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Disaster for Boris as furious Tory rebels could BLOCK foreign aid spending cut

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REBEL Tories are plotting to block the Government’s bid to cut foreign aid spending from 0.7 percent of GDP a year to 0.5 percent, according to reports.

By Alex Shipman PUBLISHED: Thu, Nov 26, 2020 | UPDATED: Nov 26, 2020 114

Angry Conservative MPs, predominantly from the party’s liberal wing, are understood to be organising ahead of a vote in Parliament on the proposal. Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt and Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Commons defense committee, have criticised the budget cut, which amounts to around £4bn less for aid spending.

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Mr. Hunt said: “To cut our aid budget by a third, in a year when millions more will fall into extreme poverty, will make not just them poorer but us poorer in the eyes of the world because people will worry that we are abandoning a noble idea that we in this country have done more to champion than anyone else.

Mr. Ellwood warned cutting the budget will “leave vacuums in some of the poorest parts of the world that will further poverty and instability”.

Andrew Mitchell, a former international development secretary, said the reduction in foreign aid “will be the cause of 100,000 preventable deaths, mainly among children”.

He added: “This is a choice I for one am not prepared to make and none of us in this house will be able to look our children in the eye and claim we did not know what we were voting for.”

Rishi Sunak

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the spending cut on Wednesday (Image: Getty)

Hunt

Jeremy Hunt is among MPs to criticise the move (Image: Getty)

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the reduction in foreign aid on Wednesday.

He said the budget would be reduced to 0.5 percent of gross domestic product from 0.7 percent, prompting the resignation of Baroness Sugg, minister for sustainable development.

Mr. Sunak said: “During a domestic fiscal emergency, when we need to prioritise our limited resources on jobs and public services, sticking rigidly to spending 0.7 percent of our national income on overseas aid is difficult to justify to the British people, especially when we’re seeing the highest peacetime levels of borrowing on record.

“At a time of unprecedented crisis, the Government must make tough choices.”

READ MORE: Foreign aid budget cut was right thing to do, say Express readers (TMR: Not surprising from Montserrat)

mitchell

Andrew Mitchell also voiced disapproval of the cuts (Image: Getty) TMR: Visited Montserrat in 2011 with Sue Wardel and laid the ground-work for the eventual May 1, 2012, MOU with Montserrat

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The Government plans to increase the figure to 0.7% “when the fiscal situation allows”, Mr. Sunak said

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Baroness Sugg, who served as Number 10’s director of operations under David Cameron, described plans to abandon the 0.7 percent spend commitment as “fundamentally wrong”.

She wrote: “This promise should be kept in the tough times as well as the good.

“Given the link between our development spend and the health of our economy, the economic downturn has already led to significant cuts this year and I do not believe we should reduce our support further at a time of unprecedented global crisis.”

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Tobias Ellwood

Tobisa Ellwood said cuts will “leave vacuums in some of the poorest parts of the world” (Image: Getty)

The Archbishop of Canterbury made a rare political intervention branding the move “shameful and wrong”

The Archbishop of Canterbury branded the move “shameful and wrong” (Image: Getty)

Backbenchers Pauline Latham and Peter Bottomley have also criticised the move.

Miss Latham said it could cause “more child marriages, more instances of early childbirth, more FGM, more domestic violence”.

However other Tory MPs, including the Conservative Party deputy chair Lee Rowley, supported the move.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight he commented: “0.5% remains a substantial amount of money, supporting the poorest around the world and helping them to grow.”

Baroness Sugg resigns after announcement of cut to foreign aid

The Archbishop of Canterbury made a rare political intervention branding the move, “shameful and wrong”.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said: “The cut in the aid budget – made worse by no set date for restoration – is shameful and wrong. It’s contrary to numerous Government promises and its manifesto.

“I join others in urging MPs to reject it for the good of the poorest, and the UK’s own reputation and interest.”

Former Prime Minister David Cameron has described the cut as a “very sad moment” for Britain.

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Participate in the First Virtual Student Fair of the Caribbean!

Participate in the First Virtual Student Fair of the Caribbean!

Participate in the First Virtual Student Fair of the Caribbean!

https://pressroom.oecs.org/participate-in-the-first-virtual-student-fair-of-the-caribbean

Register now!

