Category Archives: Politics

Guyana’s no-confidence vote: “A common fight must have a common strategy” – David Hinds

Commentary: A common fight must have a common strategy: The fate of Guyana’s no-confidence vote
Published on October 27, 2014

Dr. David Hinds

Dr. David Hinds

By Dr David Hinds

Many people have asked me why, despite their legislative majority, the opposition in Guyana has, since 2001, allowed the PPP and its executive government to out-maneuver them. They are of course referring to the latest confusion surrounding the AFC-sponsored no-confidence vote.

Dr David Hinds, a political activist and commentator, is also an Associate Professor of Caribbean and African Diaspora Studies at Arizona State University. Send comments to dhinds6106@aol.com. More of his writings can be found on his website. Continue reading

Guyana: Capitol TV News Videos – 29 October 2014

Guyana: Capitol TV News Videos –  29 October 2014

  • Scandal-hit Anil Nandall has no plans to resign
  • AG suing Kaieteur News over recorded phone conversation
  • Ramotar says “foolish” for Local Gov’t polls given No-Confidence motion
  • Date to be announced this week for reconvening of National Assembly
  • Amerindian leaders in town for biennial conference
  • Sports
  • Anil Nandlall must go; opposition
  • Former Presidential Adviser on the Environment dead
  • Shot Woman clinging on to life
  • Queen’s College celebrates 170th anniversary
Scandal-hit Nandall has no plans to resign  Posted: 29 Oct 2014 01:09 PM PDT
AG suing Kaieteur News over recorded phone conversation   Posted: 29 Oct 2014 01:08 PM PDT   Continue reading

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

WHAT NEED IS THERE FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS IN GUYANA NOW ?
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

Book by Shridath Ramphal: Glimpses of a Global Life

Ramphal: Glimpses of a Global Life

The links below were compiled by the St. Stanislaus College Blog to go with the Press Release below:

Cover for Glimpses of a Global Life
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Sir-Shridath-to-launch-Glimpses-of-a-Global-Life-279222452.html
http://www.dundurn.com/books/glimpses_global_life
http://www.turnaround-uk.com/glimpses-of-a-global-life.html
https://bookshout.com/ebooks/glimpses-of-a-global-life

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Brazil’s Rousseff wins reelection to serve a second term -updated

Brazil’s presidential election – A riven country
Oct 27th 2014, 3:54 BY J.P. | SÃO PAULO – The Economist

brazil elections

Click to enlarge

IT WAS a wild ride. After a tight and tetchy race, marked by innumerable twists and turns, Brazil’s left-wing president, Dilma Rousseff, was re-elected on October 26th to a second four-year term with 51.6% of valid votes. Aécio Neves, of the centre-right opposition, notched up 48.4%. It is the fourth election in a row won by her Workers’ Party (PT). But her margin of victory is the slimmest in Brazilian electoral history.

Perhaps Ms Rousseff’s victory was inevitable. Only three Latin American presidents have lost re-election bids in the past three decades. Odds are stacked in favour of incumbents, with all the machinery of power and patronage at their disposal. Ms Rousseff can point to record-low unemployment, rising wages and falling inequality under the PT’s watch. But Mr Neves, whom The Economist had endorsed as the better choice, put up a valiant fight, arguing, with good reason, that progress has stalled since Ms Rousseff was first elected in 2010.  [read more]

Continue reading

Guyana: Sliding further downhill – commentary

Sliding further downhill

OCTOBER 25, 2014 | BY EDITORIAL

The majority of our skilled people is migrating, and not only does this not augur well for the future, it means that the country is getting less for its investment in human development; training people is a very costly exercise. The country is gradually sliding downhill and those with alternatives are quickly taking their leave. In other words, not taking chances with their chances.

For as long as we could remember we have been producing our own teachers, nurses, skilled artisans and the like. Such was our training regimen that all those who graduated were good enough to work in any part of the world.

