Elections 2020 are about governance for the people, by the people in accordance with…

first_imgDear Editor,Yes! Yes! Yes!  The triple affirmation made by the APNU/AFC MP Charrandas Persaud reverberated in Guyana and wherever Guyanese were around the globe one year ago. David Granger’s Government had fallen on a No-Confidence Motion; what has followed is a chronicle of shameless behaviour that will affect Guyana’s system of parliamentary democracy for generations to come. Granger refused to comply with the clear provision of the Constitution and remains in Office to this day; this obdurate stance has consequences that bear examination.Granger’s decision to seek clarification of various aspects of the no-confidence vote on spurious grounds such as what number constitutes a majority of the 65 member Parliament were greeted with incredulity by those with a modicum of mathematical ability. Other grounds such as the validity of the vote of a dual-citizen and whether an MP could vote against the list that placed him (Charrandas) in Parliament at least passed the credibility test.Chief Justice George refused to invalidate the NCM and the matter should have ended there. Granger insisted on an appeal and inexplicably, two of the three members of our Court of Appeal overturned the CJ’s decision that 33 votes constitute a majority and suggested that 34 votes were the required number for a majority vote in a 65 member House. The Court of Appeal decision was handed down 10 hours past the deadline for elections imposed by the Constitution.On June 18, the Caribbean Court of Justice restored the Chief Justice’s ruling and deemed the NCM validly passed. 179 days had passed since Charrandas broke ranks with APNU/AFC before the judicial system deemed it validly passed.  Confidence in the Constitution and our Judiciary have been done grave damage during this past year; Guyanese pride themselves on being a literate society that upholds the rule of law as a basic tenet of governance.  Many cannot countenance a usurper Executive and prefer to ignore the reality for the sake of peace. A future where feigned ignorance by the Executive results in six-month delays in interpreting provisions that “require no gloss” is a very real possible consequence.The NCM put the Guyana Elections Commission in the spotlight. GECOM used to be a temporary institution, dissolved three months after every election it was brought to life to manage. All of that changed and by virtue of the Constitution (Amendment) Act No 2 of 2000 and GECOM became a permanent body.  It was GECOM that made the recommendation to the constitutional reform committee that a General and Regional Elections could be held within 90 days of notice. But in 2018/19, GECOM was itself under siege from the unconstitutional appointment of James Patterson as its Chairman by President Granger. Ignoring plain English, Granger ascribed powers onto himself to make a unilateral appointment after refusing to accept 18 names of prominent and respected Guyanese citizens whom he (Granger) deemed unfit for the office.James Patterson made many changes in the makeup of the staff of the GECOM Secretariat, which resulted in an Ethnic Relations Commission inquiry. Patterson and staff of the GECOM Secretariat did not appear before the ERC even though that body concluded that in the case of the hiring of the Deputy CEO “By all objective criteria, Mr Persaud was, on the available evidence, the most qualified candidate for appointment to the position of DCEO. By long-established practice, the candidate acquiring the highest score secured the appointment”. Using the existing process at the Commission, Chairman Patterson used his casting vote on the seven-member Commission, against Persaud’s appointment. On December 27, 2018, GECOM declared itself ready, willing and able to conduct credible elections on or before March 21, 2019, as stipulated by the Constitution. One day later, Nigel Hughes posited that 33 was not the majority of 65 and GECOM’s state of readiness deteriorated. GECOM then fell into goose-step with Granger as a period the Stabroek newspaper famously labelled as ‘temporising’ began.In June 2018, arguments in the CCJ indicated that the court would rule the unilateral appointment of Patterson as unlawful, null and void; almost simultaneously there was every indication that the NCM would be ruled validly passed. On the 12th and 18th, both judgments were delivered as expected. The most generous calculation gave a deadline for stipulated elections on September 18; however, an order was signed by James Patterson to begin a House-to-House Registration exercise (H2H) preceded his departure and on July 20, GECOM began this exercise. The Chief Registration Officer, who also serves as Chief Election Officer, explained that he was preparing for elections and conducting the verification exercise simultaneously.On July 27, one day after being labelled a temporiser for incredulously insisting he had a right to nominate as well as appoint persons for the Chair of GECOM, only weeks after a CCJ decision outlined that this was unlawful. Granger appointed Claudette