THE EDITOR: So Gary Griffith sees nothing wrong with the leader of a political party applying for the job of Commissioner of Police. He may be right. Applying for the job is one thing, getting it is another. He supported his argument on the basis that he was a former national security minister – a political appointee – when he was last selected as the CoP.
There are fundamental differences between a minister appointed by a political leader and a political leader. One of the aims of any political leader is to unseat the rival leader. And Griffith knows this all to well. He has pompously made it known that he aims to remove the ruling PNM government and unseat Prime Minister Rowley from his Diego Martin West seat in Parliament.
With that kind of political intention Griffith has made himself unfit to serve in any position that would give him political leverage.
And by chance should the Police Service Commission (PSC) members keep God out of their thoughts and recommend him for the post it is the same Dr Rowley he would face when that recommendation goes to Parliament.
While I am on this point, Griffith’s argument in support of his application makes the UNC campaign about “political interference in the selection of the CoP” stand on its head. What was all this noise about? UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has already said she supported Griffith’s position. What a confused bunch of people offering themselves to represent me at the highest forum in our nation.
There are several citizens who were able to exit politics and assume non-political jobs in our country. But none had been the leader of a political party.
I was there in Parliament when PNM’s Patrick Manning and UNC’s Basdeo Panday agreed to allow Parliament to have the final say in the appointment of the CoP. And we all agreed. The process was that the President receives the nomination from the PSC and forwards it to Parliament for acceptance or rejection. And in the case of rejection the PSC would make further submissions from its priority list until Parliament is satisfied with the candidate nominated.
Griffith ought to be smart enough not to be fooled by popularity or unscientific high public ratings considering the current method in law for selecting a CoP. It is not a popularity contest. The law itself places the final selection in the hands of the politicians at the level of the Parliament. Is that institutional “political interference?”
Griffith will be well advised to step away and perhaps concentrate on putting some political life in his National Transformation Alliance (NTA). It appears, at this time, to be dead on arrival.
former UNC MP