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Rev Jesse Jackson: Trump's approach 'not working'

Donald Trump slams removal of historic statues as Confederate figures come down

The US President predicts that monuments to George Washington could come down next – a claim historians say is “ridiculous”.

The far-right rally in Charlottesivlle was a protest against a statue’s removal
 By Aubrey Allegretti, Political Reporter

Donald Trump has said US history and culture is being “ripped apart” by the removal of statues.

The President, whose intervention follows the planned removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville that sparked a violent far-right rally, said such actions were “foolish”.

He wrote on Twitter: “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.

Members of the Ku Klux Klan rally in opposition to city proposals to remove or make changes to Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Image: KKK members waved Confederate flags at the Virginia protest

“You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!

“Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”

The Charlottesville statue is one of multiple memorials across the US – many depicting military figures who fought unionist troops in the American Civil War – planned for removal.


President Donald Trump delivers remarks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower, August 15, 2017 in New York City. He fielded questions from reporters about his comments on the events in Charlottesville, Virginia and white supremacists. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Both statues referred to in Mr Trump’s tweet were taken down overnight after the violence in Virginia.

Monuments to Robert E Lee, a commander of the Confederate army, and Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, a Confederate general, were dismantled from the Wyman Park Dell in Baltimore.

Historians have suggested that while George Washington had some similarities to the two leaders, it was “ridiculous” to conflate him with them.

Of Robert E Lee, Professor Alice Fahs from the University of California said: “He’s not a founding father, and it’s as though Trump thinks he is. It’s really astonishing. It’s amazing.”


Historians said conflating Jefferson with Lee and Jackson was ‘ridiculous’

Gregory Downs, a history professor also of the University of California, said: “It is obvious that traitors in arms to the nation are not equivalent to those who created it.”

He added that statues of founding fathers, who despite being unionists were also slave owners, “force us to contemplate the centrality of slavery to the making of the nation”.

Civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson has called for all Confederate status to be removed and described them as “unfinished business in our country”.

He told Sky News: “There are no Hitler statues in Germany today or neo-Nazi material flying around.


Rev Jesse Jackson: Trump’s approach ‘not working’

“These guys sought to secede from our union, maintain slavery and secession and segregation and sedition, and so these statues are coming down and they should come down.

“When you lose the war you vanquish your symbols. Their symbols should exist in a museum someplace.”

But the governor of Maine has rubbished such calls, saying dismantling Confederate statues would be “just like” removing a monument to 9/11 victims.

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How do we deal with “Cocobeh”- tainted big frogs in our region’s small ponds?

Contribution – Part 19/2017



The Caribbean’s tainted leadership challenge

 BRADES, Montserrat, July 13, 2017 – One of the old-time Caribbean superstitions is the one about how “frogs” (especially toads) carry “Cocobeh,” leprosy. Many an innocent frog has paid with its life for this myth. And even that crime against ecology is part of how useful “the Cocobeh model” is for understanding and solving the region’s tainted leadership challenge. For our governments, for our businesses, for education, media, even churches, regional/international bodies and sports.

Too many leaders in our region and far beyond seem to be part of a toxic leadership culture of being big frogs in a dirty, tainted pond. They have Cocobeh, they spread it to the pond, they infect those who work with them, they even use it as a weapon, spitting it on those who challenge them. So, Cocobeh is too often deeply embedded in our regional leadership culture. That is, a toxic brew of corruption, deceit, selfish ambition, envy, greed and too often critical gaps in character and capability that predictably turn promising projects into damaging failures. Under these circumstances, just getting into or living near the pond is a hazard, much less having to deal with infected leadership at close hand day by day.

