Locked Up Abroad, Oh Frog!

Submitted by Cherfleur

President Ali is pleading with Guyanese to return home and work on developing and transforming Guyana.

I returned to Guyana following complaints from my mother of abuse and neglect – the vilest and most diabolic I have encountered yet – and to prospect opportunities.

My first visit to Kitty Police Station was to get their assistance in locating my mother.

The second time, February 7, on allegations that I trespassed and defaced someone’s home. I informed the Inspector that I was one of the Executors to my mother’s estate.  I provided proof in the form of the certified Will obtained from the Probate Registry. I was allowed to leave.

On March 8th I was again drawn to the Kitty Police station on allegations of someone breaking and entering the estate property.  The Inspector was not in office when I arrived but was summoned by the accuser. On arrival she accosted me asking if there isn’t a restraining order on me.  I asked her to provide the proof of that Order, since none was issued on me, nor can be issued on me since the accuser never filed any.  No action could be taken against me.  But the accuser persisted with the quest to have me locked up by asking “ya’ll can’t lock she up?”  Naturally they couldn’t. The Inspector coiled up and bobbed away and the Ranks told me I was free to leave.

On April 20th I again went to the property to facilitate the Technicians from GPL and GWI the light and water companies in disconnecting the services.  After, I went to Kitty Police Station to inform that there were two strangers in the dwelling, whom I had not given permission or a contract to enter and occupy and that the one was disturbing the peace while threatening to beat me so bad “send me where my mother is”.  My mother is now dead and duly buried.

On arrival I addressed the Inspector.  Instead the Inspector gave her Ranks instructions to put me on the bench and process me.  I was amused since it was the very Inspector to whom I had shown my authority to be on the said premises. After about three plus hours, I was taken to La Penitence Police Station where I was held in a cell until Friday April 22; TWO NIGHTS AND TWO DAYS – on a mattress on a concrete floor. It was clean and smelled hygienic though.

I was then released on $30,000 bail to appear in court on Monday April 25th. At no time was I told what I was being charged for and in deed I was not read my rights. Indeed the first time in my life I heard of Judges’ Rules was when I received the Witness Statements on May 13th.

There again is was brutalized in an attempt to get items from me. While at Kitty and during the scuffle for my phone my head was banged to a wall. My hair was used as a lever to wrench my head backward, so that my esophagus was so stretched that I could not breathe.

While at La Penitence, The Rank threatened that she would stab my ‘foot’ (referring to my thigh – with a kitchen knife she was using to remove a ribbon from around my body) then take me to the hospital.

On April 25th the Magistrate read me a preamble for breaking and entering and committing larceny (at my mother’s property).  I pleaded NOT GUILTY and the matter was adjourned to May 13th.  On that date I was again read a ramble; this time, only of damaging property belonging to someone (on my mother’s property) and asked who I plea.  I pleaded NOT GUILTY, of course.  I was placed on another $30,000 bail.

The experience was so surreal.  I still cannot quite process what happened on April 20th, 2022.  All the while I thought  these people were just ‘finding things to do for taxpayers’ money and just trying to intimidate me, UNTIL I WOKE ON THE 21ST OF APRIL AND FOUND THAT I WAS STILL IN A CELL, SOMEWHERE BEHIND GOD’S BACK IN GUYANA.

What the flying fish!

To say the least, the behaviour of the ranks at Kitty is rank and crass.  They do not even know the process to arresting and searching someone. So much ignorance is spewed from their mouths and the abuse of their authority is nothing short of a manifestation of barbarism.

The organization of the Police Force is to Protect and Serve is maliciously locking up its citizens.  Not to mention shooting the black men while in bed and in their back while running away.



“tek it from me.  Aye been born ‘bout hey but I lef’ hey long days now.”

I want to know if this is what President Ali is inviting Guyanese nationals to return to.

If Order 60 Intent Can’t be Honoured, President Granger Should Cancel Elections

Submitted by Lincoln Lewis

I call on President David Granger not to allow history to record him as it did Nero.  You have been elected leader in a free, fair and transparent election. You are perceived by many in society as a man of demonstrated integrity, decency and a commitment to all Guyanese, way above that of your opponents. Under your leadership Guyanese feel safe, mothers no longer weep for their children and drug dealers know they have no heaven.

You have embraced all to the extent where you have kept in office key operatives of the previous regime even as others believe it to be unwise and somewhat naive. But in so doing you have also demonstrated that you are prepared to nurture a national commitment, a professional public service where all can serve their country faithfully and loyally.