Thursday, November 19, 2020 — This fair hosted on December 2-3, 2020 will enable participants to learn about study and training opportunities in the Caribbean region as well as to interact with exhibitors and guest experts.

Partners of the ELAN project are pleased to announce the very first edition of the Virtual Student Fair, dedicated to vocational training and higher education, organized on December 2nd and 3rd 2020 with the support of Campus France, the French National Agency for the Promotion of Higher Education, International Student Services and International Mobility.

This fair is free and designed for students (high school and tertiary level), parents, teachers, and also technical vocational trainees and trainers from the cooperation zone of the project (English-speaking Caribbean, Haiti, Martinique, and Guadeloupe).

With this event, the ELAN project team wishes to promote exchange, and cooperation between 70 exhibitors and visitors, allowing them to learn about the regional offer of studies and vocational training, and also to exchange with participating institutions and specialists on common regional hot topics during webinars. Visitors will also have the opportunity to consult internship offers, attend workshops to prepare their study experience abroad, assess their level in a foreign language (French or English), and, above all, try to win a prize in the great ELAN contest.

Registrations are open on https://www.elan-virtualforum.org.
For more information, visit the ELAN project website or social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).

Promo flyer of the INTERREG ELAN project

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Attorney-Jean-Kelsick

Justice Morley spotlighted for ‘recusals’

Recusal is not a word heard often in Montserrat and probably not before the turn of the century, and probably only once before recent occurrences. Now from mid-2019 to now.

Justice Iain Morley

From then there has been a spathe of ‘recusals’ of High Court judges in the Montserrat High Court of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court mostly involving His Lordship Justice Iain Morley.

We thought it might be beneficial to you at this time to know the general meaning of the word, ‘recusal’: “To disqualify or seek to disqualify (a judge or juror) from participation in the decision in a case, as for personal prejudice against a party or for personal interest in the outcome.” In another but similar meaning: (law) the disqualification of a judge or jury by reason of prejudice or conflict of interest; a judge can be recused by objections of either party or judges can disqualify themselves.

We recall in our welcome to Mr. Morley via an exclusive interview regarding his tour of duty with the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC). https://www.themontserratreporter.com/new-high-court-judge-iain-morley.

Attorney Warren Cassell

The interview sought his reaction to the welcome he received in Montserrat, and “generally how he plans to address his work; his vision for the court in Montserrat; in light of the new vision that the Hon Chief Justice has been encouraging – equal justice and fairness.”

It is Justice Iain Morley who has now found himself a subject of recusals over the past year.

Justice Morley was the first installed for the trial, The Queen vs David Brandt long-standing case from 2015, and once again set for a hearing some time next year. Morley recused himself willingly, but his replacement, retired Justice Gareth Evans QC flown in from the UK to replace him after revoking Brand’s bail and remanding him to prison, was later also requested Attorney Dr. David Dorsett to recuse himself from the Brandt matters.

He refused to be recused in a 90-clause-long Ruling which was delivered within half an hour of the end of the hearing. See – https://www.themontserratreporter.com/second-judge-off-the-brandt-trial/

Judge Gareth Evans, QC

Brandt’s Attorney had applied to the Court, after Judge Morley had been recused from the case, for Judge Gareth himself to be recused as well.

Meanwhile, over the years, Morley has by virtue of being the judge assigned to Montserrat in most high court matters civil and criminal has seen several of his judgments ending before the East Caribbean Court of Appeal, much ending disfavorably to him.

Last year Keston Riley had several outings before Justice Morley and in matters evolving therefrom.

As the appellant, Keston Riley, was charged with and pled guilty to fraudulent evasion of duty, following which he was sentenced by the learned judge Morley to a term of imprisonment. Riley successfully appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeal, following which the Public Prosecutions sought to appeal to the Privy Council.

Upon his release from prison, Riley had filed a fixed date claim seeking damages and declaratory relief from the State, flowing from the circumstances surrounding his successful appeal against conviction. The damages claim was set down for hearing before the same judge who presided over Riley’s criminal matter.