This is a tough challenge, but it is hardly a new one. Nor is it unique to our region. Indeed, our region’s most common history book has in it a key case study from 3,000 years ago. Namely, the transition between the Saul and the David generations. Saul started well, but became tainted and was troubled with depression, jealousy and more. David first came into his life as a young talented musician who could help calm his troubled spirit. Then, one day the lad killed a giant, stirring jealousy as Saul heard the people praise David for a feat he had been too demoralised and tainted to attempt. So, even though David was now his youngest General, son-in-law and even head of his bodyguard, in his fits of rage and envy Saul began to throw javelins at him and to scheme against him. Ironically, the Crown Prince (Jonathan) Saul wanted to promote became David’s close friend and mentor. Eventually, David had to flee for his life, ending up at the cave of Adullam. Then, we read how:

1 Sam 22:2 “ . . . everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to [David]. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.”  [ESV]

This seemingly unpromising group became David’s mighty men and the core of the greatest generation of leadership in Israel’s history. They stood with him through thick and thin, even when he had to flee to exile among his enemies. And when Saul and his sons fell in battle at Mount Gilboa in the Jezreel region, they were joined by six hundred Philistines when David first returned to Hebron. (These, brought with them the key breakthrough technology of that day: Iron-making.)

The pattern is clear enough: in and around a tainted pond, genuine breakthrough leadership will always be under attack by javelin throwers and will be spied on and schemed against. Such alternative leaders therefore need to have support teams with a critical mass of capability, and opportunity to grow. Key technologies may be a big part of their secret sauce. They may need to go into exile to come into their full potential. They may need to bring in outside expertise. And, they will need to be purified from the taint of the dirty pond.

Big frogs will know this and they will fight dirty to protect their turf. They will try to lock out promising young people they don’t favour. The tempting offer of tainted funding or the tainted “compromise solution” or the dangerous “promotion” are obvious tricks. They will create false but persuasive stories. They will try to stir up scandals and will try to put up street theatre stunts, all to be barked up loudly far and wide by their media wolf-packs. They will throw javelins – whether rhetorical or real. They will drive out those they promoted but cannot compromise, capture and control. They will hunt them down after they have fled, driving them into exile. They will find every excuse to undermine and discredit expertise that is not under their tainted control. Lastly, it may take devastating failure, defeat and a long, confused leadership struggle before a David generation can come into its own. All of which seems all too sadly familiar.

So, we need to learn how to tell the difference between the Saul Generation trying to capture the future and an emerging David generation. The track record that shows Cocobeh-taint is a main clue. Character shown by diligent stewardship is a key test, as he who is untrustworthy with what is little will also be untrustworthy with what is much. Jealousy and dirty favouritism games will also speak. So will a track record of tainted projects. As will bad attitude towards truth, fairness, the right, the just. All across our region, it is time to move beyond the tainted culture of a dirty small pond.

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Tennyson Joseph

UWI lecturer against the rise of businessmen-politicians in the Caribbean

By Kenton X.Chance

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Aug 11, CMC – A University of the West Indies (UWI) lecturer is warning against the rise of the businessman-politician in the Caribbean identifying St. Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and U.S. President Donald Trump as examples of why businessmen as politicians are bad for society.

Head of the Department of Government, Sociology and Social Work at the UWI Cave Hill Campus in Barbados , Dr. Tennyson S.D. Joseph, said that the region should regard the development as “a new window for the re-emergence of the left”.

However, his theory was rejected out of hand by St. Clair Leacock, a two-term elected Member of Parliament, businessman and vice-president of the right-wing opposition New Democratic Party, who attended the public lecture on the topic “‘Any Cook Can Govern?’: Plato, Donald Trump, and the rise of Caribbean Businessmen Politicians”.

Tennyson Joseph
Dr. Tennyson Joseph

In the lecture, Joseph, who unsuccessfully contested the 2006 general election in St. Lucia against Chastanet’s United Workers Party (UWP), rejected 20th  century Trinidadian intellectual CLR James’ theory that any ordinary person can become a leader and argued instead in support for Greek philosopher Plato’s view that business people should not be political leaders.

“There is much evidence in the politics of the USA, the Caribbean and elsewhere that the election of persons with business experience, and the election of persons who fail to understand that political leadership requires a specific nobility of character, has compounded, rather than resolved the challenges of governance or development.  It is clear that not any cook can govern,” Joseph told the audience attending the second in a series of lecturers organised by the UWI Open Campus, and LegalEase SVG Inc.

Joseph said he was moved to think about the specific questions that he addressed in the lecture when in April 2016, “an untried and untested son of a St. Lucian businessman, Allen Chastanet, emerged as Prime Minister of St. Lucia after successfully wresting power from Dr. Kenny Anthony”.

