Hicken illegal. This is another bizarre misconception.

Mr Norton is also the leader of the coalition of convenience; A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) yet he never speaks on any issue in that capacity. This in itself is viewed as evidence of the fact that the other political misfits that revolve around the People’s National Congress are indeed nonentities and as such, require no publicity or even a simple mention as a form of recognition.

It is Aubrey Norton’s intention to become the leader of the political Opposition. However, whether this happens or not does not alter the fact that Aubrey Norton is an ineffective, uninspiring, and uncharismatic leader, who can never win any free and fair elections in Guyana. As it is he isn’t even a member of Parliament.

The People’s National Congress Reform is the only political party in Guyana that is historically embedded in unconstitutionality. Yet the PNCR constantly quotes from Guyana’s Constitution for the sake of their convenience. This was prevalent during the tenure of former President David Granger who whilst acting unconstitutionally; quoted the Constitution conveniently from the moment Retired Justice Patterson was illegally appointed as the Chairman of Guyana Elections Commission up until the People’s National Congress Reform surrendered the reign of power in 2020 amidst glaring unconstitutionality.

When the People’s National Congress Reform issues a statement as the Opposition; one is left to wonder if they purport to speak for all the opposition political parties of this country. The People’s National Congress Reform, with its current leadership, has become a terrible joke in Guyana and elsewhere. This tragedy is of their own making.

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic has long embraced the principles of democracy, constitutionality, and good governance. Article 211 (1) of Guyana’s Constitution is unequivocally clear. It states that “the Commissioner of Police and every Deputy Commissioner of Police shall be appointed by the President acting after meaningful consultation with the Leader of the Opposition and the Chairperson of the Police Service Commission after the Chairperson has consulted with the other member of the Commission’’.

The APNU/AFC have continuously humiliated themselves. In January 2022, Joseph Harmon, a tainted political figure, resigned from being the Opposition Leader. Through petty politics, the coalition has failed to replace him. This, however, cannot undermine the smooth functioning of the State and its entities. It has become clear that the PNC-led Opposition, who are in a state of nothingness is trying to appear functional. The PNCR and its leader need to desist from this obnoxious publicity stunt.

It is clear that there is no Opposition Leader in Guyana; so, who should the President have consulted with? The Guyana Police Force cannot function without leadership, as the Opposition does. The appointment of a Commissioner of Police is further delayed by the failure of the PNC-led opposition. The Police Service Commission is without a Chairman. This is even as the Parliamentary Committee of Appointment has already nominated four members to sit on the new Police Service Commission. The Chairman of the PSC is appointed after consultation between the President and the Opposition Leader, and as there is no Opposition Leader, the process is hindered. Aubrey Norton knows this.

The President of Guyana has acted quite responsibly in appointing Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifton Hicken to act in the capacity of Commissioner of Police. This was necessary as was highlighted by the President in a media release. Guyana cannot wait until the People’s National Congress Reform gets it right. The show must go on and on it will go.

Mr Clifton Hicken has a distinguished service record in the Guyana Police Force. He served as Divisional Commander in A and B Divisions and up until his appointment was the Deputy Commissioner of Operations. He is very professional and is quite popular, especially in challenged communities. He has helped many youths in these various communities in many ways and is more than competent to act as the Head of the Guyana Police Force.

Sincerely,
Nkosei Williams