After the declaration of the election results on August 2, Ms. Oneidge Walrond, was invited by President Irfaan Ali to be the Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce. Ms. Walrond was not on the PPP/C’s List of Candidates but article 103(3) of the Constitution allows the President to appoint up to four persons as Ministers who are qualified to be elected as members of the National Assembly. They are popularly known as ‘technocrats.’ Ms. Walrond could not be appointed if she did not satisfy article 155 of the Constitution which relates to what has been known as ‘dual citizenship,’ but in fact applies more broadly. Ms. Walrond was a US citizen and when she received the invitation from the President she wrote the US authorities and renounced her citizenship. It turned out that Ms. Walrond had to fill some forms and await a confirmatory document. She received the document and has now presented it to the Clerk of the National Assembly, who requested them. It is important to emphasise that, according to Ms. Walrond, it is at or about the time of her appointment that she dis-acknowledged her allegiance to the US.Continue reading “A STORM IN A TEACUP”
Last Thursday, two elections petitions, which were filed shortly after the elections results were declared on August 2, were heard before the Chief Justice. The elections petitions were fixed for what is called a case management conference. This is a routine procedure in civil matters in the High Court. It is a preparatory stage to resolve preliminary issues so as to settle all preliminary matters prior to the trial. Case management conferences can be routine or complicated depending on the nature of the case. Election matters, or at least the second matter filed, fall into this second category. There were many issues which arose for consideration. Some were raised by lawyers and some by the Chief Justice. These issues are dealt with below.Continue reading “ELECTIONS PETITIONS”
Flooding the land on which squatters have unlawfully occupied, conjures up some of history’s most oppressive episodes. The first time a PPP government engaged in this activity, Mrs. Janet Jagan privately expressed her appalled dismay. The reason she gave was articulated in one newspaper’s editorial yesterday. Flooding was used as a weapon after slavery against the land hungry victims of that era. At those times, land was needed not only for accommodation but for growing crops to consume and sell to aid physical survival. I am therefore surprised at the use of flooding against squatters once again. Of course, the Government may not have been directly responsible. But the fact that one of its agencies obviously made the decision to flood the area, it is the Government that has to take responsibility. While the Government has not acknowledged such, the President has moved with alacrity to address the problem, while at the same time urging the Success squatters “to do it the right way.”
Squatting cannot be condoned for many reasons, the least being that it is illegal. It would be no surprise that those who have made significant efforts to acquire land and construct homes are not in sympathy with squatters, who also are frequently allowed to jump the queue. They receive advanced consideration as against those who have been waiting for years for the allocation of land. Also, squatting also invites not only those who are genuinely in need, but also undesirable elements who pose threats not only to other squatters but to surrounding communities. In news reports these concerns have been expressed.
Continue reading “SQUATTING: LAND POLICY AND DISTRIBUTION”
Political lifespan in the third world, unlike the developed world, accords generally with the person’s physical lifespan, if no intervening political, health or other event intervenes to terminate the political career. Most politicians hardly ever contemplate the tenuous nature of a political life. Once office is obtained, many believe that they are fixated for life. When the office is terminated by natural political causes, convulsive anger is displayed. We saw it in Guyana recently.Continue reading “POLITICAL LIFE AND AFTERLIFE IN THE THIRD WORLD”
At the 151t Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Friday last, President Irfaan Ali said: “The Republic of Guyana has just emerged from a bruising test of its democracy. My government is committed to strengthening the country’s democratic institutions and to insulating them from the threat of being undermined.”Continue reading “STRENGTHENING DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS”