Civil society, unions slam unilateral appointment of GECOM chair

first_img– FITUG calls for Guyanese to oppose move– Private Sector condemns decision as ‘dangerous’As the fallout continues from the shocking appointment on Thursday evening of former Justice James Patterson as Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), both civil society and trade unions have come out in strong opposition to slam the decision.Pulling no punches, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) in a release on Friday condemned the decision as “dangerous” and a threat to democracy. It expressed regret that an agreement could not be reached between the opposing sides for a successor to former Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally.President David Granger as he swears in retired Justice James Patterson to the post of GECOM ChairmanOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo vows to oppose the appointmentPSC Chairman, Eddie Boyer“The Private Sector Commission, throughout the entire process of exchange between the President and the Leader of the Opposition, had hoped that the appointment of the Chairman of GECOM would continue in an open and transparent manner and in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution.”“The decision of the President to act unilaterally and independently of the submissions of the Leader of the Opposition poses a clear threat to democracy and will inevitably divide the nation and lead to economic instability,” the PSC stated, adding that “It is a dangerous decision.”Meanwhile, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) came out harshly against the move. Describing the decision as shocking, the Union slammed the decision as a threat to democratic gains made over time.“The President, who must have been advised by his comrades, is heading down a perilous path which we believe is not in the interest of our country and all Guyanese. It is our view that the President’s actions represent a reversal of the democratic advances we have made over the years.”“The FITUG believes that the newly-appointed GECOM Chairman, as matured and qualified as he may be, would have started out on a wrong footing and may well find it extra-ordinarily challenging to perform or receive the same level of acceptance, internally or externally, as enjoyed by his predecessors.”According to FITUG, Patterson’s appointment is a “slap in the face” of persons who struggled for a return to democracy. The unions noted that some of those very individuals now sit in Government and questioned their silence.“We believe the unilateral appointment cannot stand up to any test of scrutiny and no justification can excuse the President’s decision on this matter. President Granger, we believe, had a more than ample choice to select from among the suitable nominees put forward by Mr Jagdeo… a GECOM Chairman who would have enjoyed the respect and confidence of all Guyanese.”“The fact that the President has chosen to act outside of the list he received is not reflective of a commitment to protecting and advancing our democratic culture, something he as President is charged with upholding. Furthermore, it gives rise to the notion that Mr Granger was simply engaged in a charade regarding the appointment of the GECOM Chairman.”FITUG also expressed concern that the act would revert Guyana to “a time we left behind” and noted that the appointment in fact reflected poorly on President Granger.“We roundly and loudly condemn this move which does not portend for a bright future and a good life. We see it as walking back to a time we need not relive and experience again. We call on all Guyanese to raise their voices against this travesty and this attack on our democracy,” the party added.Patterson, currently a legal advisor in the Legal Affairs Ministry, was sworn in a few hours after President Granger met briefly with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo. According to the Head of State, his decision to select a GECOM Chairman was done in accordance with Article 161 of the Constitution for the appointment of a GECOM Chairman.Granger said he informed Jagdeo during their meeting that he found that the third list of nominees submitted on August 25, 2017 was unacceptable within the meaning of the Constitution and that he had also paid careful attention to the ruling of the Chief Justice Acting Roxanne George-Wiltshire. ed to hand pick 84-year-old Justice Patterson for this position, the President said it is because of his extensive experience as a former Chief Justice of Grenada. “He has long judicial service and we feel that he is a fit and proper person. So it’s important for the reason I mentioned, that we bring this to an end and continue with the business of Guyana,” he added.The decision has not gone down well with the political Opposition. During a press conference on Thursday, Jagdeo announced that his party would be withdrawing its support from any form of cooperation with Government and would also mount a legal challenge to the appointment.In addition to expressing his intention to raise the matter with the diplomatic community, Jagdeo indicted that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) will be calling on its support base countrywide for the national boycott. (Jarryl Bryan)last_img read more

Fort St John RCMP looking for missing woman

first_imgUPDATE:  The RCMP is pleased to confirm that the Nichole Simituk reported missing, has been located, and she is safe and sound.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John RCMP are requesting the public’s assistance in locating a missing Fort St. John resident.Nichole Simituk was last seen March 29, 2016.Nichole is described as:• Caucasian female- Advertisement -• 27 years old• 5 ft 4 in (163 cm)• 130 lbs (59 kg)Advertisement • blonde hair• blue eyesAnyone with information of her  whereabouts is urged to contact their local police, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).last_img read more

