A constituency system

first_imgThe new group – Reform, Inform, Sustain, Educate (RISE) Guyana – which initially described itself as a “group of free-thinking, post-racial, individuals” pushing for “constitutional reform”, has now decided it is a “movement”. They had committed to holding countrywide consultations on the subject, presumably in parallel with the Government which had budgeted million for their own efforts. Not much was heard about either set of consultations, save an event organised by the now ubiquitous 10th Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana (as the invitation insisted on pointing out), who, perhaps aided by his Cabinet, organised “a distinguished and knowledgeable panel” to discuss “Constitutional Change: To court brave change or to leave well enough alone”.The RISE Guyana Movement, part of the “distinguished and knowledgeable panel”, proposed as part of the constitutional changes contemplated, the electoral system revert from Proportional Representation (PR) utilising a single list of candidates to the “first past the post” constituent system (CS), such as had prevailed during the colonial era. They did not elaborate whether their proposal came out of their “nationwide consultations” or full blown, like Athena from Zeus, from their own brows. Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary of the Guyana Trades Union Congress (TUC) pointed out that this electoral feature is presently covered by the “Representation of the Peoples’ Act” (RPA), which goes back to 1964 when the British made their initial change from CS to PR; and as such, a reversion did not require “constitutional change”. One cannot CHANGE in the Constitution what is not present in the Constitution: one can only INTRODUCE.Rather than conceding their faux pas, the “distinguished and knowledgeable” RISE Guyana Movement rather snarkily purported to “educate” Lewis on the workings of the electoral system since 1964. But it would appear that they, “distinguished and knowledgeable” as they might be, also need some “education” on the subject. They claimed in their latest missile (sic) to Lewis that the RPA “was designed by the politicians of the day for the purpose of protecting their parties and perpetuating the dominance of those existing parties.”But any primary school student who covered the Social Studies curriculum would know that the CS to PR change was made by the British to oust the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) from office. Protesting this “fiddled” arrangement, Jagan famously cried, “If PR, then CR!!” Unfortunately for him and his supporters, the People’s National Congress (PNC) coalesced with the United Force under PR in 1964 and it was the PPP that suffered “CR” for the next 28 years. While the CS was the method for “democratic” elections in Britain and its colonies from the onset of that method of governance, the British claimed PR would achieve the same goal RISE now champions for its elimination: the end to “race-based” voting. Prior to 1964, the PPP had won general elections handily because their more widely geographically distributed supporters gave them an advantage under the CS. In the 1961 elections the combined percentages gained by the PNC and US were greater than that of the PPP, yet they lost.The theory proffered by the British was that since the entire country was one constituency and there was no minimum per cent cut-off, there would be a proliferation of parties elected to the Legislature, since each would need only a few thousand votes to gain one seat. This would result in a fairer allocation of seats matched to votes garnered. But it was common knowledge, and confirmed by declassified files, that the British actually made the change because they wanted regime change.It is to be noted that others beside RISE have noted the pros and cons of both PR and CS and we presently have a hybrid system where we have 25 seats elected directly from constituencies and the remaining 40 from PR. Rather than only focusing on constitutional changes to move voting beyond “race”, maybe the “post-racial” members of RISE should inform the rest of Guyana how they were able to achieve this blessed state under the present Constitution.last_img read more

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Scala to Supervise Integrity Check on FIFA Candidates

first_imgThe Daily Observer has gathered that Musa Bility is not worried but happy that the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee, established to oversee the election process for the office of the FIFA President, has appointed Domenico Scala as its chairman.The Liberian football chief is quoted as saying that Scala – a dual Swiss/Italian national, is an upright and intelligent person, who has drawn a wide range of large businesses, senior leadership and multicultural experiences. The source, who begged anonymity in an exclusive interview, said Bility is confident that Scala would ensure a fair and unmistakable integrity check, and there is no reason not to be happy.The source further said Bility believes that he would pass the ‘integrity check” because Liberia, under his leadership, has been one of the outstanding countries that presented an annual audited financial documents to the FIFA and is in “good standing with CAF and WAFU.”The source indicated that Bility declined to discuss his fine and suspension by Confederation of African Football (CAF) and how they would dim his chance over the integrity check.It may be recalled that CAF fined Liberian Football Association $10,000 and banned Bility for using minutes from a CAF executive committee meeting without permission.Bility was against Caf’s rule change to the process that effectively allowed president Issa Hayatou to be re-elected unopposed in March.Bility twice took an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but was unsuccessful. Prior to his clash with CAF, Bility also opposed FIFA president Sepp Blatter and supported Mohammed Bin Hamman – calling for an end of continuity and a new dawn. Hamman was banned from the elections for paying members of other nations’ Football Associations to support his FIFA presidential election campaign.Later, Bility was forgiven and was defeated in the CAF’s executive committee member elections, but many stakeholders said Bility’s unpopularity was because of the “truth” he said to Blatter and Hayatou – “for those who speak the truth always stand alone.”The source further said Bility’s tax evasion case in Liberia which is still in court wouldn’t also affect his integrity check, arguing that he has not been found guilty.Recently, Bility reconfirmed his seriousness to contest the FIFA Presidential election, which is scheduled for February 26, 2016.Bility, like all candidates, needs the written nominations of at least five associations to put his name forward for “integrity check” for the final announcement of the candidates. The deadline is October 26.Though CAF refused to endorse the candidacy of Bility, he laughed off the rejection and clarified that he did not go to get a unanimous vote.“I was given an opportunity to explain and lay my platform. That’s why I went and I’m happy I got it,” Bility said.Bility said even if CAF does not support him after the next and final meeting, he would salute CAF and move on.UEFA boss Michel Platini and Chung Mong-joon have also expressed interest to join the race.According to WorldFootball.com, Chung Mong-joon’s FIFA presidential campaign could be over almost as soon as it has begun.Unconfirmed report suggests that the South Korean billionaire risks a ban of up to 15 years from all football activities because of his ‘persuasive’ efforts in support of his country’s vain bid to host the 2022 World Cup finals.German ethics chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert is still studying results of the inquiry into the awards of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar. The investigation was undertaken by now-departed American attorney Michael Garcia and is being maintained by Swiss lawyer Cornel Borbely.As it relates to Platini’s campaign, Prince Ali, who stood against Blatter in the last presidential election, said that “football fans and players deserve better,” and Platini would be a bad choice.Meanwhile, this is the first time for an Ad-hoc Electoral Committee to be set up in FIFA as part of the Electoral Regulations for the FIFA Presidency.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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A closer look at Ogle Airport Inc. saga

first_imgDear Editor,It is with some interest that I am following the saga involving the Ogle Airport Inc. and the monopoly position that is occupied by one family. What is happening is a failure of the trust, powered by greed.My understanding of the evolution of OAI revolves around what I described as one of progressive experiments in public/private partnerships.  Five operators who, through the use of the Ogle aerodrome, benefited from the generosity of the state, would form themselves into a company; and that company would have the facility to develop for the benefit of these operators and the industry as a whole.The state provided the land through a lease at peppercorn rent, and the state also on-lent a two million Euro EU facility to the OAI interest free.  In addition, the state invested millions of dollars in equipment necessary for the proper operation of the airport.How one family has dominated the business activities and grown to have virtually total control of the Ogle Airport is a matter for the partners who were all outmanoeuvred.  Government trusted that the spirit of the initial pact would be honoured.  I also feel that the original partners operated with a great amount of trust among themselves.Warning signals went unheeded, the challenges of one of the largest operators and its public spat with OAI is well documented in the media.  The concerns of emerging operators who cannot have accommodation is also made public.In all of this, the state has a responsibility to ensure that OAI stays faithful to the spirit and letter of its agreement with the state.When the state makes concessions to allow businesses to grow and to power larger economic growth, it does so because it does not want to burden Guyanese businesses with huge unaffordable initial capital outlays.To acquire that amount of land and the investment in buildings and instruments would have cost OAI more than fifty million US dollars. These peppercorn leases were never intended to allow the lessee to extort huge supernormal profits by on-leasing at astronomical rents to others.  Thus the state has a provision that the lessee must have the state’s approval to sublet to others.  If a citizen get a house lot and wants to sell it before a certain amount of years, the house lot owner/buyer has to pay a penalty to the state. I know that an element of market value is applied in calculating this penalty.I want to advance a formula to the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission/Ministry of Public Infrastructure where subletting at Ogle is concerned.  Let OAI pay an annual processing fee for the sub-letted portions.  The annual processing fee would equal Proposed subletting rent per acre less (-) annual lease rental of $6This way, any exorbitant rental fee would come to the state.In addition, the state has to be concerned with maintaining a competitive market economy and guard against monopolies.  We have to ensure that the smaller firms in any industry are not challenged with predatory practices. While we still have a long way to go to set and police general principles, we must deal condignly with the specific cases that emerge. Moral suasion, while not a panacea, could be a mechanism to start with.Thank you.Sincerely,Name suppliedlast_img read more

