Ominous Signs of Dictatorship
The situation became even more transparent when it became known that Minister Harmon had written the Police Service Commission (PSC) on behalf of the President instructing them not to proceed with any promotion of officers.
This is unlawful and unconstitutional.
The PSC is a constitutional body and should be independent. It was so designed to protect it from political interference of the very nature that we are seeing at this time.
This is subversion of an important constitutional body. It is unfortunate that the PSC succumbed to that diktat. This can prove to be tragic, for it is another step in the direction of a dictatorship.
Recently, President Granger made the bold ascertain that the Police Force would be shaken up.
What does he mean by that?
Why is he not allowing the Police Service Commission to do its work? His assertion sounds more like a directive.
Many persons have argued that they don’t see anything wrong with the President and Minister Harmon instructing the PSC to not to proceed with any promotion of officers. However, it is important to look at the process to see the direction the country is heading.
The earlier PNC regime (1964-1992) did not become a dictatorship in 1964. It took time. It began with the small steps - bribing people to cross the floor, placing unprofessional people in important positions, for example, the Speaker of the National Assembly, etc.
The small steps added up and before we knew it, we were living under a dictatorship.
Over the last two years, this regime has been moving quickly to de-professionalize the public service, harass and harangue officials to get their own way.
Already, i t has been pointed out that the National Assembly has deteriorated and is really not a forum for debates and discussions. Opposition MPs have been severely restricted in their presentations. They are often regularly interrupted during their speeches by the Speaker. They are even harassed, as we have seen with Bishop Juan Edghill, who has been dragged before the Privileges Committee for inconsequential issues. The government MPs have done far worse, but they do not receive the same treatment.
We have seen the Courts delaying giving decisions in cases, for example, the case where farmers from the West Berbice had their human and constitutional rights violated, by the regime taking away their lands. The first case was concluded months ago by the present Chancellor (ag), but no decision has been given to date.
The Elections Petition case cannot yet be heard even though the Court ruled against the Elections Commission, which tried to halt the hearing.
We have witnessed the harassment of many officials of the PPP/C government, including former President Jagdeo, many former Ministers, and former Head of the Presidential Secretariat, among others.
SOCU, a body set-up to fight money laundering, is being turned into a political enforcer for the PNC/APNU Party. Only political opposition or perceived political opposition members are being harassed.
In the meantime, obviously very questionable transactions go on with impunity - the drug bond scandal, the more than $600M drugs deal and the huge amount of projects being awarded without going to tender, etc.
The drive to politicize the Guyana Police Force using a CoI is just the latest in a long line of actions that is leading once more to the path of lack of accountability, transparency, the emasculation of Constitutional bodies and the gradual erasure of the separation of powers.
People be warned!