Neymar on target as Brazil win at the death

first_imgBut Coutinho and Neymar finally broke through, scoring in the 91st and 97th minutes to put Tite’s side on the brink of the knockout stages.At the final whistle, Neymar sat down on the grass and wept, with the emotion of victory hitting home after the tense Group E contest at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.Neymar started despite limping out of training on Tuesday with a hurt ankle, which the Brazilian FA said was sustained as a result of snapping Swiss defenders.After a ponderous start, Brazil enjoyed a gradual crescendo during the first period but their dominance in possession was not reflected in chances created.Neymar faced the most devoted of markers in Costa Rica’s Cristian Gamboa, the Brazilian spending most of the half hopping over scything tackles or dodging past a barging shoulder.It was a compelling battle. One sumputous Neymar flick sent the ball flying over Gamboa’s head and  later he made an excellent run onto Coutinho’s pass, only to squander the chance with a heavy touch.Marcelo, Coutinho and Neymar, however, hardly make for the most conscientious combination out wide and when Johan Venegas ran clear down the right, his pullback should have been converted by Celso Borges, who skewed past the post.Brazil might have had a penalty when Oscar Duarte blocked Paulinho at a corner and Costa Rica rode their luck again after the break, as Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Coutinho all went close.Jesus’s header crashed against the crossbar and after some excellent work by Paulinho, Coutinho’s follow-up hit the ever-present Gamboa on the line.Neymar fired over from Paulinho’s cutback and Coutinho shot straight at Keylor Navas after, again, Paulinho had teed it up.With 20 minutes left, Gamboa made his first mistake and Neymar should have capitalised. A sloppy touch allowed the striker to cut inside from the left but his bending finish curved around the outside of the post.There was more drama to come. With just over 10 minutes left, Neymar’s turn prompted Giancarlo Gonzalez to lose his footing and put his arm across the Brazilian’s chest.Neymar arched back as if losing his balance before falling to the ground. Kuipers pointed to the spot but after reviewing the video replay, reversed his decision.Frustration brewed but Costa Rica’s resistance was finally ended in the 91st minute.Marcelo’s deep cross was kept alive by Roberto Firmino and a loose touch by Jesus dribbled perfectly into Coutinho’s path. Six yards out, he sidefooted home.Costa Rica conceded again right at the death. Substitute Douglas Costa squared for Neymar to finally find the net.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Neymar celebrating. Photo/GETTYSAINT PETERSBURG, Russia, June 22 – Philippe Coutinho and Neymar broke down dogged Costa Rica in injury time on Friday, sealing a 2-0 win for Brazil that propels the five-time champions towards the World Cup last 16.The Central Americans looked likely to hold on for a hard-earned draw, particularly after Neymar had a penalty award chalked off by referee Bjorn Kuipers after he consulted the Video Assistant Referee.last_img read more

Gardai investigate suspicious approach to woman

first_imgGardai are investigating a suspicious approach to a woman in Ballybofey.The woman was out walking at Dreenan on Tuesday last when the incident occurred.The man pulled up alongside the woman in a blue hatchback style car and asked her for directions. However, the woman said she felt the incident was suspicious and reported the matter to Gardai.Gardai are asking anyone who may have been approached by a male in a similar incident in a similar car to Gardai in Letterkenny on 074-9167100.Gardai investigate suspicious approach to woman was last modified: June 11th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

