On Monday March 2 the Guyanese people will vote in an election called as a result of a no-confidence motion that was successful because of the defection of MP Charrandass Persaud. The defeat of the Coalition government was not expected and should not have happened. The no-confidence motion was ill-advised and a betrayal by Mr. Persaud. However, the Guyanese people well know the CCJ’s ruling on the matter and in a few days will give its verdict on that no-confidence motion and, more importantly, the performance of the Coalition in its first term. The coalition took over from the PPP/C after a 23-year run that started magnificently with the election of the highly respected Cheddi Jagan as president. Jagan was a principled socialist strongly committed to democratic principles and a very decent human being. The country made significant progress under his guidance as the economy grew and the standard of living improved partly as a result of debt forgiveness and a new sense of hope. However, the death of Cheddi Jagan towards the end of his term in office led to new leaders taking over the PPP and that party losing its ideological grounding. Jagan’s widow took over the presidency that eventually went to Bharrat Jagdeo and then Donald Ramotar whose government was defeated by the coalition in 2015. By that time some of the PPP’s top leaders had left the party. Moses Nagamootoo became Prime Minister in the coalition, Khemraj Ramjattan became a minister and Ralph Ramkarran is now contesting in a new party ANUG.
The Jagans’ only child resident in Guyana is now a fierce critic of the PPP and is campaigning with the coalition as it seeks re-election. The departure of these four former PPP stalwarts and others underline the decline of the party from a principled socialist movement to an opportunistic grouping lacking in principles and being heavy-handedly led by Bharrat Jagdeo. This culminated in the selection of Irfaan Ali as the presidential candidate for the March 2 election. That this was a retrograde move would be an understatement. Ali was the architect of the Pradoville scam and is facing 19 criminal charges serious enough that the Canadian Government has barred him from visiting that country. Moreover, his academic qualifications have come under severe criticism with claims that they are fake. His resume is full of online diplomas and a highly suspicious degree from a non-existent school on the West Coast of Demerara. Many traditional PPP supporters will have difficulty voting for a ticket headed by Irfaan Ali. However, even if he had no baggage he would not have been a better candidate than the incumbent David Granger.
The PPP has been desperately trying to paint the Coalition as being incapable of running the country but nothing could be further from the truth. The economy has grown under the current government, unemployment has fallen slightly and corruption in the public sector has decreased. On the latter: in its 2019 ranking of countries Transparency International singled out Guyana as having made significant strides in reducing corruption. And most significantly the Coalition oversaw the rapid development of Guyana’s new oil and gas industry. This has the potential to contribute to a dramatic improvement in the standard of living of the Guyanese people as several global agencies have projected Guyana to have the fastest growing economy in the world in 2020. Moreover, President Granger has been a good, courageous and dignified leader who despite having to fight a bout with cancer and the no-confidence motion has emerged as the person best positioned to manage the new revenues flowing from oil and gas. Additionally, the Coalition’s record in government has been well above average. Therefore, from this writer’s perspective, it would be wise for the Guyanese electorate to return President Granger and the Coalition to government.
Ramakant-PAre the words too big for you? You were never good at vocabulary. Your response is always stupid. (having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense) Now you know what stupid is. [ more ]
antabantaYes, in frustration to the DNC fixing the nomination in favor of Hilary. [ more ]
antabantaHave you watched the debates? He seems to be working on the principle that a good TV presence is most important - staring into the camera, acting sober and deep - but that does not make up for his bumbling performance. He does not have the quick-wit and presence of mind to respond to Trump's meaningless, taunting. [ more ]
Former MemberBiden will get Stormy's vote. BYE BYE Genius Idiot. [ more ]
Dear Editor, July 16th, 1973 was one of the darkest days in the history of Guyana. It was the day when our democracy was raped; a day when Guyanese, in exercising their right to vote, and in protecting their votes from being stolen, witnessed yet another bloody day in our country. Young voters Jagan Ramessar and Bholanauth Parmanand were fatally shot, and dozens more were injured by the bullets from members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF). These two men were killed when hundreds gathered at the No 63 Primary School to ensure that their votes were counted at the place of Poll; that is, at the school where they voted. The army arrived at the close of poll, and the people, in protest, attempted to block the military from removing the ballot boxes from the place of counting at the polling station when bullets from the barrel of the soldier’s gun began to fly wildly into the crowd.