Singh as Chairman of GECOM upon the submission of her name along with five others by the Leader of the Opposition in accordance with the Constitution. The retired Justice was asked to join the crab dance with mud being slung in wild fashion and faced the unenviable task of unravelling the confusion caused by the insistence on beginning H2H sixty days before elections were constitutionally due.Lawyers were like flies on honey in the courtrooms, the nation was reeling under the weight of legalese; On August 27, Chairman Singh ordered a halt to the H2H exercise saying “Cognisant of all that has transpired over the past months, GECOM has an obligation to produce a credible Official List of Electors (OLE) in the first instance and ultimately credible elections within the shortest possible time,” The action did not result in GECOM being able to hold elections on or before September 18 and on the 19th, the hammer of the international community fell heavily on Granger and his Administration.Joint StatementThe United States of America Ambassador to Guyana, HE Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch, United Kingdom High Commissioner to Guyana, HE Greg Quinn and the European Union Ambassador to Guyana, HE Ambassador Fernando Ponz Cantó’s joint statement on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) proposed elections timeframe.“The United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union thank the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for devising a proposed elections timeframe for conducting General and Regional Elections.However, we deeply regret that, by surpassing September 18, the Government is currently in breach of the Constitution following its failure to adhere to the decisions of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on 18 June and its subsequent orders.This situation comes at great cost to the people of Guyana.  The prevailing political uncertainty undermines Guyanese institutions, compromises economic opportunities and delays development across all areas including infrastructure, education, health, and social services.  It also hinders our ability to support Guyana’s development needs.We, therefore, call upon the President to set an elections date immediately in full compliance with Guyana’s Constitution.”Guyana now had a usurper Executive, “illegal” was added to the “caretaker’ designation afforded by the CCJ. Not that Granger or his Ministers seemed to notice. Granger paid lip-service to the caretaker concept and pledged that he would abide by the constraints imposed by the designation such as restricted foreign travel by Ministers; thereafter it was ignored and Ministers have travelled freely for meetings in Washington, Spain, Dubai, and George Norton even turned up at a PanAm Sports awards in Florida last week. Unbothered became the theme for Granger and his cohorts. In the meanwhile, the quarterly reports of the Bank of Guyana and other financial data are telling a tale of their own.Capital expenditure rose over 29 per cent in the first half of 2019 as suddenly dozens of projects were deemed emergency works, this allowed the bypass of the Procurement Act and the drain on foreign reserves began to attract attention almost as much a the startling rise in the overdraft facility of the consolidated fund. After September 19 began a period that can only be described as ‘squandermania’. The reserves were outstripped by the overdraft leaving Guyana dependent on taxes to stay solvent.External debt has climbed to over 60 per cent of GDP, the highest in the post-IMF period (2006-present). Accounts of budget agencies such as Forestry, Mining, Lotto Fund have been decimated; billions spent, unaccounted for. David Granger arranged face-to-face meetings with select international oil companies in a surreptitious attempt to sell three-million barrels of oil to bolster the emptied treasury. The vigilance of the Opposition, international and local media has placed a bright light upon these unusual negotiations. A return to governance by parliamentary democracy would be most welcome by a population assaulted by a never-ending stream of financial scandals committed by the APNU/AFC.2019 let Guyanese know that constitutional rule of law is only as solid as the persons elected to govern by the provisions and principles therein. Bad actors will result in bad actions. GECOM’s Chair, Claudette Singh, is working through a plethora of issues methodically amidst much deliberate confusion and sabotage. Elections will be on March 2, 2020; three hundred and forty-seven days past due. The future of GECOM as a permanent body with a budget of billions annually and its role as keeper of the National Register of Registrants are in the balance.The elections in 2020 are not about ‘oil money, ethnicity or youth’; it is about governance for the people, by the people in accordance with the rule of laws outlined in our Constitution; or extending the life of an Administration that has turned willful ignorance into an art form. Those are the choices facing the electorate.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more