In light comments by the judge Morley and prior involvement in the criminal matter, Riley’s Attorney Warren Cassell applied to the learned judge to recuse himself from hearing the damages claim on the basis that he would not bring an impartial mind to bear on the matter. He refused to recuse himself from hearing the matter, at which point Riley appealed, alleging, in the main, that the learned judge erred in law by refusing to recuse himself.

The respondents being the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions applied to strike out the notice of appeal arguing that the grounds of appeal among other things that the grounds that the judge’s prior involvement in the matter and his remarks made in open court would not cause the fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that there was a real danger that the judge was biased.

The matter turned out an interesting judgment by the Court of Appeal which ordered Morley be recused, dismissed the application to strike out the appeal; allowing the appeal; setting aside the decision of the judge not to recuse himself; ordering that a different judge is to be assigned to conduct the hearing of the matter; awarding costs to the appellant to be assessed by a master if not agreed within 21 days.

Judge Morley would only this week accede to a request, challenging him to recuse himself in a matter, where Dunstan Lindsey of Baker Hill is involved before the court for a criminal matter stemming from words allegedly published of Henry Gordon and Ryan Kohli. The learned Justice Ian Morley was currently the adjudicating judge in this matter.

Following in or about the month of June 2020 Lindsey says he was charged with two offences of Criminal Libel alleging that “I committed libel against Henry Gordon the Prosecutor within the office of the DPP. The matter was eventually committed to High Court for trial and I appeared before Justice Iain Morley on at least three occasions for the management of the case.”

Attorney Jean Kelsick

On July 21 this year in support of an application for Justice Morley to recuse himself, Lindsey deposes in an Affidavit that the learned Justice Morley is a buddy of Crown Prosecutor Henry Gordon who is the virtual complainant in the criminal matter and one of the Claimant in the civil suit brought against the Applicant in the High Court.

He also deposed in paragraph 10 of his Affidavit that the learned Judge and Henry Gordon along with the Attorney for Henry Gordon were having dinner at a local restaurant. Moreover, Henry Gordon comes as a Prosecutor before Justice Morley on a regular basis.

According to the Affidavit by Lindsey in support of his application, the virtual complainant (VC) appears before the said Judge on a regular basis. Attorney Jean Kelsick (who also often appears before the Judge) is the Attorney-at-law for the said VC. A photograph with all three parties having dinner at a local restaurant was brought to the attention of the Applicant who is alleging apparent bias.

Judge Morley complied with the request in the face of a 44-clause response submitted by DPP Sullivan opposing Lindsey’s application. In his final clauses at clause 42 he said: “…It should be clear to this honorable court that [what] is being pursued by the applicant, in this case, is what can be considered as judge shopping… we invite this honorable court to dismiss the application with cost.”

In the next clause, he submits: “Prior involvement and knowledge does not disqualify a judge from hearing a matter. Critically, however, a judge must not predetermine or prejudge the matter or for or give the impression that he or she has formed a firm view adverse to the credibility of a party hearing the evidence.
“Finally,” the DPP said, “I remind this honorable court that by itself there is nothing wrong with the bench having dinner with the bar ad vice versa…”

Experienced lawyer Dr. David Dorsett, led on Constitution matters in David Brandt’s case

Then comes a successful application by David Dorsett on September 7, 2020, for Attorney Warren Cassell where Justice Morley has recused himself from the case of The Queen vs. Warren Cassell after hearing arguments from both the Attorneys-at-law representing the Crown and Dr. David Dorsett, Attorney-at-law.

Mr. Cassell is before the court after the same charge of Money laundering that was laid in 2007 was brought again 12 years later in May 2019.

Cassell was convicted in 2012 of the offence of Money Laundering under the 2010 Proceeds of Crime Act. 15 other convictions were quashed by the Privy Council in 2015 and the court of Appeal refusing to order a retrial stating that it was not in the interest of justice to retry Cassell. The money laundering conviction was quashed by the court of appeal after lawyers for Cassell argued that he could not be convicted under a 2010 law when the offence allegedly took place in 2007. This is because the constitution says that no person could be convicted under a law that was not in force when alleged offending act took place. The court of appeal ordered a re-trial and the privy council set aside the order for re-trial.