It was known locally and internationally that the PNC dictatorship were massively rigging elections from 1968 to 1992. Furthermore, state resources were abused, whereby the army was used to carry out these devious instructions from the despotic Burnham regime. What history has taught Guyanese is that a country has never achieved real development under a Government that illegally entered office though fraudulent, violent, and lawless means. A good example would be the three years — from 2015 to 2018 — under the same PNC regime of the past, masquerading behind the mask of APNU/AFC Coalition, taking political power in questionable circumstances and failing and neglecting to adhere to the call to recount certain ballot boxes. This action has been three years before the courts, and is still awaiting a date for hearing — a total disregard for the constitution and the Rule of Law by delay, another means of denying democracy in our beloved land. There has followed three years of constant economic and social decline. There seems to be no other way out but to crumble into an underdeveloped state. Where are the promised jobs for young people? Heroes like Jagan Ramessar, Bholanauth Parmanand, Michael Forde, Dr. Walter Rodney, Father Darke, Kowsilla and others were killed in protecting their rights — by a twist from hope, to drive our brothers and sisters into fearing members of the PNC, and to stab democracy in the heart. These martyrs, by their sacrifice, helped shape our political struggle that led to free and fair elections in 1992. Twenty-six years after, we will not allow their names and actions to be undermined and shunned away. In the 2015 General Elections, we witnessed a new form of dictatorship that spuriously appointed managerial roles in GECOM. There have been further instances, wherein SOCU has now become a political weapon used to embarrass members and supporters of the Peoples Progressive Part/Civic. Have we returned to the dark and cruel days of Burnham? Would the 2020 elections be as haunting as the 1973 elections? Would the 2020 elections be epically rigged, like the 1985 elections? Should we deter into defeat, or should we pursue with a sure hope and with a strong leadership? We honour the memories of these fallen heroes by exposing the wrongdoings of this Government. We honour them by being resilient through all the atrocities and injustices being thrown against us. The Guyanese people will continue to take the hard hits and keep getting up each time; and the more we get up, the stronger we will be. The fight will continue in our courts, in the halls of our parliament, and out there in our communities. This is how we honour our fallen heroes.
PrashadI blame C. Jorgon partly for these deaths. He and his wife entered an election that they knew was going to be rigged. Guyana East Indian lives are too valuable to be wasted on a rigged election. It is better to live to fight another day. [ more ]
Ramakant-PIn 1973, I witnessed the GDF solders escorted the ballot boxes taken from Annandale Secondary school and taken to Buxton instead od Georgetown. There at Buxton the soldiers switched the boxes with their own stuffed ones. When we questioned what they were doing, we were threatened and told to get lost or else. That was when I decided to migrate. [ more ]
Demerara_Guy“No comment to make” – Ramjattan on President’s PM rejection By TDBN- GUYANA - , January 8, 2020 , https://thedailybreakingnews.c...idents-pm-rejection/ President David Granger, this morning, told reporters that he is yet to decide on who is running mate is although the Alliance For Change (AFC) announced Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan as the Coalition’s Prime Ministerial candidate. “I know what I am going to do. I reserve the right to choose and nominate a Prime Minister. I... [ more ]
I have no skin in the game, besides seeing respect for the people, constituition, as is, and general spirit of agreements.
1- Nomination of GECOM chair. There was blatant disregard for the spirit of the agreement.
2- NCV - blatant disregard for the constitution by doing everything to not honor the constitution.
We can argue who is better for guyana - ppp vs pnc. That is like 6 of one and half dozen of the other.
In the end re-electing the PNC would be sending the wrong message to all with regards to laws and the spirit of agreements and only embolden the PNC and other parties to defy the constitution and spirit of agreements going forward.
Would be great if one of the smaller parties won enough seats to hold the balance of power.