Joseph sort to present Chastanet as an incompetent leader and showed a news clipping of the prime minister experiencing great difficulties piloting a bill through the nation’s national assembly.

He further said that among “the clearest examples of his narrow association of politics” was Chastanet’s decision to contract a private accounting firm to prepare St. Lucia’s 2017 budget.

Joseph further said that the prime minister justified the decision on the basis that the public sector had limited knowledge of new and modern approaches to taxation.

“Whatever the explanation, this begs the question of the appropriateness of conceding such wide swathes of public responsibility to a private firm to determine the revenue and expenditure priorities of a democratically elected government.  Further, whilst an elected government would be guided by notions of public accountability, a privately contracted accounting firm is not obligated to be informed by similar considerations,” Joseph said.

Joseph, who confirmed that he had work as Anthony’s political attaché between 2000 and 2003, said that on sober reflection “both Chastanet and Trump’s victories were the result of the same architectonic structural and ideological issues reflecting themselves in contemporary early Twenty-first century politics”.

Joseph said that both the St. Lucia and United States elections were fought on the basis of “an electorate frustrated with established politics, with voters opting to vote for ‘something new’”.

He further posited that on the basis of the ideological hegemony of neo-liberalism, both the St. Lucian and U.S. electors assumed that their countries’ challenges could be resolved by business persons rather than by so-called “professional politicians.

“However, since the elections both countries have experienced ‘disnormative’ political developments largely arising out of the political inexperience and the crude application of the ideological “business-oriented” concerns of the respective leaders, but these failures themselves are symptomatic of deeper crises confronting capitalist democracies in the present and are manifesting themselves most clearly as failures of leadership,” Joseph said.

Regarding the future, the UWI lecturer said that he believes that the current moment calls for “a more heightened degree of political activity from the historically progressive social democratic forces of the Caribbean.

“The present moment, in contrast, is one of both of optimism and pessimism.  The pessimism lies in the concrete reality of the actual takeover of our politics by the business class and represents a moment of triumph of neo-liberalism in which its theoretical claims are being backed up by political victories.”

Dialectally, however, Joseph said, the moment presents itself as a simultaneous moment of collapse and defeat of neo-liberalism, noting German philosopher Friedrich Hegel’s reminder that the highest stage at which something can reach, is the stage at which it begins to perish.

“We are also informed that something — an idea a social formation or an institutional principle — can only be said to reach its highest stage when all its principles are taken for granted.  The full negative effects of capitalism had always been mediated by its social veil in which political power was transferred into the hands of the non-bourgeois technical managerial class.

St. Clair Leacock

“However, when, as in the present moment, the bourgeoisie seeks to govern directly without the mediation of the technical managerial middle class, we are indeed in the highest stage prior to the moment of collapse,” Joseph argued.

He said that there are myriad signs to suggest that Trumps moment of victory, coincides with the moment of the collapse of the United States’ capitalist world leadership.

“Similarly, the emergence of the CEO politician in the Caribbean is coming after several decades of crisis of post-colonial development when the independence project appears to have lost its steam and has entered crisis.

“Chastanet and the business class represent the symptom and not the solution to that crisis.  For the last four decades Caribbean social democracy has been beaten back and lost its voice.  My message to the Vincentian and Caribbean progressive forces, is that we should see the moment, not as one of defeat, but as the opening of a new window for the re-emergence of the left, as the business politicians demonstrate concretely that they cannot resolve a crisis which was caused by the very class to which they belong.  It is now time for the left to re-emerge,” Joseph said.

But, speaking in the open forum, Leacock told Joseph that he rejects all his conclusions “totally out of hand as an absence of serious political science”.

Leacock told Joseph that he found great difficulty “finding the triangulation”.

“The expansive detail on St. Lucia’s situation, unfortunate, regrettable — Chastanet’s challenges, I am not here to defend or promote — but it is difficult for me to accept that the St. Lucian experience finds a generalisation in Caribbean politics or international politics.”

Leacock told Joseph that he found his treatment of leadership to be “very shabby and totally absent of academic research. It is different for me to find how you can ground that. I don’t find the triangulation that should be present and the conclusions are very, very narrow.”