Mr President, you cannot be Nero. You have the power vested in your office to correct this public hijacking of Guyana’s elections, this confounded brazen highway robbery, this piracy, this buccaneering politics unleashed on Guyana.  You Mr. President must be prepared to say to this world, to our judiciary, to GECOM and to all, that if you could have approved a recount that is accepted by law to declare results, then you have a duty and responsibility, at the very least, to ensure the National Recount sets out to achieve its DECLARED INTENT. I repeat, its DECLARED INTENT.

You, Mr. President, must further say to this nation that you will not allow any declaration that rewards electoral fraud. It was this principle that caused you in the first instance to enter into an agreement, and I call on you now to uphold that principle for this country that you lead, which today stands at the crossroads of law versus lawlessness. We cannot build a society for all on the vulgarity of the lawless.

Whereas history is replete with examples of glorifying thieves, pirates and brigands and their tales captured in various writings and works; and whereas these are taught as glorious lessons for centuries to those whom they pillage;   in today’s world such acts and other unlawful acts are condemned and punishable in a court of law and in public opinion. No law breaker is glorified and rewarded for acts of lawlessness in civilised society, save by sick and equally lawless minds.

This is no longer only about electoral victory. This is an appeal to the better angels in each of us. It is about Rights and the Rule of Law. It is about our national interest and that of our youth, our future. It is about the heart and soul of Guyana. It is about halting our progression along a pathway paved for ethnic conflict and external forces taking advantage of our weakness and internal rifts. Guyana remains stronger as one united force- One People, One Nation, One Destiny.

In a court of law infractions of the law are never rewarded. We must ask ourselves which decent society, which decent court of law, which decent people any part of the world governed by moral principles, by principles of good justice would reward wrongdoing? It is a shame for GECOM to attempt to declare any election using confirmed fraudulent votes. I have it before and repeat today- for democracy to stand GECOM cannot afford to fail.

If GECOM cannot fulfil its intent as set out in Order 60, when it placed in abeyance 10 declarations based at that time on speculation of fraud and today still not deemed invalid by any court but “superseded” by confirmed massive frauds, then GECOM would have failed. Failed in the sense of taking something that is deemed to be bad and asking us to accept what is proven to be far worse. If GECOM felt it could not declare the 10 declarations, based at that time on assumed irregularities, then it boggles the mind how in heaven’s name GECOM could even think it is OK to declare on confirmed massive irregularities in the ten regions.

If GECOM cannot declare election on credible votes or declarations never challenged or deemed invalid in a court of law, then Mr. President, it behoves you to cancel these elections. You have the power, you have the right to so do.  This that we face is about Rights and the Rule of Law, it is about protecting the vote which the Trade Union Movement, under the leadership of Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, led the charge for.  It is about one man, one credible vote.

Foremost, this is about Guyana and we have got to fight for her and the values that shaped this nation. As a unified people we must continue to guide her. It is recognised some would prefer us to accept the recount superseding the count. We cannot take bad, make it worse, and then try to shove it down people’s throats. If you condemn bad, you don’t replace bad with something worse. It defies logic.

Mr. President, for the good of Guyana, her laws and people, cancel these elections.


Vincentian Voting Standards in Guyana


Submitted by Nathan ‘Jolly’ Green

I could not believe what I was reading when I went to the Facebook page of The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy [CGID]. I was amazed that the Peoples National Congress Party [PNC] had been able to look inside the ballot boxes which the ULP fought tooth and nail to ensure Saint Vincent and the Grenadines [SVG] courts would never allow in SVG. What the PNC discovered and have proved was voting fraud was so widespread and their further investigation votes were rigged in every way possible to try and ensure the Peoples Progressive Party [PPP] won the election.

Guyana has a two-party system, which means that there are two dominant political parties. The main schism is not of ideology [they are both socialist], but ethnicity; the People’s Progressive Party is supported primarily by Indo-Guyanese people. While it is Afro-Guyanese people who mainly support the People’s National Congress. Ralph Gonsalves most obviously supports the Indian Guyanese PPP against supporting the African Guyanese PNC.

A group from CARICOM offered their services to investigate and advise Guyana on the way forward and how to deal with the stalemate situation. Whereby Ralph Gonsalves perhaps stepped outside that circle and suggested that the PPP should be recognised as the elected party to take Government.

Why would Gonsalves take such a position and support what is now fraud proven without any doubt whatsoever? Well, I suppose the whole procedure of rejecting fraud, opening boxes etc. if finally agreed in the Guyanese courts will become part of a legal precedent which would perhaps apply in SVG courts as well.

Read now what the Guyanese CGID think about not just his actions, but about him.


Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy – CGID

Dr Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, at the direction of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), is brazenly attempting to pre-empt the CARICOM elections recount Observer Mission in Guyana.

In a radio interview yesterday, he attempted to dictate to Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) how it should execute its functions as prescribed by the Guyana Constitution. GECOM is currently assessing recount results as well as allegations of fraud.

Dr Gonsalves, a foreign head of Government, is attempting to undermine this process on behalf of the PPP. CGID doesn’t know how Dr Gonsalves’ conducts elections in his country, but Guyanese will not accept the results of an election riddled with fraudulent ballots.

Dr Gonsalves is advocating that Guyanese must accept a vote tabulation that includes ballots which a Police investigation has established contains fraudulent votes. We, therefore, wonder if the people of CARICOM should apply Dr Gonsalves’ reasoning and accept and believe numerous allegations of sexual assault against a CARICOM Prime Minister without any investigation to determine the veracity of the charges.

GECOM is currently following a process set out in its May 4, 2020 order, in accordance with the laws of Guyana. It is disgraceful and repugnant to the CARICOM Treaty for Dr Ralph Gonsalves to interject himself into this process and attempt to interfere in Guyana’s elections. Dr Gonsalves’s statements also demonstrate contempt for the Courts and State institutions in Guyana.

He should focus on elevating the standard of living in his small island rather than act as the bagman and water-boy for his friend Bharrat Jagdeo and Guyana’s opposition PPP. Mr Gonsalves’ party has itself been accused of electoral fraud and rigging the past five elections. It is, therefore, no wonder that he finds himself in the company of the PPP.

We urge the Prime Minister to address the myriad of allegations he faces at home, keep out of Guyana’s business and stop making a mockery of CARICOM’s non-intervention policy.

Richard Millington
Director of Communications
Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

I hope that when the upcoming St Vincent and the Grenadines elections take place that the NDP in SVG can keep abreast with the security of our ballots and ensure no fraud takes place.

I have got almost a hundred applicants who are going to film the giveaway of the building materials on their cell phones, a local video crew and director willing to film and produce a video. I am currently negotiating with an international TV group who will take it over and show it worldwide. The film will be presented at the UN, World Bank, Transparency International, and the EU. I am also in touch with other International agencies who will be sent copies of the video film. If the distribution of the building materials takes place, I will even be asking the US to apply economic sanctions on the culprits and if necessary, on SVG.

How Long More Can the PPP Hoodwink World Powers?

Submitted by Rickford Burke

The election impasse between the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) persists without mitigation, except a lull for an imminent Supreme court ruling on the sub judice matter. The impasse arose because opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo and the PPP fraternity, including some private sector actors, are seeking to impose a counterfeit “birthright” to dominance of Guyana.  The actions of this group of “Orwellians” are imperiling the rule of law and democracy.