South Africa starts work on EO-Sat 1

first_img13 September 2013 Denel Spaceteq, the newly launched space engineering unit of South African aerospace and defence manufacturer Denel, has started the initial work on a multispectral, high-resolution earth observation satellite called EO-Sat1. Denel Spaceteq general manager Berthold Alheit said last week that EO-Sat1 was scheduled to be in operation for the South African National Space Agency by 2017. The satellite will be used in the areas of food security, urban planning and development, safety and security, and disaster management support. Denel group CEO Riaz Saloojee, announcing the launch of Denel Spaceteq on Friday, said that space had been identified as one of South Africa’s “five grand challenges”. The Departments of Science and Technology and Trade and Industry have identified satellite production, in particular, as a high-technology manufacturing niche that South Africa should be pursuing. Spaceteq’s launch follows the incorporation of SunSpace – the local company that built both of South Africa’s micro satellites, SunSat and Sumbandilasat – into Denel Dynamics in July. “The high-end engineers and scientists absorbed by Denel from SunSpace brought with them capabilities of their own, including the SunSat and Sumbandilasat programmes,” Denel said in a statement on Friday. “EO-Sat1 will be based on the strong legacy inherited from the development of SumbandilaSat.” First launched in 2009, SumbandilaSat was designed and built from scratch in one year, at low cost, by South African engineers, who also developed a world-class mission control system for the programme. Before a blast of solar radiation put it out of commission by damaging its on-board computer in July 2011, SumbandilaSat delivered over 1 000 very usable, cloud-free images, and became well-known by the amateur radio satellite society worldwide for the excellent results from its amateur radio payload. South Africa’s third satellite, EO-Sat1, will also be used for earth observation, in line with the country’s space strategy, which seeks to apply satellite data to help to improve livelihoods, reduce poverty and manage natural disasters in the country and the region. “The benefit of a local space industry will be far-reaching,” Saloojee said on Friday. “South Africa’s access to, and control over, its own satellites will ensure advanced surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.” At the same time, he said, retaining and developing technology and engineering skills within South Africa’s borders would help inspire young talent in the key fields of maths and science. Spaceteq was officially inducted into the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) at the 64th International Astronautical Congress in Beijing, China on Monday. “This formal induction and membership into the IAF will assist Spaceteq to successfully enter the space industry with greater insight and establish international networks,” Denel Dynamics CEO Tsepo Monaheng said in a statement. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Van Dyk wins 10th Boston Marathon title

first_img22 April 2014South African wheelchair racing star Ernst van Dyk became the first person to win the Boston Marathon 10 times when he sped to victory on Monday.Van Dyk already held the record for most victories in the Boston Marathon, having moved one ahead of American wheelchair racer Jean Driscoll when he won his ninth title in 2010.Amazing recordNow 41, Van Dyk’s amazing run in the Boston Marathon, which began in 1897, has been achieved in only 15 appearances in the event. He has claimed victories from 2001 to 2006, from 2008 to 2010, and now again in 2014.He dominated the race from the start, winning in 1:20:36. Only in 2004, when he set the former course record of 1:18:27, did he finish in a faster time.Japan’s Kota Hokinoue claimed second, finishing 38 seconds behind Van Dyk.Heartbreak HillIt was a tough race, Van Dyk told the South African Broadcasting Corporation afterwards: “I could see them, but I knew if I could cross Heartbreak Hill [just after the 30-kilometre mark] first, the people in the last five miles were never going to catch me,” he said.“It was really, really incredible.”CongratulationsSouth African Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula took to Twitter to congratulate him, writing: “Congratulations! To Ernst Van Dyk for winning the wheelchair Boston marathon. Viva Van Dyk Viva!”Golf legend Gary Player also praised Van Dyk, writing: “Incredible 10th victory in #BostonMarathon @ErnstvanDyk. Congratulations to a South African & @LaureusSport member. Respect #BostonStrong”Long recognised as a giant in the world of disability sports, Van Dyk’s excellence was recognised by the Laureus World Sports Academy in 2006 when he was named the Laureus Sportsperson of the Year.last_img read more

Devendra Fadnavis resigns, blames Shiv Sena for Maharashtra crisis

first_imgMaharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday tendered his resignation to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari as the BJP and Shiv Sena have failed to reach a deal on government formation.The term of existing Maharashtra Assembly ends on November 9 and no political party has come forward to form a government in the State even though the results were declared on October 24. While the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the 288-member Assembly with 105 seats, its ally Shiv Sena bagged 56 seats. The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party and Congress won 54 and 44 seats respectively.While the Shiv Sena has been firm on a 50:50 formula for government formation, the BJP has been equally firm in not giving up the chief minister post. The NCP and the Congress have also made it clear that they would sit in Opposition. With the possibility of post-poll alliance bleak, Mr. Fadnavis finally resigned from the post. Addressing the media after tendering his resignation, Mr. Fadnavis said, “We fought together as Mahayuti, but Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in his first press conference [after election results] said that all option to form govt is open. It was a shock for us.”He refuted Shiv Sena’s claim that BJP was ready for a 50:50 formula.’Governor looking at various options’The Maharashtra Chief Secretary has called for an urgent meeting of all secretaries following the resignation of Mr. Fadnavis.The oath-taking ceremony for newly-elected MLAs to Maharashtra Assembly, which was scheduled for the coming week, has been called off.Raj Bhavan officials said the Governor was examining options to appoint the next caretaker of the government or start proceedings for imposing President’s rule.In the meantime, Shiv Sena has decided to shift its MLAs to a resort in Madh island till November 15 . The party has requested Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Barve to provide security at the premises.last_img read more