But Joseph said that Leacock gave “an emotive response” to the lecture and not “an intellectual critique of it”.

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Governor Carriere and Martin Dawson leave doubtful impressions

Governor Carriere and Martin Dawson leave doubtful impressions

August 11, 2017

The news a week ago coming out of Government House was for many quarters surprising. That was so because there were those who believed that Governor Carriere was serious and at times seemed aggressively pursuing a course of doing something meaningful before she leaves next year, if indeed she would.

There are also those who recall the departure of Dr. Kato Kimbugwe whom every-one will quickly say, the on-island DFID representative worked hard and for the most part with good intentions. So much so that some of us refrained from recounting his work while here, knowing that there were efforts on his part to leave a legacy of very positive change behind.

Two things that were major for him was geothermal and fibre optics, both key to the future development of economic growth to include tourism. He had seriously hoped that tourism would have been well underway along with the development at Carrs Bay and Little Bay pretty much in keeping with the Master Plan, which fed the SGP that he had ‘master minded’.

But for Kimbugwe things did not pan out so well come February and onward to his departure and since for his tenure. It was almost like he was never in Montserrat. There was the rush to break ground for the new power plant which still never came to fruition until recently even though the jury may still be out as whether that was a successful project, with the difficulties experienced of syncing it with the old and tired temporary generators that have continued to fail.

Governor Carriere arrived seemingly with a fairly good knowledge of what may have been lacking in the end with the tenure of her predecessor Anthony Davis who was too defeated or deflated to hold a final press conference which would have given him a chance to lay better grounds for her to step onto.

So, she too walked in to meet a totally green government, politically to some extent and administratively. She found a government who came into power from the disappointment of a frustrated and dissatisfied people who really had almost a single hope of better treatment rather than concern about economic development both of which had to go hand in hand.

She came almost the same time with or just after a new DFID rep arrived in Montserrat to meet the same circumstances she was likely aware of.

While focussing on her and the rather odd and surprising announcement of her departure, this came at the same time Martin Dawson the DFID rep was coming to the end of a not so fruitful tenure of three years which was extended for a year just about the time there were discussions and even a rumour over whether he would have continued to serve in his position to the end of 2016.

It was during both their tenure that we wrote a quote from Jean H. Charles about corruption. He said: “Corruption has been designated as the number one hindrance to a country’s development.”

Do I see some eyebrows going up or some eyes rolling? In that editorial you will find: “Does ignorance play a part in this? Dishonesty, secrecy and the lack of goodness are soft terms but all support the culture of corruption, which all help to retard the progress of any country.” Perhaps this will open some eyes and ears.

One of our well-known communication specialists wrote seriously in a medium, social though it is, that both HE Governor and Martin Dawson had to account for the lack of positive progress and development of the island for past few years, but also joined the government also in his criticisms.

“In my view, these two British appointees must be surely be held at least partly responsible and accountable for the moribund and stagnated state of Montserrat’s post-eruption rebuilding. They have presided over this dilemma, regrettably aided and cluelessly abetted by the present government of Montserrat under the leadership of Mr Donaldson Romeo,” he wrote.

The Governor gave a positive review of success over Dawson’s tenure on the island. That was in the face of him struggling at her press conference to give any real and meaningful suggestions of his achievement while serving here. In fact, there was also one comment which suggested that he blamed the government squarely for him not having much to say in that regard. “Martin Dawson, responding to questions by Nerissa Golden (Gov’s press conf) laid the blame squarely at the feet of Mr Romeo and his government, when he said: “Our role has been to help the government to develop these strategies but ultimately the decision is theirs to move to the next phase.”

He has over the past few weeks struggled to articulate what he has done “to help the government develop…” As a matter of fact, the suggestion is that he has not only not done so, but has attempted to or thwarted progress.

The Governor’s announcement of her early break of her tour of duty here and Dawson’s departure, which some probably mistakenly or mischievously say was also under a cloud of being asked not to continue, do raise some questions. The Governor has promised to say more about her surprise announcement and it will surely be interesting to learn how she views her performance to date and what she believes will happen to her ‘efforts’ during her next few months and after she leaves.