In an Affidavit in support of the Application for Morley’s recusal, Cassell cited some 14 grounds; Justice Iain Morley is the presiding judge on Montserrat and presides over all criminal and civil matters in Montserrat’s High Court; citing also the same grounds on which he recused himself in the David Brandt matter currently before the Court. Mr. Gordon also is a litigant in a civil matter in which I am the counsel; and associates and appears before him in numerous matters; Henry Gordon is a practising Attorney-at-law who regularly comes before the High Court Criminal division in his capacity as Senior Crown Counsel with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) being his immediate Supervisor.

He is also the Attorney-at-law who has appeared as Crown Counsel in this matter. Justice Morley has made unflattering remarks in relation to me in judgements. For example he described me as “a lawyer of moderate ability ” in a preliminary ruling in this matter dated on or about the 25th of October 2019.

[11] Nonetheless, the said Justice Morley indicated that he would be minded to recuse himself but was never requested to do so.

In announcing this latest recusal in Court Order dated 13th November, 2020 Dr. Dorsett informs that the Director of Public Prosecutions has now brought the single charge of Money laundering 12 years later (different from the single charge of Concealing the proceeds of criminal conduct contrary to section 33(1)(a) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1999, CAP 4.04, by virtue of an indictment filed on or about 19th of May 2020.

Dr. Dorsett says, “Given the recusal of Justice Morley, a new judge will have to be appointed as the trial judge in the matter.”

The Order also stated that a “tentative trial date is set to commence on 19th April, 2021, during a four-week trial window.”

It is already being speculated that from other statements in the Order that because of the British interest in these trials (to include Brandt’s) another British Judge will be foisted in for the trials.

In an interesting note regarding our ‘recusal’ observations, DPP Sullivan notes, contrary to our thought that recusals have been rare, he submits: “It is my experience that full recusal applications are routinely made to trial judges both in criminal and civil matters.

DPP Oris Sullivan

Obviously there may be cases where out of common courtesy such as when material that may be potentially scandalous or highly embarrassing to the judge or where really serious allegations are made against a trial judge that the “letter “route raising the matter, would be kinder and preferable and allow a judge to recuse himself without litigation or disclosure of his wrongdoing. Otherwise, such applications, particularly in criminal matters where a trial date is imminent are invariably dealt with as expeditiously as the circumstances allow in respect of his case.

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BEAUTIFUL CHAOS

BEAUTIFUL CHAOS

A June 17, 2020 press release re BEAUTIFUL CHAOS: PASSION, POETRY, AND PERSEVERANCE, says as follows: Beautiful Chaos, a collection of poetry by Jo-Annah Richards is launched on Amazon.

Beautiful Chaos, a collection of poetry by Jo-Annah Richards is launched on Amazon.
Montserrat, W.I. – Jo-Annah is proud to debut her first collection of poetry and her second publication on Amazon.

With a passion for the Creative Arts, second-time author, Jo-Annah Richards releases an enchanting and eclectic collection of captivating poetry. The topics ranging from love to politics, with each poem effortlessly and vividly embodying the beauty and chaos in each situation.
Beautiful Blackness, a stand-out poem in the collection conveys a positive message about the beauty and power of being black. It evokes the importance of self-love, pride, and self-acceptance. One stanza powerfully reads:
“Too afraid to be displayed in negative stereotypes of blackness, mute
We need to discover our own power, our essence, our truth
We are the descendants of Kings and Queens, royalty
The blood of warriors and survivors flows through our veins, fluidly”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jo-Annah Richards has been writing poetry since the age of ten and the release of her poetry collection “Beautiful Chaos” is the result of passion and perseverance. She has a passion for writing and regularly expresses it through creating speeches, poetry, short stories, and proses. Her love for the Creative Arts extends to drama, dance, and music, which led her to create Fenyx Creations in 2015. The organisation’s objective is female empowerment and pageantry development, which is facilitated by providing training and workshops for young girls. Jo-Annah knows the benefits and impact of self-expression; as well as gaining personal development and life skills. The organisation also allows her to be creative as she utilises her skills to conceptualise the annual pageant and related events.

She is guided by the principle that you are able to achieve anything through passion and perseverance.