Their exudation of this contrived supremacy has engendered a specious morality where, for them, the law is malleable and applies to them only on their terms. It is this hegemony of lawlessness which they advance as their concept of “democracy.” In reality, this pathology is the Orwellian Entitlement Syndrome (OES).
Fantasy Superiority:
Their fantasy superior citizenship fuels their drive to manipulate the law on a presumption that they alone control commerce, industry and capital in the country. Their contempt for authority suggests the thinking that such affluence entitles them to domination and,  more so, flagitious conduct. It is no wonder that they attempt to challenge judges who rule against them with impunity. And no wonder they fell they can abuse and threaten police officers who disallow their lawlessness with dismissal, if they return to government.
The masquerader in chief of their apparent junta has committed treasonous acts against the state. He has also threatened to “go after” political opponents and their families presumably with death squads much like the old days. This  insidious rhetoric has aroused sagaciousness in Guyanese. It is easy to recognize that the brazen effrontery is given oxygen by pronouncements from international actors  who’s  irresponsible narrations are talking points provided by PPP  lobbyists.   Someone recently remarked that when the unrest they are instigating begins, which of the instigators will survive? Do we need further evidence of how provocative and combustible this rhetoric is in a volatile environment?
Foreign Observers:
Foreign observers have pronounced that results from Region 4 are “unverified,” because the Returning Officer (RO) did not entertain objections during the vote ascertainment process. The PPP has weaponized these uninformed statements. They purport that “unverified” results are fraudulent results. However, Chief Justice Roxanne George, in her March 11, 2020 judgment, held that the RO must use numbers he received from presiding officers, and that “verification” is not provided for in law.
No doubt, some of the Observers’ pronouncements emboldened Jagdeo and his comrades. They stormed the Elections Commission with guns and inspired riots. Supporters in Region 5, chopped police officers and assaulted innocent citizens and school children.  Victims still await charges and prosecutions of the perpetrators.
The Elections Results:
Declarations by the ten ROs show that the APNU+AFC coalition has won the elections. Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Mr. Keith Lowenfield, has submitted his report to Commission Chairman, Justice Claudette Singh,  and the awaits the final declaration of the results. However, the PPP is insisting on a ballot recount in District 4, although GECOM has already denied all recounts on account of nonconformity to the law. Also, the statutory period for recounts has long expired.
A subsequent CARICOM recount initiative, which was widely viewed as illegal, was halted by the Supreme Court, pursuant to a lawsuit. This case resumed today, March 25, 2020, before Justice Franklyn Holder; who has been subjected to abominable, intimidation attempts and bigoted attacks on his family by PPP websites.
The Law and the Courts:
Our courts exist to interpret and enforce the law. The law proscribes challenges to elections results, except by way of an election petition. The Orwellians believe that they are above the law. Hence, they are circumventing an elections petition and are using the recount provision and court injunctions to challenge the election results. They must not be allowed to manipulate the law and the court for political expediency,  as if the court is a personal football.
The no confidence motion cases saw PPP lawyers eloquently and vociferously arguing that Charandass Persaud’s election to Parliament can only be challenged through an elections petition. Chief Justice Roxanne George and the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) agreed and ruled in their favor. Now, in 2020, they’ve come to the court with a reversed argument.
PPP’s history of subverting democracy and the law:
Laws are constant. They don’t change based on which party is in government or based on a political party’s misfortune. The December 20, 1997 Stabroek news editorial precisely delineated the PPP’s conduct when opposition parties challenged the tabulation of votes in the December 15, 1997 election. Quote: “The Chairman of the Elections Commission, Mr. Doodnauth Singh, yesterday declared the presidential candidate of the People’s Progressive Party, Mrs. Janet Jagan, the duly elected President of Guyana even though the final count of votes was not complete and the votes in quite a number of boxes remained to be counted,” end quote.
In the December 15, 1997 elections, PPP Returning Officers refused to “verify” SOPs and denied all requests for recounts. They merely declared the results and closed the process. When word leaked that the opposition PNCR was seeking an injunction to stop the declaration of the results, the PPP secretly and unlawfully swore Mrs. Janet Jagan in as President, while votes were still being counted. Mrs. Jagan and her bodyguards later assaulted the chief marshal of the Supreme Court who served her with the injunction, which she pitched to the ground. Where was their commitment to democracy and the rule of law then?
The law in 2020 is the same as 1997:
Subsequently they made substantial submissions to the court detailing why the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter except when the PNCR files an elections petition to challenge the elections results. Now they have abandoned this mantra which they intrepidly proclaimed in 1997 and in 2019. Ironically, the PNCR filed an election petition, which was heard by then Supreme Court Justice Claudette Singh – the incumbent Chairman of GECOM.
Justice Singh vitiated the December 15, 1997 elections results and ordered fresh elections.
Guyana is a functioning democracy with an independent and efficient judiciary. The judicial process must be allowed to function without external interference. The process worked in 1997 and in 2019 when the court ruled against the government in the no confidence vote.
Interference in the elections:
Western countries must not be allowed to abrogate the mandate of the courts of Guyana to themselves. Statements like “a transition of government…would be unconstitutional”… without Guyanese  courts so ruling, and ..regardless of how the Guyana Supreme Court rules the installation of a new government based on the declared results will be deemed illegitimate..’ must be rejected. Guyana is a sovereign, democratic state. Interference in Guyana’s elections, to tip the scale for a particular party, as well as preemption of its courts, violate international law.
The court is arbiter of elections disputes:
This elections matter is before our courts. Guyana’s history of obeying judgments of the court has enriched our democracy. GECOM, not the government, controls the elections process. The Orwellians hiding behind the skirts of diplomats and calling for sanctions to hurt Guyanese and destabilize the Caribbean, are the same dastardly cowards who perpetrated genocide in Guyana.
Their foreheads are marked from their crimes of extrajudicial killings, gun and drug smuggling and money laundering. But for how long can their lobbyist, Mercury, hoodwink world powers? How long more can the Orewllians play deceptive games in the arena of international politics? We will see!

Guyana General Elections: Democratic Transition MUST be premised on the Rule of LAW

Press Release by Guyana Trades Union Congress

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) notes with deep concerns the tsunami of misinformation  permeating our social space and its impact on public opinion threatening to destabilise the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM’s) declaration of  which party/group will form the next government.  It also threatens Guyana’s democracy, credibility of our institutions of governance, the rule of law and community relationships at a time when this small Caribbean nation’s oil rich potential is being exploited. It is not lost on us that the spread of a misinformation campaign can have far reaching and long lasting impact not only on Guyana but CARICOM, the Caribbean Community, and further afield.