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DFID’s Dawson departs soon

DFID’s Dawson departs soon

Martin Dawson leaves next week

Meanwhile Martin Dawson the current DFID Resident Representative will this month conclude his two-year stint extended to a third year as he reported last year September, under a cloud of rumours, regarding his service to Montserrat.

According to a release from the Governor’s and DFID offices, “after almost three years in Montserrat, Martin Dawson, DFID Resident Representative, will be leaving in August 2017. He has been asked by DFID to take up the senior post of Deputy Head of DFID’s Office in Kabul Afghanistan.”

Pleased with the new offer from DFID Martin said in April on the announcement of his departure: “…I have worked tirelessly with the Government of Montserrat and strongly believe, through partnership, we have made some real progress,” but there have been doubts as to what he is referring to as progress.

The changes create much suspicion and discussion as Martin’s successor, his recent immediate boss in London, will be Moira Marshall, who is known in Montserrat, as the DFID lead on Financial Aid. She was expected to take up the post at the beginning of August 2017 accompanied by her husband, David.


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Governor Carriere to shorten her Montserrat tour of duty end of this year

Governor Carriere to shorten her Montserrat tour of duty end of this year

Early today the Governor’s Office issued a surprise release which follows:

“Her Excellency the Governor, Elizabeth Carriere, will be leaving Montserrat in early January 2018 to take up a senior position with an international development non-governmental organisation (NGO) to work in Africa on programmes related to development, social justice and gender equality.

By the time of her departure Ms Carriere will have completed two and a half years of her three year appointment as Governor.

The release reported  the Governor, speaking of her new appointment and her departure from Montserrat, she said:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my work as Governor of Montserrat and am grateful for the opportunity to work in this role and in this special place.  Montserrat will always remain close to my heart.  However, I have to look forward to what comes next after my role here. My next appointment will return me to Africa to work in areas of development that are of great importance to me – social justice, economic empowerment and gender equality. But the latest I can take up this position is January 2018. Sadly, this means that I will have to leave Montserrat early, before my three year term is completed.  I am making arrangements to leave the UK Civil Service and take up this position by the beginning of 2018.  I will be able to say more about this nearer the time.”

As we reported two weeks ago referring already thinking of her departure, prophetically perhaps, to her legacy, we recall reporting statements on her arrival to Montserrat, near exactly two years ago, when she responded to the welcome speeches, noticeably stressing on Good Governance.

The process of selecting the next Governor has begun and Ms Carriere will work closely with her successor to ensure a good handover, and hopes that progress continues in the important areas of her work.

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Skerrit Domi

Government defends fiscal policies, says no plans to approach IMF

ROSEAU, Dominica, Aug 2, CMC – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has defended the economic policies of his administration and dismissed suggestions that the island could be seeking assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Winding up debate on the EC$918.2 million (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) budget on Tuesday night, Skerrit told legislators that the island’s debt to gross domestic product (GDP) is within a manageable range.

“Our debt to GDP is not a 120 per cent or more. That’s when the IMF comes in, when your debt to GDP is 120 (per cent) plus. They are coming to rescue you.

Skerrit Domi
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (File Photo)

“Our debt to GDP ratio, our national debt now stands at 67 per cent and if you take out our guarantees for the AID Bank and to DOWASCO it will be 51 per cent,” Skerrit told Parliament, adding that the Central Government debt to GDP ratio would be at 51 per cent guarantees to DOWASCO is to bring portable water to every part of Dominica.

He said the guarantee to the AID Bank is to provide cheaper financing to the private sector to create jobs.

“So it is an investment. So we don’t want any IMF prescription.

“IMF is our friends, they are my friends, I like them they like me too, but we don’t             need them because they have confirmed Madam Speaker that there is no fiscal unsustainability in Dominica at this stage.”

During his contribution to the debate, Opposition Leader Lennox Linton said that since 2005 the Dominican economy has struggled to maintain a growth rate of less than one per cent on average, well below economic performances in the rest of the region and significantly less than the five to seven per cent required to generate sustained employment and to reduce the growing incidence of poverty on the island.