Virat Kohli praises Chahar brothers for outstanding bowling performance after T20I series win over WI

first_imgIndia skipper Virat Kohli heaped praise on Chahar brothers for their brilliant bowling display, terming Rahul outstanding with the new ball and Deepak for some fine swing bowling, as India beat West Indies in the third T20 to complete 3-0 whitewash.Seamer Deepak Chahar bowled a magnificent opening spell and ended with figures of 3 for 4 from 3 overs, which went a long way in restricting the West Indies to a manageable 146 for 6, while Rahul, playing his first game, chipped in with one for 27.”We wanted to try a couple of guys. We gave both the Chahar brothers a go in this game. It was Rahul’s first game and Deepak’s come back. Playing for the first time, I think he (Rahul) was outstanding with the new ball.”Pitch didn’t have much, there was a bit cloud cover but kind of swing he (Deepak) got early and got those three wickets really set West Indies back and they could not get to a big total,” said Kohli at the post match press conference.Kohli also applauded Bhuvneshwar Kumar, describing him as a “skillful bowler” but said it was Deepak’s performance that had impressed him a lot.”I think it was his (Bhuvneshwar’s) execution that pushed them back. Bhuvi is always been professional, a very skillful bowler. But I was definitely impressed with Deepak and how he bowled even with Rahul how he came back in the third over and got a wicket. I think it was a really good day for us as a fielding team, as a bowling unit and Deepak started it all for us,” said the 30-year-old.advertisementChasing a target of 147 on a slowish deck, Kohli anchored the innings to perfection with 59 off 45 balls while young Rishabh Pant was brilliant during his unbeaten 65 off 42 balls. India achieved the target in 19.1 overs.On his own innings, Kohli said: “I don’t think I need to prove myself with the bat or anything like that. I just want to do my job for the team. I don’t play for my own performance. It is just about getting the team across the line whether I score 20, 30, 40, 50, or whatever. I have been playing like that for 11 years so nothing new for me and no pressure at all.”Pant, who was widely criticised for his shot selection in the first two games, came up trumps in third T20 International, stitching a 106-run partnership with Kohli.Kohli said would be looking forward to seeing more such performances from the wicketkeeper-batsman in the coming matches.”For the first two games, he was really disappointed as he didn’t get any runs. He was playing well and hitting the ball well but that is how T20 cricket goes. Sometimes you don’t have the rub of the green but today he made sure that he applied himself and backed his skills, hit the big shots when required.”He played with the tempo of the innings, the tempo of what was required. Hitting the winning runs always gives you more confidence as a player, when you finish the game and come out not out batting in the end.”I am really looking forward to seeing more performances from him like this. He has got the tremendous talent we all know. It is all about getting into his zone and doing this more often for the team,” the skipper stated.India had exited the recent ODI World Cup after losing in the semi-final to New Zealand and Kohli said that the next one in 2023 is too far right now to think about and instead his team’s aim is to be one of most consistent sides in the world.”It’s too far to think about 2023 right now. For us, the priority always has been to be one of the most consistent sides in the world. I think in the last 3-4 years we have been able to achieve that. We are the number two side in the world and there is a good reason for that. We have been going to number one as well sometime,” he said.”You really start planning for the World Cup and looking forward to it 12 months to go and not four years away. The priority is to keep Indian cricket at the top. Play consistent cricket, go out and win games and find ways to win games for your team.”And that’s the reason we are one of the top teams in the world,” Kohli explained.India will next play three ODIs, commencing on August 8 at Providence stadium.advertisementAlso Read | Reliving India’s first-ever ODI win vs West IndiesAlso Read | India vs West Indies: Virat Kohli on the cusp of ODI milestonesAlso Read | Rahul and Deepak Chahar to play together for India for the first timeAlso See:last_img read more

Apple Launches its Watch Series 2 With a GPS and Water Resistance

first_imgAdvertisement On Wednesday as Cupertino, California-based tech firm, Apple Corp. was launching their most anticipated flagship, the ‘iPhone 7‘, Apple’s Chief Operating Office Jeff Williams showed off a new version of the Apple Watch, ‘Apple Watch Series 2‘, featuring a fast dual-core processor, a brighter screen, heart rate sensor, water resistant and a built-in GPS.According to Apple, the watch is designed with a GPS chip that allows for running and walking to be more accurately tracked during fitness sessions. The company adds that the watch is water resistant to a depth of 50 meters.Apple also showed off a number of new apps that come with the device, including Niantic’s popular location-based augmented reality game, Pokemon Go. The Apple Watch Series 2 is priced at $369 (roughly 1.3 million UGX), and will be available on September 16 as pre-orders are on September 9.[related-posts] – Advertisement – Apple’s first watch was shipped last year in April hoping for a new blockbuster product amid slowing iPhone sales, which contribute more than 60% of the companies annual revenue.While the company shipped 1.6 million devices from April to June, the product’s growth fell more than 56% from the same period in 2015, according to research analyst IDC.last_img read more

BENS BLOG Discipline for The Deserved

first_imgGood morning, Blog! How are you feeling before this fresh start? Thank God, we haven’t got an ungenuine, Corprorate Sympathiser ruling us! This election result is an announcement to several groups of people who like to huddle together:1) The Politically Correct. Even your mafia media isn’t strong enough to hold you up now. Stop worrying about offending the offensive and start dealing in facts. Brexit was your first message. AND NOW AMERICA HAS SMASHED YOU IN THE FACE TOO.2) The Corporate People. Farage and Trump run the world. And they’re coming after you. No more “we are in talks with Google”. It’s “if Google don’t pay their tax, like every other mug, we’re closing them down.”. Surely, it is clear too, that we aren’t interested in your silly vocab and untrustworthy antics. GET READY FOR THE STICK.3) Wage-Slaves. You’ve had 10 years of receiving more concessions than a Bet365 Punter. This was an election result, for the brave self-employed, still holding the flag up against all odds. I am CERTAIN that Trump and May will start attacking Staff rights. And it won’t be long until you’re paying for your own holidays and pensions. There won’t be employment tribunals to protect thieves, or HR provided, to listen to adults’ self-inflictions. Long live the zero-hour contract. And START TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS.OF COURSE, Blog, there will be discipline for lots of other members of the deserved, and I look forward to discussing them with you, later in the week. MARCH ON..!!Over and out, B xlast_img read more