Countdown to elections

first_imgDear Editor,In examination of the noises caused by the strident Yes! Yes! Yes! of Honorable Member of Parliament Charrandas Persaud that have now ebbed and flowed in the national space since the night of December 21, 2018, I am drawn to Edward Fitzgerald’s “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit, Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.”That a single sentence should encapsulate all that has transpired to date is to recognise the power of poetry and to understand the importance of literature to any society. Fitzgerald’s translation of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat speaks a pristine truth. The National Assembly approved a resolution of no-confidence in the Government. There is no going backward on this vote, indeed there could not even be a pause in the proceeding. The finger has written and moved on. We are witnessing the attempts to lure that finger back, witty use of mathematics; public wailing; gnashing of teeth; invoking of piety; all to no avail.The 90-day clock as prescribed by the Constitution, our supreme law, has begun to tick. As I write this, another day passes and the clock shows 69 days left before a General and Regional Election must be held as mandated. On March 21, 2019, that countdown expires. This countdown is inviolate and is unhindered by any process or institution. The Judiciary may well have matters in front of it that pertain to various interpretations of the Constitution, but they do not in any way affect this clock, any determinations can only apply to future motions of confidence. The state of readiness of the Guyana Elections Commission is not a factor, it is the President who sets the date of the elections. GECOM is provided billions in funding annually to be in a state of near readiness at all times in compliance with the vagaries of our Constitution. That tail cannot wag the dog.The Granger Administration may shed tears, but they should also end the disingenuous attempts to mislead our nation. We have no ‘Constitutional crisis’ the conflicts of Article 106 (6) and (7) will soon be resolved by the electorate. At that point members of the APNU+AFC Administration may well find acts that go beyond the description of ‘caretaker’ being examined by the judiciary for interpretation.Editor, I hope this letter illustrates the need for the much-maligned arts in our education system; life cannot be lived by mathematical formulas alone, that may well lead us to being half the men and women we are meant to be.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more

APNU/AFC is making joke with the Local Government Commission

first_imgDear Editor,The Local Government Commission (LGC) was established by an Act of Parliament in 2013, under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic Administration. In the exercise of its functions, the Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any authority.The financial situation at the Local Government Commission is most atrocious and abominable. The staff and Commissioners are starved of finance. We are already halfway in the month of February and the staff are yet to receive January salaries and the Commissioners are awaiting their January emoluments. To date, neither Capital nor Current allocations as passed by the National Assembly in Budget 2019, have been paid over to the LGC.At the statutory meeting of the Commission on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, the Commission suspended the standing orders so as to make way to discuss the unpaid salaries and emoluments for January 2019.From the very beginning and the commencement of its operations, the Local Government Commission has experienced financial hostility from the Communities Ministry, and particularly Minister Ronald Bulkan. Members of the Commission are insisting that the Commission is a constitutional agency while the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change outfit in the Government is of the view that the Commission is subject to the whims and fancies of the Communities Ministry.Section 17 of the Act clearly states, “The chairperson and members of the Commission shall receive such emoluments as may be provided for in the annual budget of the Commission, approved by the National Assembly.Section 18 states: “The expenses of the Commission shall be paid out of monies provided by Parliament.Section22 (2) states: ‘The remuneration and other terms and conditions of employment of the secretary and other officers and employees of the Commission shall be determined by the Commission.Section 24 (1) states: “The Commission shall determine its own annual budget for submission to the Minister of Finance for inclusion in the annual budget to the National Assembly.The Local Government Commission is an autonomous organisation and the Bulkan administration must allow the agency to function. Starving the LGC of finance and other basics funds for the utility services is most vindictive and unacceptable. The allocation must be made available to the Commission for them to execute their programme.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

PAHO should release data on “Impact Goals” for 2014-2019

first_imgDear Editor,There has been much discussion in the press recently on the factors that would have hindered the attainment of the “Impact Goals” in the PAHO Strategic Plan 2014-2019 for the Guyana health sector. Could the Head of PAHO, Dr William Adu-Krow, release the data on how Guyana performed in terms of achievement of the “Impact Goals” set out by PAHO for 2014-2019?This information must be in the public domain and should be of interest to all Guyanese, especially those in the health sector.Sincerely,Dr Madhu Pandey SinghMD (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), DCPCEO, Dr Balwant Singh’s Hospitallast_img

No agency devoid of massive corruption, bribery and fraud

first_imgDear Editor,There seems to be no governmental agency in Guyana that is devoid of massive corruption, bribery and fraud, which only spells doom and disaster for our beloved country, particularly with the coming of first oil in a few months.The most recent agency exposed in such transgressions is the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) for which some of its operatives have been discovered sneaking around accessing tenders that they should not have, tampering with them, and as a consequence, making a complete mockery of the tender process of Guyana.Of course, such lurid goings-on at NPTAB have been an open secret for a very long time now as there has been for a while, a hullabaloo by some contractors, companies and even by the public, of the skewed manner in which only some entities and individuals are awarded contracts, many times for which they are ill-equipped and trained to do.Even worse, recordings of telephone conversations with very damning information are coming to the surface, involving claims that some senior operatives are coaching their juniors into committing perjury.So now that the cover has been blown at NPTAB and everyone is running for cover, there seems to be a sudden PR blitz coming from that office with unprecedented levels of public announcements, releases and awareness programmes in what is obviously a smokescreen intended to confuse the public about the real happenings there.The hypocrisy of a very senior official there, who in a recent statement to the press claimed that he was not a politician, is quite laughable as in the 2015 campaign season, he was very visible at all of the stops of the ‘Unity Train’ and at the campaign rallies of a certain political party, and who since the elections, has been rewarded with lucrative positions on several State boards. This is quite evident as on one hand, he is holding himself out to be a beacon of moral rectitude while on the other hand, is now alleged to be giving a heads up to junior staffers as it relates to covering up the current saga.If Guyana is to improve its rankings on international indexes on corruption, it is important that agencies such as the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board be staffed by young, competent, qualified, decent and apolitical individuals.Sincerely,Roseanne Rodgerslast_img read more

APNU/AFC Government is on a “life support machine” fighting for survival

first_imgDear Editor,Guyanese don’t have to be statisticians to spot that the recent polls conducted by the Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES), was suspicious and fake. CADRES should publicly state who really financed that poll since it is the worst form of propaganda by the APNU/AFC coalition Government as desperation is stepping into the failed APNU/AFC camp.Several questions are exposing the Government, because if President David Granger’s approval ratings are at 94 per cent, why is the Government so afraid to go to an election? How are President David Granger’s approval ratings so high but the APNU/AFC coalition Government was completely swept away in the last LGE?If Granger’s ratings are 94 per cent then Irfan Ali’s ratings would definitely be 500 per cent since this Government is not only unpopular in the PPP/C support base but also in the APNU support base.Imagine last week President David Granger refused to announce publicly that he was coming to visit the Albion Estate in East Berbice, he actually sneaked into Berbice, afraid that the thousands of dismissed sugar workers would picket him for not attending to their cries since these severed sugar workers were left to the mercy of the Almighty God. Why did President David Granger, after four years, decide to visit workers at Albion Estate? The simple answer is that elections will be held shortly and he needs workers’ votes, sorry Granger.The analogy about diabetes that was used by President Granger on the sugar industry should be used on the Government since corruption, incompetence, mismanagement, etc is prevalent in the Government and unless Granger amputates some of the limbs that he has, the diabetes of corruption, incompetence, mismanagement etc would cause the Government to rot to death. The APNU/AFC coalition Government is presently on a “life support machine” fighting for survival.Regards,Zamal Hussainlast_img read more