PrashadComrade Katahar is on the right track. Prashad will add. These are deep hardcore racist anti koolies that we are dealing with here so don't take the talk and smiles at face value because "all skin teeth is not laugh". [ more ]
Ramakant-PJust ask yourself, "Is the country better off today than it was 5 years ago"? Then cast your vote. [ more ]
Former MemberSo yuh skant musse dos suppot de fat mini trump in kynada..doug fart [ more ]
Former MemberI heard of Bus being driven around GT with PNC people to intimidate PPP supporters. Trouble brewing. PPP met with the police chief and deputy commissioners who have assured them of police protection. We shall see but PNC may not relinquish power easily after a defeat. [ more ]
kpGNI is being politically suppressed, this is the work of DJ, can't accept defeat . Can't you guys wait after the 3rd of March to titivate with the system, this is the Mother of all elections. [ more ]
Mr.TTrump hoping for many deaths among democrat voters. That's why he put Pence in charge. [ more ]
Former MemberRe: First Coronavirus death in US [ more ]
antabantaThe Pandemic " Welcome to a special edition of our weekly newsletter on the new disease, covid-19. In 12 short weeks the virus has spread from a wet market in Wuhan, across China and out into the world. So far 58 countries have reported over 83,000 cases—though the true figure is almost certainly a lot larger. At least 2,800 people have died. This week, for the first time, the daily toll of new cases outside China began to outstrip the spread of the infection inside. The first cases have... [ more ]
The US stands ready to work with the next democratically elected government, US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch said in a message to the Guyanese people.
The message follows:
A Message from U.S. Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch to the People of Guyana
All eyes are on Guyana this week. I just returned from the worldwide U.S. Ambassador’s conference in Washington and there is great interest in free, fair and peaceful Guyanese elections on March 2. I encourage all registered voters to exercise their franchise in a peaceful manner and to allow others to do the same. Good luck to all the parties. After the people of Guyana have spoken, the United States stands ready to work with the next democratically elected administration, and I encourage all parties to respect the outcome.
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) last evening confirmed that a Presiding Officer was fired after she was found to be publicly campaigning for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
Asked to confirm the firing of the official for a polling station located at Enmore, East Coast Demerara, GECOM spokeswoman Yolanda Ward said “she was removed from the position.”
Ward later explained to Stabroek News that while she did not know the name of the officer, she was aware that a Presiding Officer had been removed for publicly campaigning.
On Thursday, pictures of the person purported to be the officer dressed in PPP/C paraphernalia were posted on Facebook. The person who made the post claimed that the officer had been campaigning while employed by the Commission, in a position which requires political neutrality.
The issue was brought to the attention of the Returning Officer of Region Four, Clairmont Mingo, and the staff member was let go.
The Presiding Officers are responsible for the management of the operations of polling stations.
There is no sociologist I know who writes on Guyana that has rejected the paradigm traditionally used in academic literature to describe this nation – a plural society. In Guyana, the bifurcation is almost neat. The two major race groups, whose numerical strength is separated by a few percentage points, have little in common in the following areas – occupation, culture, religion. By culture we include fashion, aesthetics, music, sports, and marriage, among other factors. This almost neat separation also takes in the Portuguese, who virtually frown on football and cricket. To find a Portuguese playing cricket in this country is as common as locating Jamaican businessmen in Iraq. There is nothing essentially unstable or dangerous when two separate spheres of existence live alongside each other. The perpetual danger with Guyana’s ethnic bifurcation is that each sphere sees the capture of government as important in protecting and patronizing its ethnic and cultural constituencies. In reality, these two worlds in Guyana are East Indians and Africans, and the pursuit for political and administrative power is done through political parties – PPP and PNC – that belong almost exclusively to Indians and Africans. The plural nature of this society is more than a hundred years old, and the dangerous potentials that reside in it have come to the surface several times, with the most tragic being the internecine race