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Quarterly GDP to be disseminated from 2017 – Guyana Bureau of Statistics reveals

first_imgThe Guyana Bureau of Statistics will be releasing quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) updates from 2017, said Senior Economic Statistician Ivor Coates on Thursday at the agency’s end of year press conference at Cara Lodge.Coates stated that while the economic system would have changed overtime, Guyana’s national accounts is based at the year 2006, which is 10 years since the Bureau’s last rebasing.Nevertheless, he announced that the agency is working to rebase the national accounts system to 2018 in light of the recent oil find.“Statistics is more than what the Bureau does, it involves the entire economy, every single household, and our work entails more than what was done in 2012. It involves what goes into the National Budget as well,” he said, adding that they are responsible for the GDP which was presented in Parliament.He stated that they are always pressing themselves to do more and so in 2017, they will commence a series of quarterly disseminations of GDP estimates.“…I know data users are excited about that we are being asked on a regular basis about quarterly estimates and more timely data. Before the end of the first quarter of 2017, we will have our first data series of quarterly GDP,” he said.He mentioned that they are also hoping to rebase their GDP estimates to the year 2020 and that work will be ongoing. It has already started with support from the Canadians.Presently, Guyana’s GDP stands at a dismal 2.6 per cent.last_img read more

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Brazilian businesswoman slapped with fraud charge

first_imgThe charge against Brazilian Businesswoman Buenos De Roacha read that, with intention to defraud, and knowing the document she was tendering was forged, she uttered to Police Constable Kevin King a forged birth certificate in favour of herself, purporting to show that same was issued by the General Registrar Office.The offence was allegedly committed on August 30, 2017 at the Central Passport and Immigration Office; and on Thursday, August 31, before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, De Roacha entered a not guilty plea in regard to the allegation.According to her defence counsel, the fifty-two-year-old mother of three is a Brazilian national who has a fixed place of abode in Alberttown, Georgetown; and does not pose any risk of flight on the basis that she has, with her husband, been (jointly) operating a restaurant in the city for the past ten years, which he posited is an indication of strengthening bonds with the country, rather than having a desire to flee same.But Police Prosecutor Arvin Moore strongly opposed the defendant being placed on bail, arguing that the seriousness of the offence, coupled with the insecurity of the Guyana/Brazil border which facilitates easy cross-border travel, and especially considering that the defendant is a Brazilian national, ought to preclude the defendant being placed on bail.Moore attested that the woman did not follow through with the legal process of acquiring the birth certificate document, opting rather to transact business with someone she had met at the restaurant, who had promised to acquire for her the certificate free of cost.He said investigations had also revealed that a Guyanese Identification Card (ID) had been obtained in favour of the accused, and he said De Roacha may just find herself before the Georgetown Magistrates Courts once more if the ID is found to be forged as well.De Roacha has nevertheless been placed on 0,000 bail, and her matter has been transferred to the court of Magistrate Fabayo Azore, where it will be called again on September 13, 2017.last_img read more

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England football scout caught up in Paris attacks admits he feared for his life

first_img Stade de France 1 England scout Alan Cork said he feared for his life as he watched France play Germany amid the Paris attacks on Friday night.Cork, 56, was at the Stade de France to watch France, England’s opponents on Tuesday, when the stadium became a target of terrorists amid a series of attacks across the French capital which killed at least 132 people.Three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the stadium after failing to gain access. The blasts were heard inside the ground, and Cork said his colleagues alerted him to what was going on.“We felt like fish in a barrel,” the former Wimbledon and Sheffield United striker said in The Sun. “I was wondering if I would get out of there alive. You put a brave face on it but inside I was frightened, I can’t deny it.”He added: “People were desperate to get out, because we were hearing these stories of men with machine guns trying to get in. All sorts of thoughts were running through my head, about my wife, about my kids.“You just don’t expect to experience these things at a football match. It’s not meant to be like that.”The former Cardiff and Swansea manager will not be at Wembley for Tuesday’s friendly with France – he will instead head to Hannover where Germany play Holland – but backed the decision for the match to go ahead.“Friday was terrifying but you can’t let these people win,” he said. “That’s why it is so important that England’s friendly against France goes ahead on Tuesday.”last_img read more

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Tottenham midfielder pens new deal

first_img Harry Winks is a product of Spurs’ youth system Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks has signed a new contract with the Barclays Premier League club.Winks, 20, is a product of Spurs’ youth system and his new deal will keep him at the club until 2019.The England youth international has made two appearances for the first team in the Europa League this season, including the 3-0 win over Fiorentina in February, in addition to a solitary outing in the same competition last year.Winks told the club website: “I am delighted. As a young player it’s everything you want. “You want to be around top players and at a top club that’s pushing for the best honours.“It’s a fantastic club to be involved with, especially at such a young age. “The manager trusts young players and I’m grateful for the chance he’s given me.” 1last_img read more