Beautiful Chaos is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Chaos-Miss-Jo-Annah-Richards/dp/1093171510/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=beautiful+chaos+jo-annah+richards&qid=1592416025&sr=8-1

Her first publication, The Ill Concepts of the Caribbean Woman is also available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Ill-Concepts-Caribbean-Woman/dp/1456399292/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1592415938&sr=8-1

Website/Blog and Social media handles
Instagram: @joannah14
Facebook: @joannahrichardsauthorClassifiedGovernment NoticesLand NoticesLegal NoticesReal EstateVacancies

Posted in Announcements/Greetings, Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Classified, Entertainment, International, Local, News, OECS, Poems, Regional0 Comments

The receives the governor-general of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason, in March 2018. (Getty Images)

Queen responds after Barbados removes her as head of state – ‘it’s a matter for the people’

by Rebecca Taylor · Royal Correspondent – Wed, September 16, 2020

Watch: Here’s why Barbados wants to remove Queen Elizabeth as its head of state

Scroll back up to restore default view.

The Queen has said the decision to remove her as head of state in Barbados is one to be made by the country’s people and government.

On Tuesday, Barbados announced it intended to “fully leave our colonial past behind” and said, “Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state”.

A speech written by prime minister Mia Mottley and read by governor-general Dame Sandra Mason said the country would aim to make the move ahead of its 55th anniversary of independence, which is November 2021.

Dame Sandra added: “This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving.

The receives the governor-general of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason, in March 2018. (Getty Images)
The Queen receives the governor-general of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason, in March 2018. (Getty Images)

“Hence, Barbados will take the next logical step toward full sovereignty and become a republic by the time we celebrate our 55th anniversary of independence.”

A statement from Buckingham Palace on Wednesday said: “This is a matter for the government and people of Barbados.”

Read more: Is Prince Harry right to take a pop at the Queen’s Commonwealth?

The Prime Minister’s Office agreed it was a “decision for Barbados and the government there”.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “We obviously have a shared history and remain united with Barbados in terms of history, culture, and language, and we will continue to have and enjoy a partnership with them as members of the Commonwealth.”

Barbados gained independence in 1966, and in 2016, the Queen praised the island nation saying: “Since you became an independent country in 1966, you have continued to flourish and grow into a strong and confident nation.

The greeted by the public during a walkabout in Barbados in November 1977. (Getty Images)
The Queen greeted by the public during a walkabout in Barbados in November 1977. (Getty Images)

“The extraordinary talents of your people, from the cricket field to the music industry have been admired and recognised throughout the world.”

Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Dominica have all made the same move of removing the Queen as head of state after independence.

They are still in the Commonwealth, a voluntary network of 54 nations that work for common ideals.

The Commonwealth’s role and function has been raised in recent months following the Black Lives Matter movement across the UK and the US.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, who remain president and vice president respectively of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) despite not being working royals, have raised issues in recent weeks, as they forge their new path in California.

Watch: What is the Commonwealth?

Read more: Nine things the Queen has said about the Commonwealth she gave ‘heart and soul’ to

In July, on a call with representatives from the QCT, Harry said: “When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past, and guess what, everybody benefits.”

Meghan said: “We’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now, because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this and find the place where a high tide raises all ships.

“Equality does not put anyone on the back foot, it puts us all on the same footing – which is a fundamental human right.”

Barbados’ decision could trigger other nations to make the same move. The issue has been raised on several occasions over the years by Jamaica, but the country’s constitution makes it difficult.

The Queen on a walkabout in Bridgetown, Barbados, during her Silver Jubilee tour of the Caribbean in 1977. (PA Images)
The Queen on a walkabout in Bridgetown, Barbados, during her Silver Jubilee tour of the Caribbean in 1977. (PA Images)

According to the University College London: “The difficulty lies in the Jamaican constitution, which has very high thresholds for constitutional change: two-thirds majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and any change to the monarchy must also be submitted to a referendum.”

Australians have also debated the same issue, but in a referendum in 1999, the majority of people voted to keep the Queen as their head of state.

Nations that have the Queen as head of state have a governor-general who represents the Queen in that country.

Watch: How does the line of succession to the throne in Britain work?

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Former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur passes away

Former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur passes away

Reprint – July 27, 2020

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur

(Barbados Today)

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur has passed away at the age of 70,  a Government statement has confirmed.