violence in the first half of the sixties. There has hardly been a letup since then. A plethora of scholars and independent observers the past seventy years have argued that the violent and tragic temperatures inherent in Guyana’s plural make-up can only be abated if there is some form – no matter how diluted, how weak, how amorphous – of power-sharing, which can eventually bring about a secure future through constitutional reform. Two expressions, each coming from the wombs of the respective major parties – PPP and PNC – have been attempts to generate power-sharing dialogues. Both have failed. These two are the bandwagon of “slo’ fyaah/mo’ fyaah” invented by Opposition Leader, Desmond Hoyte. “Slo’ fyaah/mo’ fyaah” subsequently morphed into the “Buxton troubles.” The other was the plot to topple the government by the opposition PPP in 2018 through the no-confidence motion (NCM). Desmond Hoyte became a very psychologically devastated politician after he saw the direction the Cheddi Jagan government went into after it won the 1992 elections. Hoyte had broken out of his Burnhamite, Freudian prison and sought to fashion a new, multi-racial, democratic Guyana. Jagan did not take a similar pathway. Hoyte resented the rule of Mrs. Jagan and Jagdeo, and figured out the 2001 election was the beginning of permanent PPP victories. “Slo’ fyaah/mo’ fyaah” was the planning of national resistance to weaken the PPP regime and bring it to the table. Hoyte and the PNC were demanding power-sharing. It was a traditional, normal protest that almost succeeded in achieving its goal. Space would not allow for a delineation of the factors that caused its death. Briefly, the PPP infiltrated “Slo’ fyaah/mo’ fyaah” with agent provocateurs who beat up Indian people and burned business places to make Hoyte look bad. Hoyte then caved in to the demands of civil society and the business community to douse the fire. “Slo’ fyaah/mo’ fyaah” took up residence in Buxton from Mash Day 2002. Space would not permit an elaboration. The other attempt at power-sharing was the NCM in 2018. The PPP plotted the NCM with a deeply chagrined AFC parliamentarian – Charrandass Persaud – who was inconsolable over what he considered was the AFC’s betrayal of Guyana. The PPP found Charran a willing ally in its fight to confront the APNU+AFC regime. Two emotions overtook the PPP. It felt that it did not lose the election. Three of its top leaders pointed out the action of a very senior U.S. envoy at the time. I prefer not to say more of what I know about that individual’s role. Even if it accepted it lost by a coat of varnish (the result was 50.3 percent versus 49.7 percent), the PPP felt that APNU+AFC had no moral mandate to govern Guyana as if it won a landslide. My opinion is that the APNU+AFC government behaved as if it did. With an election two days away, there is talk about the need for a minority government, to force constitutional changes to bring about the eventual dissolution of winner-takes-all politics that is unworkable and catastrophic in a plural society. My honest, deeply felt belief is that only a minority government can push the PPP and PNC into constitutional change. If either one wins a majority, I believe they will not change. The PPP and PNC are historical leviathans who love power and enjoy hogging it.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
…increase to benefit persons receiving above-minimum rate —GM Greaves says scheme working to improve collection of contributions, targeting O&G sector
ABOUT two months after announcing an increase in old-age pension, the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) has said persons, who receive pensions above the “minimum pension,” will receive a four per cent increase.
This was according to General Manager of NIS, Holly Greaves, during a telephone interview with the Guyana Chronicle on Friday.
In January, NIS had announced that its old-age pension was moving from $32,100 to $35,000 because according to the law, the minimum pension must be 50 per cent of the minimum wage for public servants. Government had increased minimum wage to $70,000 from $64,200, in 2019.
While those persons who benefit from the “minimum pension” would have gotten an increase, persons who receive above that amount did not receive an increase since 2017. Greaves said the last increase was two per cent.
“This new four per cent increase will take effect from March 1, 2020…this new increase will cost the scheme $32M per month,” said the general manager. In addition to paying out $32M a month to those above the minimum level, the minimum pension has been costing NIS $91M per month.
When asked if NIS would be able to sustain these payments, Greaves said: “in the short run we will be able to sustain it, but we are hopeful that the recommendations from the ninth actuarial report will be implemented so that it will help in the sustainability of the scheme.