“Repeated policy action in budget after budget presented by this administration have failed to address economic growth and Dominica’s growing unemployment problems with the resultant social ills, which continues to plague our country,” he said.

He told legislators that this year’s budget, surfaces against the backdrop of some very interesting disclosures in the IMF’s March, 2017 Article IV consultation on Dominica.

He said that over the past 17 years the Washington-based financial institution has made recommendations for the Dominica economy including the need for improving the conditions for private investment, especially for export activities as the key to accelerating growth.

“These IMF recommendations for an economy managed by a group which according to the Prime Minister should be “unafraid to regularly expose itself to independent expert scrutiny” are contained in a press statement issued by the mission chief at the end of the Article 4 consultation in March 2017. But four months later, the full Article 4 report is yet to be published.”

Linton said that the IMF executive board in May considered and endorsed the appraisal without a meeting.

“I understand the IMF executive board to be saying, the 2017 Article 4 report is in the hands of the Dominica authorities and those authorities have not yet decided to publish it. And I wonder why,” he added.

But Prime Minister Skerrit said Linton’s response to the budget was lacking adding “it made no mention of the bold steps to make our income tax rates more competitive, boosting incentives to work and the need to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and character in our society”.

Skerrit said it does not matter whether or not the opposition agrees with the policies outlined in the fiscal package, saying “every single one of the policies enunciated in this budget address will affect in a positive way the lives of every single citizen of our society”.

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Barbados protest

Thousands march in nation wide protest

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jul. 24, CMC – A nationwide protest called by trade unions and the private sector has won the support of thousands of Barbadians who turned out on Monday urging the government to roll back the increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy.

Barbados protest The protest is jointly organized by the Barbados Private Sector Association, the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU).

On Sunday, the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW) called on all members to participate in a national march and rally .

The umbrella organisation said it informed, in writing, the head of the Civil Service and and the permanent secretary in the ministry of the industrial action.

“The march has been organised to continue to insist on our rights as citizens to engage in meaningful social dialogue with our government on issues that affect us all.”

The NUPW said it warned the government at a pre-budget meeting that the union would not support increased taxes.

“Yet the government introduced n unjust National Social responsibility Levy tax, even though public sector workers have not received a salary increase in almost a decade. We have publicly suggested that the workers at least be given coping subsidy since salary negotiations have not been concluded or a repeal to the NSRL based on the expected hardship it will cause public servants and the vulnerable.”

The NUPW added that although a letter was delivered to Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart asking for dialogue on the issue – “To date our government has refused to meet with us. We have since engaged the Private Sector, our social partner to press government to engage  – this has still not happened.”

The NUPW said as a result, the citizens have been asked to join in to demand “discussions towards solutions that will work  because we all can commit to them;meaningful dialogue through a functioning social partnership; protection  for the most vulnerable and increased spending power for members who have not received a salary or wage adjustment for almost a decade.”

However, in response to the protest action, the Prime Minister in an address on Sunday urged nationals not to be taken for a ride by the newly found alliance between labour and the private sector.

Addressing a luncheon given by the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s Christ Church West branch , Stuart predicted that the “new-found fellowship” between the private sector and the trade unions would not last.

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Patricia Gordon-Pamplin

New Premier takes Finance as he unveils new cabinet


HAMILTON, Bermuda, Jul 25, CMC  –  New Premier David Burt unveiled an 11-strong cabinet on Thursday, two days after his Progressive Labour Party (PLP) stormed to victory in the general election.

Premier David Burt
Premier David Burt

The PLP, which had lost the 2012 election to the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) by 19 seats to 17 after 14 years in power, won by 24 seats to 12 in Tuesday’s landslide after garnering almost 60 per cent of the vote.

Burt, at the age of 38 – the youngest premier in Bermuda’s history, takes the key Finance portfolio.

Burt’s deputy, Walter Roban, heads up the Transport Ministry, while Kathy Simmons, who lost to the OBA’s Jeff Baron in Warwick North East, is one of the PLP’s five senators and will be the new Attorney-General.

New MP Wayne Caines, a big winner on Tuesday, gets the National Security portfolio.

David Burch, a former commanding officer of the Royal Bermuda Regiment who held a cabinet post in the previous PLP administration, is the new Minister of Public Works.