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It’s the most overblown nonissue of the year – so have a merry Christmas

first_imgWhile the nation looks to elect a new religious leader/president, I’m sitting in my dentist’s office reading an article about how Mormons and evangelicals disagree about whether the Holy Trinity comes with or without body. The Mormons go for an embodied God. The evangelicals don’t. Me, I’m a Catholic. For the first 10 years of my life, I thought that the Holy Spirit was a bird. Give me a break – the third part of the Trinity was usually depicted as a dove. Blame it on 14th century church art. Now consider this e-mail sent just the other day by a reader: “This country was founded by our forefathers on a belief in God. If you don’t like it, leave. It’s that simple.” Luckily, it’s not that simple. Nothing ever is. While I’d like to leave the country, or at least take two weeks in Hawaii, which isn’t technically leaving the country, I can’t. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThe reader was referring to a recent column on the removal of the cross from the L.A. County seal and another piece on the Pledge of Allegiance, which was a piece of hack writing produced for an NEA convention and later appended by the DAR and the American Legion to include the words “under God.” Whereupon it was accepted as actually having been written by God. Not that such things mattered for a long time because for a long time Americans seemed to understand that confusing church with government would only result in people asking one another to leave the country. Then came Ronald Reagan’s need for votes and, well, now we have an America where nobody can shut up about religion. Which brings me to the current seasonal impasse as nut-shelled by my dentist’s office. Sitting there I could hear the yule season tripping over its own big feet as people came and went shouting a hearty “Merry Christmas” to the dental crew and being rejoined with a pointedly generic “Happy Holidays.” Really, it was like some kid saying, “I’m doing good at school” only to be scolded, “I’m doing well at school.” Somehow this whole God-is-country thing has turned into a seasonal faux issue, supplying the most easily distracted among us with yet another opportunity to ignore the real issues. You know, like why people won’t vote for Hillary because she seems too policy-oriented. But they will vote for Huckabee because he’s a minister. But need I remind anyone that the last two times we voted religion we got Jimmy Carter and George Bush. Take that anyway you like. Meanwhile, city halls in some bright American bergs are tying themselves in knots over manger scenes. Should government in such a diverse nation honor the birth of the Christian savior? More to the point, should the rest of us forgo this Christmas-buying binge in favor of something maybe a bit more spiritual? But that’s not the point. The point being retail sales, which have a direct impact on advertising, which has a direct impact on my job. So, by all means, shop! But somehow miles of holiday lights, wreaths, candy canes, Santas and decorated trees aren’t enough when combined with a four-month ad blitz to remind everyone that this has long become a secular holiday into which we inject an abjectly Christian set of figures (Joseph, Mary, Jesus, mysterious wise men from the mysterious even further-east) into a time of year that isn’t merry for everyone, especially those who are grieving or alone. But why worry? We now have more churches than gas stations and a plethora of pretty church manger scenes upon which to gaze should we actually attend a service. But seriously, where is the threat to dominant American Christianity in any of this? Still, many people are taking their alarm to the Internet in the form of apocryphal stories witnessed by friends of friends who were actually there and heard some guy in full Arab dress demanding that a manger scene be ripped down. Only the sites never say where this happened or why somebody not affiliated with the ACLU would do such a thing. But more than mangers and the right to make others worship as you see fit, we have turned two simple forms of season’s greetings into a fight club with the Merry Christmas people pitted against the Happy Holidays folks. Personally, I enjoy this ridiculous rift, mainly because I’m dark-skinned and hard to place. Which makes some people actually halt their good wishes while they squint and compute the variables (dark skin, shaved head, big nose, what the hell is this guy?) before almost always wishing me Happy Holidays! I, of course, ignore absolutely all idiot clues and reply, “And a very Merry Christmas to you, too.” I’m doing it to be a jerk, and I’m doing it to make a point. It is Christmas, after all, which can be a fantastic season if you are under the age of 12 or completely nuts. If Hanukkah happens to coincide (which it didn’t this year), I will say Happy Holidays to cover both with Kwanzaa thrown in. I also do it because I really don’t care at all what evangelicals or Mormons or anybody else thinks that I should say. And it also doesn’t matter to me if the person I’m addressing happens to be Christian or happens to think that I’m crazy. That’s because Christmas happens, and to make a small Christmas benediction, to utter a tiny wish for happiness along a slightly different path to the very same Almighty, hurts no one. It also saves me the trouble of trying to figure out which of my fellow 300 million Americans are Christian. Besides, what’s the worst that can happen, being told “Bah, humbug”? Oh, and if you’d like to include me in your faith’s special feasts and holy days, I will accept with gratitude and consider myself all the more blessed. I want to hear from you. Connect with me at john.bogert@dailybreeze.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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David Gildea announced as Business Person of the Year at Chamber Awards