Arthur, the island’s longest-serving Prime Minister, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at 12:26 a.m. He was hospitalised last week with heart complications. The statement said that Minister of Labour and Social Relations and St Peter MP  Colin Jordan will be the coordinating minister for the funeral arrangements.

“The Government of Barbados extends sincerest condolences to his wife, Julie, his daughters, Leah and Sabrina and his extended family,” it added.

Posted in CARICOM, International, News, Obituaries, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Good_to_go_certificate-

Travelers to face Negative COVID-19 Test to enter Antigua

by Bennette Roach

While entering Montserrat has taken on visa-styled requirements to enter the island, leaving  Montserrat is equally involved as health certificates become necessary to enter Antigua.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services is notifying travelers from Montserrat to Antigua, of the need to have a negative COVID-19 test prior to traveling.

This became necessary as advised in a release today from the Government Information Unit (GIU) whereby, “In accordance with the Government of Antigua public health protocols, all passengers arriving in Antigua must have a negative COVID -19 test taken within seven days of their arrival. This includes passengers transiting through Antigua to other final destinations.”

To facilitate the established protocols; The Ministry of Health and Social Services will facilitate the testing of prospective travelers.  As such “Residents who are booked to travel must contact Dr. Georgette Skerritt at telephone number (664) 496-9724 to make an appointment, to be sampled for testing.

“Sampling will occur each Friday, and test results are anticipated to be available by Wednesday of the following week. At present, there is no cost associated with sampling and testing.”

The public is asked to review their travel dates and be guided accordingly to ensure a smooth transition through Antigua.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

visa-trave

COVID-19 forces Visa-styled requirements to enter Montserrat

by Bennette Roach

As the Government of Montserrat continues to remove and amend COVID-19 suppression restrictions, and the phased reopening of the economy continues, a release from the Government Information Unit (GIU) advises:  

“As of Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 5:00 a.m. the maximum number of persons allowed to gather in a public place will increase from 10 to 50.

  This is outlined in the ‘Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.4) Order, S.R.O. 44 of 2020’ which will be in effect until August 4, 2020.

Additionally, the categories of persons allowed to travel to Montserrat now “includes a person” who owns a habitable house or home in Montserrat.  However, persons traveling to Montserrat must register by completing and submitting the declaration form on the government of Montserrat website (www.gov.ms) no later than three days of their intended date of travel.”

Aircraft owners have seemingly (non-criminalised) responsibilities

The owner of an aircraft or vessel must also ensure that the person has been granted approval to travel to Montserrat prior to departing. All persons arriving on Montserrat must self-quarantine for 14-days commencing on the date of arrival.

The Order also “makes provisions for child care centers, nursery schools, primary schools, secondary school, tertiary school, and any other school(s) to open.”

“However, the Head or owner of the school must submit a sanitisation plan to the Minister of Health for approval, before opening.  The Head or owner of the school must also ensure that staff, students and customers practice social distancing, and comply with any direction or guideline issued by the Minister of Health regarding cleaning, sanitisation, and other precautions. Failure to comply with the directives from the Minister of Health may result in the school being ordered to close.

“As it relates to the operations of gyms and sports clubs, these entities will be allowed to offer services, but must first submit a sanitisation plan to the Minister of Health for approval, before opening.  Once approved to operate, owners of gyms and sports clubs must ensure that customers maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from each other and must comply with any direction of guideline from the Minister of Health regarding cleaning, sanitisation, and other precautions.

“Although the six feet physical distance is specified for gyms and sports clubs, the Order also makes provisions for ‘contact sporting’ activities but individuals must comply with the restriction on the number of persons allowed to gather.” 

The release concludes that all other measures which were previously announced guiding the operations of businesses such as restaurants, cookshops, barbershops, beauty salons, bars, spas and bus, and taxi operators still remain in effect.