There was a time when the cost of living was such that we were content to stay and serve. But there was always the lure of life overseas. That lure now has so many of us leaving that we cannot train people fast enough and even those we train are never good enough because their foundation was rather weak. Things had even reached the stage where we were forced to lower the entrance qualifications to our top learning institutions.  Continue reading

Parliament date awaiting outcome of Ramotar, Granger talks – Teixeira

Parliament

Parliament Building – Georgetown. Guyana

Parliament date awaiting outcome of Ramotar, Granger talks – Teixeira

Government Chief Whip Gail Teixeira today confirmed that her acquiescence to a date for the sitting of the National Assembly is awaiting the outcome of the ongoing engagement between the President Donald Ramotar and Leader of the Opposition David Granger.

Her statement in response to accusations from Opposition Chief Whip Amna Ally lends greater credence to views that the government and APNU are trying to strike a deal which would stave off the no-confidence motion which the AFC intends to pilot at the first sitting following the end of the parliamentary recess.

Teixeira’s statement follows:    Continue reading

Brazil’s presidential election -Why Brazil needs change

Brazil’s presidential election -Why Brazil needs change – updated

Voters should ditch Dilma Rousseff and elect Aécio Neves

Oct 18th 2014 | The Economist

IN 2010, when Brazilians elected Dilma Rousseff as president, their country seemed at last to be living up to its huge potential. The economy expanded by 7.5% that year, setting the seal on eight years of faster growth and a steep fall in poverty under Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Ms Rousseff’s political mentor and the leader of the centre-left Workers’ Party (PT). But four years later that promise has disappeared. Under Ms Rousseff the economy has stalled and social progress has slowed. Sanctions-hit Russia aside, Brazil is by far the weakest performer in the BRIC club of big emerging economies. In June 2013 over a million Brazilians took to the streets to protest against poor public services and political corruption.

Ever since the protests the polls have shown that two-thirds of respondents want the next president to be different. So one might have expected them to turf out Ms Rousseff in the first round of the country’s presidential election on October 5th. In the event she secured 41.6% of the vote and remains the narrow favourite to win the run-off ballot on October 26th. Continue reading

Cheaper oil- Many winners, a few bad losers

Cheaper oil- Many winners, a few bad losers

A lower price will boost the world economy and harm some unpleasant regimes—but there are risks

Crude oil prices -2014

Crude oil prices -2014

Oct 25th 2014 | The Economist magazine

THE collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 had many causes. None was as basic as the fall in the price of oil, its main export, by two-thirds in real terms between 1980 and 1986. By the same token, the 14-year rule of Vladimir Putin, heir to what remained, has been bolstered by a threefold rise in the oil price.

Now the oil price is falling again. Since June, it has dropped from about $115 for a barrel of Brent crude to $85 or so—a reduction of roughly a quarter. If prices settle at today’s level, the bill for oil consumers will be about $1 trillion a year lower. That would be a shot in the arm for a stagnating world economy. It would also have big political consequences. For some governments it would be a rare opportunity; for others, a threat.

The scale of shale

Predicting oil prices is a mug’s game (we speak from experience). The fall of the past three months is partly the result of unexpected—and maybe short-lived—developments. Who would have guessed that chaotic, war-torn Libya would somehow be pumping 40% more oil at the end of September than it had just a month earlier? Saudi Arabia’s decision to boost output to protect its market share and hurt American shale producers and see off new developments in the Arctic was also a surprise. Perhaps the fall was exaggerated by hedge-fund investors dumping oil they had been holding in the false expectation of rising prices.

Geopolitical shocks can surprise on the upside as well as the down. Saudi Arabia may well decide to resume its self-appointed post as swing producer and cut output to push prices up once more. With war stalking Iraq, Libya still fragile and Nigeria prey to insurgency (see article), supply is vulnerable to chaotic forces.

But many of the causes of lower prices have staying power. The economic malaise weighing down on demand is not about to lift, despite the tonic of cheaper oil (see article). Conservation, spurred by high prices and green regulation, is more like a ratchet than a piece of elastic. The average new car consumes 25% less petrol per mile than ten years ago. Some observers think the rich world has reached “peak car”, and that motoring is in long-term decline. Even if they are wrong, and lower prices encourage people to drive more, energy-saving ideas will not suddenly be uninvented.