first_imgDavid Gildea has been crowned Business Person of the Year at last night’s Letterkenny Chamber Annual Business Awards.Mr Gildea is the owner of software company, CloudRanger which is based in the LYIT’s CoLab centre.The company was recently bought out by a large American Multi-National but continues to be based in Letterkenny and recently took on a number of new employees. There were congratulations all round last night in the Radisson Blu Hotel during the awards which were sponsored by the Donegal News.MC for the evening was Keith Fletcher and President of the Chamber, Leonard Watson addressed the large gathering.The following is a list of those who took away awards on the night.David Gildea of CloudRangerBusiness person of the year – David Gildea, CloudRanger Excellence in Customer Service – Kelly’s DinerGrowth Through Export Award – SeaQuest SystemsHall of Fame – Paul Reynolds, Property Partners Auctioneers and Courtyard Shopping CentreEmployee of the year – Sara Zaharia of Kelly’s dinerBusiness Excellence Award – Champions Travel Best Community Health and Well-Being Initiative – Ray Community GroupBest Innovations & Creativity Award – North West AluminumExcellence in Marketing Award – Watson HireBest Start-Up Business Award – Donegal Commercial Vehicles Retailer of the year – Foy & CompanyFemale Achiever Award – Sarah Marie McDevitt, Pinehill StudiosBest Tourism Initiative Award – Off the Street Food Fest LKEmbracing Cross Border Trade Award – PJ DesignsProfessional Services Award – J T PhysiotherapyDavid Gildea announced as Business Person of the Year at Chamber Awards was last modified: November 20th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:business awardsdonegalletterkennylast_img read more

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Palmdale undefeated with new coach

first_img The multifaceted attack is led by Golden League scoring champion Jose Garay, who has 34 goals. Christian Hernandez has scored 16 goals, with a team-high four in the playoffs. Brandon Alfaro and Carlos Aguilar are consistent contributors, and freshman Christian Diaz has chipped in with two postseason goals. Defense provides a foundation. Goalkeeper Victor Chinchilla posted his 16th shutout in Thursday’s quarterfinal victory over league rival Littlerock, tying the program record set by Cline. The Falcons need to be in peak form against Santa Margarita (25-4). The Serra League champions, from soccer-rich South Orange County, are coming off a 3-1 victory over Huntington Beach, and its possession game is more sophisticated than what Palmdale usually faces. “I went and watched them play earlier this season. Just by chance,” Cline said. “They look really good. They’re going to be really tough to beat. We’ve talked about what we need to do, and if we do that, we’ll be OK. They’re a good team, but so are we.” Heather Gripp, (818) 713-3607 heather.gripp@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PALMDALE – Palmdale High was a winner in boys’ soccer when 1997 graduate Jarrod Cline was the Falcons’ goalkeeper. They were perennial Golden League title contenders and were seeded as high as No. 3 for the postseason. When Cline became Palmdale’s head coach this season, he inherited a team that had finished near the bottom of the league standings, well out of playoff contention. Cline’s perception of Falcons soccer might not have meshed with reality, but he refused to believe that, and he has presided over their transformation from also-rans to Southern Section powerhouse. Palmdale, undefeated heading into this afternoon’s Southern Section Div. I semifinal at Santa Margarita of Rancho Santa Margarita, is seeded No. 1 in the top division. Never before have the Falcons been No. 1 or reached the final four. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant “Coming in, I knew we had something special,” said Cline, who returned to his alma mater following a stint as an assistant coach at Kansas Wesleyan. “My goal was us winning Golden League. That was something we could do. But our goal is now CIF and winning that. Did I think we’d be undefeated? No. This is beyond what I expected.” The Falcons (24-0-5), seeking a berth in Saturday’s title game, aren’t just winning. They are doing so convincingly. Palmdale hasn’t allowed a goal through the first three rounds of playoffs, outscoring opponents 11-0. It’s all created quite the buzz around campus. “It’s a big deal,” said Cline, whose classroom walls are lined with newspaper clippings about the team. “The kids are excited. In my class, the kids always talk about it. Right when they walk in, they want to know how we did. And everyone is always looking at all the articles on the wall.” Cline says credit for the success goes to his players. It’s a talented group, with 13 seniors, making familiarity and cohesiveness a strength. Cline stressed the importance of playing complete games, of not letting up regardless of the score, and that notion that has spurred stronger play in the postseason. last_img read more

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