“In addition to the recommendations of the report, we have been increasing efforts towards compliance…we have a desk management unit which is looking into people who owe the scheme and we are making an effort to collect those outstanding contributions.” The NIS, which has a mandate of paying benefits and collecting of contributions, has been making consistent efforts to collect contributions. These efforts have even reached the oil and gas sector, said Greaves, adding that they have also been targeting the mining sector. Considering the improved efforts and initiatives, the NIS has been able to see improvement in “contribution income.”
“We are still faced with problems where people are non-compliant and are taking contract jobs to not pay contributions, but we are working on that,” said Greaves. Back in 2016, NIS had said that delinquent businesses and employers collectively had owed the scheme $1.3B.
During the presentation of the 2016 Budget, Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, had told the National Assembly that the NIS had faced several challenges over the years, including lack of compliance by both employers and employees, combined with unprofitable investments. Jordan said then that the management of NIS will work diligently to ensure greater compliance through the enforcement of the laws.
“This year (2016), management will be targeting delinquent businesses and employers, in order to recover the $1.3B in arrears owed to the Scheme,” he declared.
In addition to increasing its revenue stream, Greaves said the scheme has been working on boosting its customer service aspect by opening its doors from 6:00hrs during “pension week” and even establishing help desks at various locations.
Once the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP) wins the upcoming General and Regional Elections, all charges against its Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali will be quashed.
This is according to PPP official, Anil Nandlall who served as Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs from 2011 to 2014 under the PPP regime.
Nandlall made this disclosure yesterday during an interview with radio personality Stan Gouveia on the programme “Hot Seat”.
According to Nandlall, the 19 charges for land fraud against Ali “amounts to no charge at all” as they are politically inspired.
Nandlall said that he and his party stand firm behind their Presidential Candidate. He said that he would only have taken a different stance if Ali was facing charges for child molestation, murder or stealing from a bank.
He made it clear that he will not condemn his colleague.
He added, “I myself am the victim of a trumped-up charge for two law books. Basil Williams (sitting Attorney General) instructed SOCU to charge me. I know this; I have the evidence.”
In fact, he said Williams should be the one facing charges since he has squandered billions of dollars “through his incompetence.”
For instance, Nandlall accused Williams of wasting US$1M on the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) leg of the no-confidence motion cases “to argue foolishness.”
While he did state what offence Williams should be charged with, Nandlall said there is sufficient basis to charge him.
“He (Williams) should definitely get life imprisonment,” Nandlall told the moderator.
Ali, according to SOCU, between 2011 and 2015, conspired with persons unknown to defraud the Government, when he acted recklessly by selling 19 plots of state lands at Plantation Sparendaam and Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara.
The plots land which were sold for a mere $39.8M are valued at $212.4M, SOCU said.
During the interview, Nandlall was keen to point out that Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack and PNCR Executive member Gary Best are beneficiaries of lands sold by Ali.
Best, Nandlall added, “killed somebody and up to now cannot be charged and is somewhere overseas allegedly recovering.” It appears as though Nandlall was referring to an accident involving Best and former national cyclist, Jude Bentley.
Turning his attention to former Minister of Finance under the PPP government, Ashni Singh and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) Winston Brassington, Nandlall said they were still charged even though they obtained valuations for lands they sold.
Together, the two men are accused of selling 10.002 acres, 4.7 acres and 103 acres of State lands without first obtaining a valuation, as well as selling the lands way below the price it was valued at by a competent valuation officer. The offences were allegedly committed during 2008, 2009 and 2011.
On closing, Nandlall vowed, “Once we [PPP] win [the elections] we are going to quash every single one of them [charges]. We are going to quash them, throw them in the bin.”
He continued, “The relevant authorities will have to quash them because if they were acting independently in the first place those charges should have never been instituted.”
The separation of powers is an essential element of the Rule of Law and is enshrined in the Constitution. It prohibits the Executive from interfering with the judiciary.
As it is, both Nandlall and Ali had gone to the High Court to challenge the legality of the charges against them. Both of their applications were thrown out.
Obviously dissatisfied with the ruling, they filed similar applications at the Court of Appeal. While the court’s ruling on Ali’s applications is pending, Nandlall’s own was dismissed.
Nandlall has indicated that his next stop is the CCJ.