Should President have met GECOM?

first_imgDear Editor,On your news item on the President meeting GECOM (GT Aug 9), it is noted that GECOM is an independent agency that is not subjected to the dictates of Government (and by extension the official Opposition) although four of its seven members are appointed by the Government (President) and three by the Opposition. Not surprisingly, a lot of eyebrows were raised when the President invited GECOM members and the body’s CEO for a consultation (meeting) in his office. This is highly unusual. It may be the first such meet by GECOM in the country’s history. Many, particularly lawyers and academics, felt it was inappropriate for the Executive to meet with GECOM. Even ordinary business people and ordinary folks I spoke with felt it is not the President’s responsibility to meet with GECOM.The Executive meeting with GECOM was seen as “intimidating the body” towards election objectives especially when the body has begun preparations for elections. But the President explained that his meeting was simply to assure GECOM that the Government is willing to provide the necessary resources for the preparation of elections that are due as a result of the successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion against his Administration. The President assured that his Government would not hinder the work of the Elections Commission, and he also stated he would respect decisions of the body. The President also called on all Guyanese to respect the independence of GECOM and its decisions. One Commissioner is reported to have described the meeting as a waste of time. The public is divided on the meeting on party loyalty with some supporting the President meeting GECOM and the others opposed to the meeting. GECOM must never be seen to be compromised.The President and his coalition Government partners say they want House-to-House Registration in preparation of a new voters’ list, but he said he would accept the decision of GECOM (really the new Chairwoman Ret’d Justice Claudette Singh) on the issue.However, there is one problem on the President’s position on a date for election. The President has insisted that he would not call (announce a date for) elections unless GECOM tells him it is ready for elections. And GECOM insists that a date is the prerogative of the President. GECOM does not have a constitutional date to set a date for elections. Even lawyers for GECOM and the Attorney General are in agreement that GECOM cannot fix a date for elections. The procedure is the President fixes a date in accordance with the laws laid down in the Constitution. Whatever date the President proposes, GECOM would respond and inform the Chief Executive if it can pull off credible elections by that date. In 2001, GECOM informed the President that elections were not possible on a proposed date and it was adjusted upon agreement by all parties.GECOM usually needs three months to prepare for an election. The Constitution also caters for three months as indicated in the Article relating to the successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion. Thus, GECOM must be in perennial preparation for elections just in case a Government loses a No-Confidence Motion. In fact, every country with a parliamentary system is always prepared for elections with a month’s notice. The body may need less time to update the voters’ list that was used last November for local elections.GECOM’s hands are tied on House-to-House Registration until the court rules on August 14. GECOM meets on August 15 to review the court’s ruling. GECOM is likely to accept the ruling. Justice Claudette would not want to defy the court’s or the CCJ’s ruling using September 18 as a deadline for elections even though it is impractical.The court does not have too much wiggle room on the issue of registration and an election date. The law does not cater for House-to-House Registration in light of the No-Confidence Motion in which elections are constitutionally due by September 18 as interpreted by our country’s highest court, the CCJ. That ruling supersedes all other decisions made by Gecom or lower courts or the Government. The CCJ’s ruling is the final law that cannot be reversed or defied in a democracy.Will the High Court (Justice Roxane George) thread into the request of the Opposition on powers of the Executive to resign, dissolve the assembly, and fix a date for elections? The court is an independent branch of the Government and can’t thread into the powers of the presidency. The court can only interpret the law as indeed the CCJ did. The court is likely to repeat the judgment of the CCJ for the Executive to follow the Constitution which states the Government resigns and serve in a caretaker role as is the norm in any country where a Government lost a No-Confidence Motion.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisramlast_img read more