HC seeks badminton asso reply on plea agnst over-aged players

first_imgNew Delhi, Jun 22 (PTI) Delhi High Court today sought the response of Badminton Association of India (BAI) on a plea not to allow over-aged players to participate in the under-17 and under-19 national level badminton tournaments.Justice Siddharth Mridul issued notice to BAI on the plea by a 15-year-old badminton players father seeking directions to comply with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports with regard to age restriction.”Issue notice to BAI. BAI has to file its reply within four weeks,” the court said and fixed the matter for further hearing on August 17.The court, however, refused to restrain the two players, alleged to be over-aged, from participating in the ongoing All India Junior Boys and Girls Under-17 and Under-19 Ranking Badminton Tournament 2016 in Thiruvananthapuram, which will end on June 25.The court was hearing a plea by Uttar Pradesh resident Issac Paul, who alleged that his son could not get a chance to go to Kerala for the under-19 games after these two allegedly over-aged players defeated him in selection trials.He alleged that the two were not below 19 years and had obtained fake age certificates, which should be verified by the concerned authorities and till that time they should be barred from playing the games.The petitioner also alleged that BAI, which is the governing body for the sport in India, has also failed to take note of his complaint.The court declined the relief, saying the tournament has already begun and nothing can be done at this stage as the two were already playing.advertisementJustice Mridul also observed that the petitioner came to the court only after his son lost to them.The court said it cannot allow his prayers with regard to restraining the two from playing the ongoing tournament, but will hear Pauls plea only with regard to taking action against over-aged players as this was contrary to the Ministrys rule issued in 2009. PTI PPS SKV ARClast_img read more

Pat Cummins returns to Australia’s one-day squad

first_imgPat Cummins’ international career has had more than its fair share of false starts due to injuries but captain Steve Smith hopes the upcoming one-day series against New Zealand will prove a launchpad for the Australia fast bowler to kick on.The right armer, who made a dream Test debut against South Africa as a raw 18-year-old in 2011 with match figures of 7-117, was recalled to the Australian side for the first time in more than a year for the three-match Chappell-Hadlee series.The 23-year-old missed all of last season after yet another stress fracture in his lower back but returned with a vengeance in Australia’s domestic one-day competition last month, taking 15 wickets at 18.60.Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said when the one-day squad was named last week that he was particularly pleased to see him back bowling with real pace.With Australia choosing not to rest Test spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, Smith had three genuinely quick bowlers at his disposal for the series against New Zealand that starts in Sydney on Sunday.”It looked like he bowled with some good pace so it’s nice to have the option of Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins at our disposal,” Smith told Australian Associated Press in Sydney on Wednesday. “It’s very exciting.”Cummins, man of the match in his Test debut, has been blighted by injury since, suffering heel problems, a torn side muscle and stress fractures in his back.Such have been the extent of his injuries, he has played just eight first-class games since he made his debut for New South Wales against Tasmania in Hobart as a 17-year-old. His last first-class game was on last year’s Ashes tour of England.advertisementSmith, however, said that if he could prove his fitness through limited overs cricket then he could be in the frame for Australia’s tour of India next February.”Obviously he’s going to play these one-dayers. I dare say he’ll play the one-dayers at the back end of the summer as well and I think after Christmas he might be playing some Shield cricket,” Smith added.”India’s possible. He’s obviously got to play some Shield cricket first and see how he goes … how his body holds up.”So far he’s going pretty well.”last_img read more

Antetokounmpo’s 24 Points and 8 Assists Helped Bucks Beat Clippers

first_imgMILWAUKEE – Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and eight assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks nearly squandered an early 23-point lead before finishing strong in a 112-101 victory over the turnover-prone Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.Greg Monroe also had 24 points for the Bucks. They watched their early edge dwindle to 77-74 late in the third quarter following four 3s in the period by Chris Paul.But the Bucks reasserted control with a 15-2 run for a 92-76 lead with about 9 minutes left, capped by Antetokounmpo’s driving dunk past Blake Griffin, and Jason Terry’s open 3 from the corner.Milwaukee also used a 20-2 run over the final 4:33 of the first quarter to open a 19-point lead at halftime.Mistakes crippled the Clippers throughout the night. Los Angeles had a season-high 23 turnovers, including 16 in the first half.TweetPinShare11 Shareslast_img read more