The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) has declared vindication in the controversial appointment of Deputy Police Commissioner Oral Williams.
The DLP has now demanded an apology from Prime Minister Mia Mottley and senior members of her administration, accusing them of flouting the law of the land.
The appointment of an additional Deputy Police Commissioner was legislated retroactively in an amendment to the Police Act when lawmakers met on Tuesday.
According to DLP leader Verna DePeiza, the amendment “had as its sole intent the creation of the second post of Deputy Commissioner of Police with effect from May 1, 2019. The matter must now also be addressed in the Senate and signed into law by the Governor General, before being gazetted”.
De Peiza said that the DLP had questioned the legality of the appointment from the very start but was met with personal attacks on herself as well as General Secretary Guyson Mayers, a former head of the Police Service Commission.
Said the DLP president: “The Prime Minister, as she is wont, launched a virulent attack on the President and General Secretary of our Party; two appropriately qualified attorneys-at-law.
“She said we did not know the law, clearly did not speak to each other, and sought to implicate Mr Mayers in the appointment.
“Most importantly, she defended the legality of the appointment, stating emphatically that she had laid the appropriate papers in Parliament since February and the law had been repealed.”
De Peiza also expressed concern about comments made by Permanent Representative to the United Nations Elizabeth Thompson on social media.
She said: “Most disturbingly, the country’s Ambassador to the United Nations Elizabeth Thompson forgot her diplomatic credentials and mounted the online social media platform to throw some licks’ of her own and beg someone to ‘send fuh lil smelling salts fuh [Senator] Caswell [Franklyn] and Verla do!’
“The [DLP] holds the view that the Prime Minister of Barbados, the Attorney General and Ambassador Thompson owe the entire country an apology for misleading the country on this issue, whether by intention or inadvertently. Questions have to be raised and answered as well about suitability for office of senior counsel who do not know the laws of the land.”
On Tuesday, Attorney General Dale Marshall told the House the appointment was in response to a request from Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith who penned a letter to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs on November 7, 2018 requesting the additional post of Deputy Commissioner within the RBPF.
He further argued that the arguments surrounding the creation of the post did not include that the Barbadian public felt that the appointment of a second deputy commissioner of police was not justified.
“The Democratic Labour Party held its ground that the post could only be created by amendment to the existing Police Act, knowing full well that time would reveal the truth of the issue,” said DePeiza.
“The Democratic Labour Party is vindicated in the stance it held on behalf of the people of Barbados. Our laws are not to be flouted at will.”
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