For those so able, the full S.R.O may be downloaded at http://www.gov.ms/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/SRO-44-of-2020-Public-Health-Covid-19-Suppression-No.4-Order-.pdf

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, COVID-19, International, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Regional, TOURISM, Travel0 Comments

PM-Dr-Ralph-Gonsalves-1

St. Vincent PM says recount votes in Guyana should be honoured

by staff writer

KINGSTOWN, ST. Vincent, Jun 11, CMC – St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves says he remains satisfied that the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping “will not stand by idly and watch the recount which is properly done for the results to be set aside” in the disputed March 2 regional and general elections in Guyana.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is yet to announce officially the winner of the polls after the re-count exercise was concluded on Sunday in the presence of observers from CARICOM and other international organisations.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves appearing on radio programme (CMC Photo)

Both the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National unity (APNU) headed by President David Granger and the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) headed by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo have claimed victory.

The PPP/C said that the recount has shown that it won the election by more than 15,000 votes, while the APNU has claimed that a number of irregularities and anomalies took place during the voting exercise and has called on GECOM to make a statement on the matter.

Gonsalves, speaking on a programme on the state-owned NBC Radio St. Vincent and the Grenadines, said “we expect the CARICOM observer mission to deliver its report and we expect that what is the recount would be honoured and the Guyana Elections Commission would honour that recount and declare the winner in accordance with this recount”

He told radio listeners that “anybody who wants to challenge anything afterward can go to court but you have to declare the winner in accordance with the recount,” he added.

Gonsalves, who is expected to take over the chairmanship of CARICOM in July, said that there had been “no complaints” about the first two processes involved in the elections, namely “what happens before the election day, process of registration, putting the machinery in place for free and fair elections, secondly what happens on election day.

“: Nobody said it was a sham elections or irregularities were such that so as to undermine the efficacy of the poll. The third question which was outstanding is the counting of the votes.

“That’s why the first statement that (Prime Minister of Barbados) Mia Mottley made as chair of CARICOM…is that each vote must be counted, each vote has to be counted. Well, this is where you had the basis for the recount and the reason why it is an election and not a selection, you have to count the votes and you have to count them honestly”.

Gonsalves said that he is “satisfied that CARICOM will not stand by idly and watch the recount which is properly done for the results to be set aside

“St Vincent and the Grenadines stands firmly for democracy and reflecting the will of the people. That will tell you where we are. I don’t have to say anything straight and plain. CARICOM is not going to tolerate anybody stealing an election,” he said.

Gonsalves said he is aware of a number of opposition parties when they lose an election make a number of complaints.

“It is almost a boring repetition. We get the reports, follow the law and who win, win. When you take part in an election there is always a chance that you may lose and if you lose …you take your licks like a man,” Gonsalves said, telling listeners that he is a friend to both Granger and Jagdeo.

Coalition says a statement by incoming CARICOM Chair could undermine the legitimacy of the recount process

by STAFF WRITER

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jun 11, CMC –  The coalition –  A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC)  has expressed concern with statements made the incoming Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Dr. Ralph Gonsalves; describing it as a taking a “prejudicial” stance on Guyana’s elections.

The APNU+AFC via a press statement said they were “surprised” at  Gonsalves’s statement since the national recount process of votes cast in the March 2, General and Regional Elections, is still ongoing.

Gonsalves who is the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has urged the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to declare a winner of the elections based on the figures from the first phase of the recount.

The recount is comprised of four stages.

However, the APNU+AFC in its statement highlighted that they are “concerned as the incoming Chair of CARICOM, Dr. Gonsalves has chosen to pronounce on a process that is still ongoing, and proposes to a direct constitutional body in another CARICOM Member State in the execution of its duties.”

The coalition reminded that the four-stage process which is gazetted was agreed to by all political parties and CARICOM.

The first stage of tabulating the votes recently concluded and the second stage is now in progress. That is the compilation of a matrix of the tabulated results along with a summary of the observation reports, by the Chief Elections Officer.

According to the coalition, the reports will highlight the 7,929 instances of irregularities which directly affected the validity of 257,173 votes.

Additionally, it was also pointed out that the CARICOM scrutineering team has not yet submitted a report of its findings as mandated by the gazetted order. This will then be followed by a review of the reports by the Elections Commission and finally a declaration of the results by the Chairperson of GECOM after having studied the report.

With that, the coalition further reminded that “the ongoing process is significant and important not only for democracy in Guyana but the wider CARICOM.  It is expected that CARICOM leaders would refrain from any actions or utterances that could undermine the legitimacy of the process and its credible conclusion.”

Posted in CARICOM, Court, Elections, International, Legal, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

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