Related Win a flight to spaceBranson boldly goes

first_img RelatedWin a flight to spaceBranson boldly goes… and the pick of the rest of the week’s travel stories.Holiday cats: street cats of the world in picturesCalling all cat lovers! A collection of photos of beautiful ‘street cats’ around the world, from Italy to Japan.5 cool things to experience in JapanBlogger and budget traveller Kash Bhattacharya shares his top things to see and do in Japan. A ‘cat café’ is a cat-themed establishment serving drinks and maybe food, but where the main attraction is definitely cats. We present a purrfect nine of the best cat cafés around the world.Yes, it’s a café populated by cats. How it works is that you pay a fee, usually on an hourly rate, so they can pat and play with the cats in a form of ‘supervised indoor pet rental’. The café staff are usually human.The cat café is a relatively recent phenomenon. The very first opened in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998, drawing not only locals but tourists from Japan, a famously cat-loving country. Japan got its own cat café in 2004 when the first opened in Osaka, Now there at least 39 in Tokyo alone.Cat cafés have strict rules (for their customers) to keep their feline occupants in good health and order. For example, to make sure that the kitties are not disturbed too much, as they don’t like getting their tails pulled by small children and sometimes just want to be left alone for a snooze.1. Cat Café Neko no Niwa, SingaporeAs well as serving coffee, many cat cafés are on a mission to raise awareness of cat welfare issues, such as the plight of stray and abandoned cats. Cat Café Neko no Niwa in Singapore (‘neko’ is Japanese for cat; neko no niwa, cat garden) only adopt stray and rescue cats. Owners Sam and Sue say: “While cat cafes in Japan, Korea and Bangkok usually feature only pedigreed cats… all cats deserved to be loved, [including] the homeless and abandoned ones”. They ‘want to show that non-pedigreed cats can be beautiful and affectionate companions’. Its residents include Emma, ‘a rare find – only 15% of all white cats with blue eyes are not deaf’.http://www.youtube.com/embed/feamOL22tdI2. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, London, EnglandAfter a campaign to open a cat café in London, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium opened in Shoreditch on 1 March 2014 with a cast of rescue cats. Meet Mue, Biscuit, Romeo and the other cats for a fee of £5 for a two-hour session. Already it is proving hugely popular and reservations are required – it is booked up until to June, but they plan to install a ‘kitty cam’ so you can see what they’re up to from afar.http://www.youtube.com/embed/yiUQq04nhwA3. Le Café des Chats, Paris, FranceWhile Parisians are better known as lovers of lap dogs than kitty cats, in 2013 Le Café des Chats opened in the Marais. It houses formerly abandoned and homeless cats, chosen for their ‘social character to the other cats and people’. Being Paris, it’s not just a tearoom, but also a restaurant, although serving charcuterie to the cats is not permitted.http://www.youtube.com/embed/lI9LdtTWjCk4. Temari no Ouchi / Nyafe Melange Tokyo, JapanTokyo’s cat cafés provide a service for the city’s many cat-loving residents who don’t have the space, or are not allowed, to keep a kitty of their own. Not only are there at least 39 cat cafés in Tokyo, but there are cafés specialising in rare breeds, black cats and… fat cats. Yes, really. Tokyo also caters for other animal-deprived souls – there are rabbit cafés too, while one cat café also has goats. Try Temari no Ouchi or Nyafe Melange, in the lovely neighborhood of Shibuya.http://www.youtube.com/embed/BUN8iEvUL3Y5. Il Neko Café, Turin, ItalyItaly’s first cat café opened on 5 April 2014 in Vanchiglia, Turin. The cats, including silver-and-white tabby Bernard, who arrived at Il Neko ‘as black as a chimney sweep’, each have their own space, plus a special communal play room with games and lots of catnip.http://www.youtube.com/embed/PhpSIjzcjf06. Purrfect Cat Café, Penang, MalaysiaGeorge Town, Penang’s trendy tech hub, has a new attraction – a cat café. Star of the show at the Purrfect Cat Café is Snowy, the café’s mascot, a white female with one blue and one green eye. Sooooooo cute!http://www.youtube.com/embed/lKmz1oNA-kg7. Café Neko, Vienna, AustriaVienna is the spiritual home of the coffee house, but sachertorte is not the only sweetness to be enjoyed in Vienna’s emporiums of delight. Coo over Viennese cats Sonja, Thomas, Momo, Moritz and Luca at katzen kaffeehaus Café Neko. Having a Japanese owner, it’s the place to try such traditional refreshments as bancha (Japanese roasted tea), and while sachertorte is not on the menu, apparently they do a quite magnificent chocolate cake – if spending time with Sonya isn’t sweet enough.http://www.youtube.com/embed/hevWSo9qaO88. Purr Cat Café Club, Bangkok, ThailandBangkok’s Purr Cat Café Club, owned by sitcom actress Rattanarat Uataweekul, houses 14 Persians, as well as a cat beautician and a shop selling ‘cute feline outfits’ (not sure if these are for the cats or the customers). The cat rules say ‘don’t poke them, tease them, pick them up or feed them human cake’.http://www.youtube.com/embed/f-hanjJMiqo9. La Gatoteca, Madrid, SpainMuch as they’d like to house many more poor, needy kitty cats, La Gatoteca can only cater for 15 furry friends, but they aim to find forever homes for all the paws that pad through their doors. Their current residents include Pulguita, a tiny street cat with a penchant for licking, and ‘beautiful blonde’ Pancho, who lived in an abandoned plot with lots of friends, until it got closed down and he had to be rescued.http://www.youtube.com/embed/IqPkEPnM98oFor a further list of present and soon-to-open cat cafes (such as Cat Cafe Kačių Kavinė in Vilnius, Lithuania and crowd-funded KitTea in San Francisco, see Wikipedia.If you liked this, we know you’ll like:Holiday cats: street cats of the world in picturesHave you been to a cat café? Tell us about it in the comments section below.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more