In addition to Roban and Burch, there were also returns to cabinet for Kim Wilson (Health) and Zane DeSilva — the PLP’s only white politician — who all served under the previous PLP administration. DeSilva heads up Social Development and Sport.

Besides new Attorney-General Simmons, four other defeated candidates —  Anthony Richardson, Jason Hayward, Vance Campbell and Crystal Caesar, will fill the PLP’s remaining Upper House slots.

In the wake of defeat Michael Dunkley, the former premier, resigned as leader of the OBA,

 The OBA has since appointed Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, the daughter of a trade union pioneer, and Sylvan Richards as interim leader and interim deputy leader. Eventually, Gordon-Pamplin has named three defeated election candidates – Nandi Outerbridge, Nick Kempe and Andrew Simons – to the Senate.

The Upper House also features five PLP senators and three independents yet to be named by the Governor.

Outerbridge, former MP for St George’s West, will focus on social development, with Kempe taking on labour and training and Simons dealing with technology.

The House of Assembly will resume in September, two months earlier than normal after the summer recess.

The party’s three senators and shadow cabinet would be announced later. Gordon-Pamplin has named three defeated election candidates – Nandi Outerbridge, Nick Kempe and Andrew Simons – to the Senate.

The Upper House also features five PLP senators and three independents yet to be named by the Governor.

Outerbridge, former MP for St George’s West, will focus on social development, with Kempe taking on labour and training and Simons dealing with technology.

The new PLP cabinet is:

David Burt: Premier and Finance

Walter Roban: Deputy Leader and Transport

Kathy Simmons: Attorney-General and Legal Affairs

Walton Brown: Home Affairs

Kim Wilson: Health

David Burch: Public Works

Wayne Caines: National Security

Zane DeSilva: Social Development and Sport

Diallo Rabain: Education

Jamahl Simmons: Economic Development and Tourism

Lovitta Foggo: Government Reform

The shadow cabinet is as follows:

Sylvan Richards – Deputy Opposition Leader, Planning and Environment

Trevor Moniz –  Legal Affairs

Leah Scott – Tourism and Transport

Craig Cannonier – Works and Infrastructure

Jeanne Atherden – Finance

Jeff Baron — National Security

Grant Gibbons – Economic Development

Susan Jackson – Health and Seniors, Opposition Whip

Cole Simons – Education

Ben Smith – Sport and Youth Development

Former premier Michael Dunkley announced his decision to withdraw from the political front line following the One Bermuda Alliance’s (OBA) heavy defeat the general election.

Dunkley, a 59-year-old dairy owner, said he would continue to represent his Smith’s North constituency in the House of Assembly, but he told interim party leader Patricia Gordon-Pamplin that he does not want a shadow portfolio.

He also admitted the OBA had not done enough to support majority black Bermudians, saying race had played a big part in the election, which his party lost to the Progressive Labour Party (PLP by 24 seats to 12.

The OBA had been in power since 2012 when it ended 14 years of PLP rule with a narrow victory, inheriting a national debt of US$1.4 billion, which has worsened.

Asked about criticism that the OBA had not done enough to help black Bermudians, he said it was a “fair assessment”, adding that he would have liked to have done more.

Patricia Gordon-Pamplin was on Wednesday, 26th, sworn in as leader of the main OBA opposition by Governor John Rankin following the party’s crushing defeat in last week’s general election.


outh Development

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Application to inspect election ballots to be heard in new law term

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Jul 13,  CMC – The application by lawyers for the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) to inspect documents from the December 2015 general elections as part of the two petitions filed to challenge the outcome of that poll, will not be heard before mid September.

When the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, it was adjourned to a date to be fixed by the Registrar of the High Court in the new law term.

criminal-justiceThe current law term ends this month.

Justice Esco Henry, who is presiding over the matter, also gave a six-point order outlining actions that the parties must take and their timeline.

Ben Exeter, who was the NDP’s candidate in Central Leeward in the 2015 general elections, has filed a petition challenging the outcome of the elections there.

His colleague, Lauron Baptiste, the NDP’s candidate in North Windward, has mounted a similar challenge in that district.

