Express Editorial : Daily

THAT representatives both of the government and the opposition in neighbouring Guyana were in Port of Spain late last week on different missions, in the shadows of a highly contentious arrangement for now-delayed national election there, brings the situation there into sharper focus for us here.

A government team was here in what was described as an investment invitation mission while the opposition was seeking to draw attention to the increasing level of tension over the government’s actions which appear to frustrate the process for speedy general elections.

This was the commitment given by Guyana’s President David Granger, who is on record as saying that his government, finally, would honour the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) delivered on June 18, 2019, that both parties to work together to hold fresh elections.

In mandating this, the CCJ ruling said it was “expected that the government will continue in office as a caretaker for the affairs of the country” but in light of this, it should be restrained in the use of its legal authority.

The CCJ ruling also pointed out that there was “clear guidance” in the Guyanese constitution as to the time frame for holding elections, where a government is defeated on a vote of no confidence. This article says such an election should be held not more than three months later.

But insisting that a new house to house voter registration exercise is necessary, the government has got the country’s Elections Commission (GECOM) to move ahead with such an exercise. It has been revealed, however, that the legal counsel on the GECOM has proffered advise that such action would amount to a contempt of the CCJ ruling.

Two major private sector organisations, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) and the Private Sector Commission (PSC), have written letters calling for the speedy holding of the elections.

In its letter, the GMSA warned of the possible negative consequences which could attend continued postponement of the elections, while the PSC has argued against any rationale for the new registration exercise.

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Demonstrations began late last week, with Guyanese nationals opposed to the voter registration exercise amassed outside the GECOM headquarters.

Tension is building over a situation which had its beginning in the essential collapse of the administration when it lost a no-confidence motion in the 65-member National Assembly, in which the government held a one-seat majority. One of its own members voted with the opposition on December 21, 2018.

The government challenged this all the way to the CCJ, arguing incredulously that 33 out of 65 was not a sufficient majority.

Guyana has emerged from a turbulent history of race riots, during decades of social and political turmoil. The country is at the dawn of a new day with offshore energy production. But nothing positive can come of what is essentially a refusal by the government to abide by the rule of law.

The government must do nothing further to frustrate the will of the Guyanese people, and the spirit of the country’s constitution. It must quit stalling, and take positive steps to call the election sooner rather than later.


In spite of the fact that I am very disappointed that Ivor Archie continues to preside as Chief Justice of Trinidad and Tobago with very serious and scandalous allegations of misconduct still hanging over his head, I have reluctantly accepted a formal invitation by his protocol office to attend the ceremonial opening of the 2019-2020 law term in order to hear what the learned Chief Justice will tell citizens regarding his unprecedentedly stormy stewardship of the Judiciary for the past year(s).

DR Linda Baboolal was an acknowledged lady of firsts. A general medical practitioner who studied at the University of Manitoba in Canada, and then at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, she returned home and became a dedicated medical practitioner.

The sudden outrage against unnecessarily loud noise is most welcome now, especially as it applies to offensive fireworks. For decades I have had to cuddle and pacify my frightened, whimpering dogs affected every year by the loud noises of fireworks on Independence night in the Queen’s Park Savannah and on Old Year’s night as well.

On behalf of the Dr Eric Williams Memorial Committee and on my own behalf I wish to extend my deep and profound sympathy on the passing of a great, humble, honourable and distinguished lady, Dr Linda Baboolal, who passed two days ago.

The Caribbean Partners’ Forum, convened jointly by the government of Jamaica and the United Nations, and which was held in Kingston on September 11, created a space for regional stakeholders to consider new solutions to the dreadful threat posed by climate change.

How much kale do you need to eat to reap the benefits of this trendy superfood? How much quinoa? Yoghurt? How many almonds should you chomp? How many pumpkin, chia and flax seeds?