Category Archives: Governance

What need is there for General Elections in Guyana Now? – By Hubert Williams

By Hubert Williams

Boston, Massachusetts, October 23, 2014 — I wonder at the need for general elections in the Co-operative Republic of Guyana in the immediate future? Campaigning will very likely revive old animosities, fan new hatreds, bring fear to many, possible death to some, likely cause considerable social dislocation and property destruction, and create an environment unattractive to badly needed-foreign investment. And after the poll, it is going to be the “same-old same-old”. Even if, perchance, there is a change in majority party, hasn’t the country had its fill of musical chairs?

Yet all the visible signs indicate the country’s major political groups are preparing for a poll: published statements from relevant quarters declare that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is ready, willing, waiting, and able.

It seems the country is approaching a dangerous time. Evidently, each party’s leaders are hoping to emerge with a clear majority so that they can ‘rule’ and reap the spoils of being in ‘office’ (Caribbean politicians usually say ‘power’). It would demonstrate such maturity to negotiate an effective national coalition without holding general elections, but have local government elections not held since 1994. Continue reading

DIASPORA – editorial in Stabroek News

DIASPORA –  editorial in Stabroek News

Guyana: President Ramotar

President Ramotar

Last week GINA, the Government’s information service, reported that President Donald Ramotar had met Guyanese in Washington and Queens, New York, in the course of his visit to the United Nations, and that he had asked them to return home and invest in the country’s economy. One wonders if he was serious when he put that question to his compatriots in the diaspora, or whether he was just going through the motions.

If he was serious, then he is truly divorced from reality; we have been waiting twenty-two years for this flood of returnees to swamp us with their US dollars, their overseas skills and their drive to nurture their homeland, and no one, even President Ramotar one would think, anticipates that they will do so in the immediate future.

Continue reading

Scotland Is Seeking Independence From the Political Establishment- Op-Ed

UPDATE:  see the following Guyanese Online entry:

Scotland votes ‘No’ to independence: 55-45%


Tuesday, 16 September 2014 -By Ronan Burtenshaw, Truthout | Op-Ed

  • 2014.9.16.Scotland.Main
    (Photo: Lawrence OP / Flickr)The referendum campaign is about much more than nationalism.

    Scotland Is Seeking Independence From the Political Establishment

This week’s vote on Scottish independence has lit up the political landscape in Europe, encouraging the left and prompting panic in the halls of power. If the “Yes” side manages to beat the odds and win on September 18, new possibilities will arise on a political spectrum which seemed to be shrinking by the year.

But it didn’t always look like this would be the case. When the referendum campaign began, the leading force for a Yes vote, the Scottish National Party (SNP), promised what could best be termed independence light. Staying were the pound, the Queen, NATO and even the economic model, buttressed by a “competitive” corporate tax regime to rival free-market Ireland. This appeal was nationalist in its purest sense – social questions would remain untouched and only the flag would change.  Continue reading

The General Register’s Office (GRO) and Birth Certificates for Passports

The General Register’s Office (GRO) and Birth Certificates for Passports

August 7, 2014 · BY – Stabroek News

The nearly two months of frustration felt by citizens following the June 5 edict by Ministry of Home Affairs, which forced citizens to procure recent birth certificates in order to apply for passports might have come to an end last week, but indications are that the tedium is to be increased at the Central Immigration and Passport Office.

What Mr Rohee had said when the startling order was first made that required persons to have birth certificates issued no longer than six months before the date of applying for a passport was that there were concerns about fraudulent birth certificates being used to obtain travel documentsContinue reading

Buxton: Holding fast to its roots and boasting striking historical features

Welcome to Buxton

Welcome to Buxton

Buxton: Holding fast to its roots and boasting striking historical features

 To be honest with you folks, I was heading for a village I was very curious about, but I was doing so with mixed feelings.

 You see, the moment I mentioned that this village was next on my Village Focus list of places, some of my colleagues balked with fear, and told unpleasant tales with acute warnings to be extremely careful.

But knowing me, always loving a challenge, I set aside my misgivings and began my short journey to my destination. Readers, let me warn you to never listen to hearsay evidence; you must always ensure that you see something for yourself before you end up spreading wrong news.  Continue reading

AFC tells Ramotar time-up, ready for no-confidence – Ramotar responds…..