Electoral officials say those constituencies are among the eight won by the Unity Labour Party of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves to secure a fourth consecutive term in office while the remaining seven seats went to the NDP.

When the motion to inspect the ballot boxes and other election documents came up for hearing on Wednesday, there was a long delay to allow for three foreign lawyers who have joined the government’s team to be called to the Vincentian Bar.

After they were seated, the court having processed their documents, which the judge noted were “hurriedly filed”, Senior Counsel Douglas Mendez of Trinidad and Tobago, who this month took over from Dominican Anthony Astaphan, SC as lead counsel for the respondents, asked for an adjournment.

He said he was requesting an adjournment, hopefully, to later this month, to give the respondents an opportunity to file affidavits in response to the petitioners’ request to inspect the election documents.

The petitions, which have been before the court since December 2015, will go to trial after a ruling by Justice Henry on June 30 that they are not invalid, as the respondents had claimed.

After that ruling, Astaphan said he has been battling ill health for some time and cannot continue as lead counsel, since he also has a backlog in Dominica.

Mendez told the court that it was only after the June 30 ruling by Justice Henry that the parties knew that they had to proceed to the next stage.

He said he was approached not long after that ruling, but, when questioned by Justice Henry, said he could not recall the exact date when he was retained, but said it was one or two days after the June 30 ruling.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves had announced on June 30 that the legal team for the respondents was in consultation with Mendez.

Mendez told the court on Wednesday that there hasn’t been enough time to take instructions from the respondents.

He said he was asking for a seven-day adjournment to be able to file affidavits and respond to the motion.

Lead counsel for the petitioners, Queen’s Counsel Stanley “Stalky” John, told the court that he had no objections to the seven-day adjournment, providing that the matter definitely proceeds then.

He noted that Mendez had referred to the petitions being before the court for more than 18 months.

John said he was making this point to say that a lot of time can be saved if disclosure is made.

But Justice Henry was having none of it and told John that that is a discussion that could take place in the corridors among the parties.

Kay Bacchus-Baptiste, who is lead counsel for Baptiste, said that his legal team intends to file a similar application to inspect the ballots.

John further told the court that submissions related to the application to inspect the ballots were first filed on March 4, 2016 and served on the respondents shortly after.

He said that while they were discontinued because of a ruling of the court, the new application would rely on the same submissions.

Mendez told the court that he was not aware of those submissions.

Justice Brian Cottle, who had later thrown out the petitions as improperly filed, had ruled that allowing the parties to inspect the ballot boxes would amount to a fishing expedition.

He had further claimed that doing so would allow the inspector to determine how electors voted, a claim that has shocked the nation, but upon which electoral officials have refused to comment.

The law terms end in July and the judge said that she has to attend the annual judicial conference from July 26 to 29, adding that she doesn’t think that the court can entertain the motion before the new law term.

Mendez also said that he had commitments in court in Trinidad that would make him unavailable for a few days towards the end of this month.

Among other things, by inspecting the ballot boxes, Exeter is hoping to determine whether 769 ballots from four polling stations in Central Leeward were validly cast.

The petitioners also want to determine whether the counterfoils for such defective ballots were endorsed by the initials of the presiding officer.  .

Exeter’s lawyers have laid out a number of grounds to support their motion, noting that their client has complained of undue return or undue election of Sir Louis Straker, who has been declared the winner of the Central Leeward seat.

They say that by inspecting the ballot boxes, it may be determined that Sir Louis was unduly elected or returned and that the election was void, or that he, Exeter, was duly elected and ought to be returned.

The lawyers are asking the court for an order for scrutiny and recount in respect of the defective ballots to which the objections were made by Exeter and/or his representative/agents.

A lawyer for the petitioners has told iWitness News that “the pivotal objective of the petitions is to establish that the form of the ballots was illegal and that as a result the sanctity of the secrecy of voting was compromised and that hundreds of illegally cast ballots were counted in contravention of the Representation of the People’s Act and regulations made under that law.

“Both the Supervisor and the Returning Officer for Central Leeward have each filed sworn affidavits admitting to the latter fact. The petitioner, Exeter, has filed a motion seeking inspection of the ballots, scrutiny and a recount as part of the trial process.”

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