Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley today served notice that he will be ready whenever Attorney General Dale Marshall returns to Parliament to legitimize the appointment of Deputy Commissioner of Police Oral Williams.
He told Barbados TODAY his People’s Party for Democracy and Development (PdP) has started to craft its response but declined to give details, even as he rapped the AG for “the bungling around the illegitimate appointment of a second Deputy Commissioner”.
Bishop Atherley said: “The Opposition PDP is deliberating what our position would be on the matter right now. I would not want to be forthcoming with that position, since we are actually in the process of discussing that matter.”
But he insisted that the AG’s response is not sitting well with the party, which is insisting that Parliament should be treated with much greater respect.
He told Barbados TODAY: “The manner in which it was addressed almost constitutes a fairly glib response but certainly the Parliament of Barbados must be taken more seriously than that.
“You just can’t come in an ad hoc manner and do things that you have bungled, because you have been corrected only after two or three stern rebukes or reprimands that you say you are going back to Parliament.”
It was the PDP’s spokesman on the Public Service Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn who drew national attention to Deputy Commissioner Williams’ appointment.
He pointed out that Police Act only makes provision for single deputy commissioner of police and therefore the appointment would require an amendment to the legislation.
On Tuesday, Marshall confirmed that Williams was appointed to the post in May 2019 and confirmed on March 15 but without the required changes to the Police Act.
“We take note that the Police Act only speaks to a single Deputy Commissioner of Police and it is therefore to be regretted that the required amendment did not take place in advance of this confirmation,” Marshall said in his statement while assuring Barbadians that necessary changes would be made to the law once Parliament resumes.
Atherley said the development is all the more reason for Government to stay clear of “politicisation of and or interference with the Administration or Operations of the Royal Barbados Police Force,” noting that there were other areas of concern.
The Opposition Leader said: “This is not the first instance of major bungling unfortunately by this administration.
“One recalls from day one the bungled attempt to appoint two Senators. One recalls the about turn on the matter of capital punishment.
“There was also the debt restructure issue with reference to pensioners. Additionally there was the mis-step on the approach to passing marijuana legislation.
“There was the reversal of the corporation tax policy, first in terms of increase and a few weeks later a drastic reduction. More recently we have witnessed the amendment of the criminal justice legislation without consultation even with the Bar Association.”
Atherley was adamant that the Government’s parliamentary majority was no legitimate basis for “a callous approach to governance or for indifference to the opinions of Barbadians”, stressing that this must not be allowed or encouraged.
Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.
Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados' FREE latest news.