AFC tells Ramotar time-up, ready for no-confidence

Friday, 18 July 2014 – By  Denis Scott Chabrol – Demerara Waves

President Donald Ramotar

President Donald Ramotar

The smaller opposition Alliance For Change (AFC) has told President Donald Ramotar that it is going ahead with its vote of no confidence in the government that will inevitably see Guyana going into early general elections before year end if approved by the combined opposition-controlled House.

AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan told the Guyanese leader that he was pushing ahead with the no confidence vote because government was spending millions of dollars from the Consolidated Fund without parliamentary approval. “Our Party sees no other alternative than to proceed with this constitutional mechanism for removal of an unpopular Government that has ceased to enjoy the confidence of the National Assembly and who by its actions has demonstrated an unlawful and contemptuous disregard for the Supreme Law of the Country,” he said in the July 17, 2014 letter.
Continue reading

Local Govt Elections: GECOM Chairman discards concerns by PPP Commissioners

Local Govt Elections: GECOM Chairman discards concerns by PPP Commissioners

Monday, 14 July 2014 –  by  Denis Scott Chabrol – Demerara Waves

Dr Steve Surujbally

Dr Steve Surujbally

Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Dr. Steve Surujbally on Monday debunked claims by the three ruling party-nominated commissioners that the local government elections machinery was rusty and could lead to disenfranchisement.

Surujbally insisted that the commission was “fully prepared and committed” to move into election mode with “immediacy” whenever the Local Government Minister issues an order after consulting with GECOM.

In terms of actual preparations for local government elections , the Commission Chairman said they already have a work plan that caters for 180 days from the date of the ministerial order. This timeframe is largely a result of the sequential statutory requirements and other prerequisite activities for the conduct of the elections.    Continue reading

Guyana’s Acting Foreign Minister booed at US Independence reception

Guyana’s Acting Foreign Minister booed at US Independence reception.

02 July 2014 20:14-Written by   – Demerara Waves

Acting Foreign Minister, Priya Manickchand (left) and Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira walking out of the US Ambassador's reception

Acting Foreign Minister, Priya Manickchand (left) and Presidential Advisor on Governance, Gail Teixeira walking out of the US Ambassador’s reception

While Manickchand was launching her verbal salvos against Hardt, several persons among the gathering heckled and urged her to “Get on with it” and “Local Government Elections now”.  Sections of her speech were virtually drowned by the booing.  Continue reading

US envoy rubbishes govt’s excuse for delaying local elections

US envoy rubbishes govt’s excuse for delaying local elections
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 – By Scott Chabrol – CND
US Ambassador D. Brent Hardt

US Ambassador D. Brent Hardt

United States (US) Ambassador to Guyana, Brent Hardt has dismissed government’s latest excuse for not holding local government elections and he said it was time Guyanese directly elect their representatives at the local level.

“To my mind, it’s a constitutional requirement, it’s a legislative requirement and there is at this point no obstacle to the holding of local government elections so I would just urge government to set a date, move forward as soon as possible and give people that ability to have effective local governance and start to transform the country,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

Earlier this month, President Donald Ramotar said his government was gambling on whether to hold long-overdue local government elections this year or call early national elections if blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for Guyana’s failure to pass amendments to the Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT) begins to bite hard. Continue reading

Free movement for CARICOM nationals ruling by the CCJ.

CCJ Corner: Free movement for CARICOM nationals
Published on June 25, 2014 Caribbean News Now

By Deshon J Griffith,  Faculty of Law, UWI Cave Hill. Barbados

In the case of Shanique Myrie v State of Barbados [2013] CCJ 3 (OJ) the Caribbean Court of Justice declared the law on an important aspect of Caribbean integration law. It made clear the existence and scope of the right of free movement within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) regime.

The case involves a Jamaica national, Shanique Myrie, who was denied entry into Barbados by border officials at the Grantley Adams International Airport. She claimed that she was subjected to a painful and humiliating body cavity search and other ill-treatment, detained overnight in an insanitary cell and subsequently deported. Myrie claimed that the treatment to which she was subjected amounted to a violation of her right to free movement within the Caribbean Community by the State of Barbados.

The Court found that the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and a 2007 decision of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM gave a valid and binding right of free movement to CARICOM nationals. This right, the Court said, includes an entitlement to “an automatic stay” or “a definite entry” of six months upon arrival. Continue reading


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