Former Acting Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Sir Brian Alleyne says Opposition Leader Ron Green ought to have been consulted during the appointment of the Acting Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Police.
The Opposition Leader Ron Green announced that UWP members would not be attending Parliament following the December 18, 2010 General Elections due to alleged improprieties which took place during the election campaign.
Following the elections, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit told a press conference that as it regards the appointment of the Acting Commissioner and Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police “You have to consult, but it doesn’t mean that you need the person to approve. You just need to say that there is no Leader of the Opposition and therefore you are unable to consult with the Leader of the Opposition and you make recommendation with the authority for the appointment as we have done in the case of the Acting and Deputy Chief of Police…”
But according to Sir Alleyne, Prime Minister Skerrit may have been ill- advised and the President of Dominica, His Excellency Dr Nicholas Liverpool, should not act on the appointments of the Acting Commissioner and Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police.
“As I understand the Constitution, the Opposition Leader remains Opposition Leader until the first sitting of the house and he ought to be consulted. In my view, if he had not been consulted the President ought not to act on the advice of the Prime Minster. To do otherwise is a breach of the constitution,” he said.
“If he is being advised to the contrary, he is being badly advised,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UWP made good on its promise to boycott the first sitting of the House of Assembly today…
Alleyne said the three members were supposed to have been sworn in today and many questioned whether they could still serve as parliamentary representatives.
“They remain … members of parliament, but until they are sworn in they cannot take their seat or function as members of parliament,” Sir Alleyne advised.
“If they miss three consecutive meeting within one session of parliament, they will lose their seats,” he said
Alleyne said this could prompt by-elections in the three seats namely Marigot, Salisbury and Roseau Central.
“It seems to me that if the UWP that has won those seats and contest those seats, the public may say that you have squandered it and may vote for the ruling party,” he observed.