Much of the extra supply is baked in, too. Most oil investment takes years of planning and, after a certain point, cannot easily be turned off. The fracking revolution is also likely to rage on. Since the start of 2010 the United States, the main winner, has increased its output by more than 3m barrels per day to 8.5m b/d. Shale oil is relatively expensive, because it comes from many small, short-lived wells. Analysts claim that a third of wells lose money below $80 a barrel, so shale-oil production will adjust, helping put a floor under the price. But the floor will sag. Break-even points are falling. In past price squeezes, oilmen confounded the experts by finding unimagined savings. This time will be no different.

For governments in consuming countries the price fall offers some budgetary breathing-room. Fuel subsidies hog scandalous amounts of money in many developing countries—20% of public spending in Indonesia and 14% in India (including fertiliser and food). Lower prices give governments the opportunity to spend the money more productively or return it to the taxpayers. This week India led the way by announcing an end to diesel subsidies. Others should follow Narendra Modi’s lead.

The axis of diesel

For those governments that have used the windfall revenues from higher prices to run aggressive foreign policies, by contrast, things could get uncomfortable. The most vulnerable are Venezuela, Iran and Russia.

The first to crack could be Venezuela, home to the anti-American “Bolivarian revolution”, which the late Hugo Chávez tried to export around his region. Venezuela’s budget is based on oil at $120 a barrel. Even before the price fall it was struggling to pay its debts. Foreign-exchange reserves are dwindling, inflation is rampant and Venezuelans are enduring shortages of everyday goods such as flour and toilet paper.

Iran is also in a tricky position. It needs oil at about $140 a barrel to balance a profligate budget padded with the extravagant spending schemes of its former president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. Sanctions designed to curb its nuclear programme make it especially vulnerable. Some claim that Sunni Saudi Arabia is conspiring with America to use the oil price to put pressure on its Shia rival. Whatever the motivation, the falling price is certainly having that effect.

Compared with these two, Russia can bide its time. A falling currency means that the rouble value of oil sales has dropped less than its dollar value, cushioning tax revenues and limiting the budget deficit. The Kremlin can draw on money it has saved in reserve funds, though these are smaller than they were a few years ago and it had already budgeted to run them down. Russia can probably cope with today’s prices for 18 months to two years, but the money will eventually run out. Mr Putin’s military modernisation, which has absorbed 20% of public spending, looks like an extravagance. Sanctions are stifling the economy and making it hard to borrow. Poorer Russians will be less able to afford imported food and consumer goods. If the oil price stays where it is, it will foster discontent.

Democrats and liberals should welcome the curb the oil price imposes on countries like Iran, Venezuela and Russia. But there is also an increased risk of instability. Iran’s relatively outward-looking president, Hassan Rouhani, was elected to improve living standards. If the economy sinks, it could strengthen the hand of his hardline opponents. Similarly, a default in Venezuela could have dire consequences not just for Venezuelans but also for the Caribbean countries that have come to depend on Bolivarian aid. And Mr Putin, deprived of economic legitimacy, could well plunge deeper into the xenophobic nationalism that has fuelled his campaign in Ukraine. Cheaper oil is welcome, but it is not trouble-free.

Guyana – Capitol TV News Videos – 14 October 2014

Guyana – Capitol TV News Videos – 14 October 2014

  • Student suicide shocks WCD “Swami” school
  • No full compensation for flooded EBD communities
  • GWI offers “Free Pass for disconnected consumers
  • Granger continues call for Local Gov’t polls
  • AFC says gov’t stalling NO Confidence debate
  • Plaisance residents say Whittaker “stranger to the truth”
  • Sports
Student suicide shocks WCD “Swami” school   Posted: 14 Oct 2014 02:09 PM PDT

Dead is Alex Persaud of 18 Stewartville, West Coast Demerara. The boy bought Gramoxone at a shop nearby his home two Mondays ago and succumbed last Friday. The teenager was said to be involved with an 18-year-old Information Technology teacher at the Saraswati Vidya Niketan Secondary School at Cornelia Ida. Persaud was in his third […] Continue reading
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