Moved by this understanding GTUC seeks the support of Guyana and all concerned to have us navigate these challenges, by supporting the call to all persons, organisations and countries  with interest  in our well-being  to respect  the  internal mechanisms  embedded in our judicial system and the independent constitutional office of GECOM  whose chairperson Justice Claudette Singh  S.C has declared will “abide by all legal and procedural requirements to conclude its work.”

Please note:

GECOM– An independent constitutional body for conduction of National (General), Regional and Local Government elections in Guyana

  • The election process- The process, now sub judice, was halted due to an injunction moved by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/C (PPP/C). At this stage the High Court having established its jurisdiction in favour of the Opposition is having its second sitting on Tuesday, 10thMarch, 2020.
  • GECOM from all public accounts has never refused to review queries made. What is evident is as it sought to implement administrative measures to address concerns a volatile environment was created obstructing its performance.
  • GECOM Chairperson Justice Singh following a subsequent demand from the Opposition to continue the process even as same was being adjudicated on, cited legal restraints as the matter was sub judice.
  • A misinformation campaign has started to condemn her learned silence and refusal to show contempt for the courts.

Government –President David Granger on many occasions declared  and continues to support the independence of GECOM allowing this institution to operate without interference from the government.

High-priced lobbying – vs- Representation of the People Act (Cap 1:03): These elections have been shaped by the Opposition paid Washington D.C, USA based powerful lobbying firm influencing international observers, citizens and other countries’ perceptions of the outcome of an elections not by GECOM and the Representation of the People Act, the sole constitutional institution/authority to administer the election under the said law.

GTUC recognises that whereas our laws may not address issues of this nature and it is the  right of any party to  use such means to advance its position  these should not come  at  the expense of allowing the process to work within the framework of the law i.e. Representation of the People Act.

Credibility of the Statements of Poll (SoPs) – The question of the credibility of the verification process has surfaced with several parties lending support to the issue as raised by the Opposition PPP/C. One presidential candidate, Ms. Phillis Jordan of the  People’s Republic Party (PRP), in a video circulating on social media  has since informed the nation that all of the small parties, none of which had its own SoPs in all the 10 Districts/Regions, were issued collated figures from an unnamed  major party. Hence the credibility of claims made by these parties in support of the major opposing force raises questions.

Derailing the GECOM process – GTUC is of the opinion that the carefully orchestrated misinformation and derailing of the GECOM process was also used to advance unrest by opposition supporters in a country that is known for its ethnic tensions during elections. These unrests when carefully analysed serves one major group only, and does not work for the good of the beguiled people.

Transition – Democratic transition from this phase to another should not be dictated to outside of the Representation of the People Act and GECOM’s constitutional right to so declare which party/group has won the Executive and apportion the seats in the National Assembly. GECOM is the authority to likewise state which party/group has won at the ten Regional Democratic Councils and apportion the seats on the Councils based on the votes received.

Historical Reference – Guyana situation is not dissimilar to that of the United States’ (U.S) 2000 presidential election which resulted in George W. Bush being declared President. In said election the U.S Supreme Court was asked to pronounce on the tabulation (hanging chads) between allotment of votes for candidates Bush and Alfred Gore.  The process of tabulation awaited the judicial outcome.  Guyana’s law allows for judicial review and resolution of our current challenges and we expect the U.S and other countries of the world to treat with our circumstance with no less respect than they treated with that of the U.S in 2000.

Prime Minister Gaston Brown Has Prejudiced Investigation Into Alleged Stolen Twins – Independent Investigation Needed


Submitted by President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) denounces the attacks on Ms. Keoma Hamer by the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, Mr. Gatson Brown. Ms. Hamer is a young mother and Guyanese national experiencing unimaginable trauma and torture from the disappearance and alleged theft of her twin baby girls who were born at Holberton Hospital in Antigua on “September 7, 2004″ while her flight was in transit there. Ms. Hamer’s medical records disappeared within days of her delivery. When her family returned to pay the $1,000.00 medical bill, hospital staff said no record of her existed and refused the funds.

Antigua is quickly establishing itself as the child abduction capital of the Caribbean region. Visitors and tourists should therefore be gravely concerned about the likelihood that if they travel to Antigua while pregnant, their babies and medical records may be stolen and the Prime Minister and government will be complicit by refusing to conduct a credible investigation and ensure the administration of justice.

Ms. Hamer and several other patients and nurses have attested to seeing the babies alive at birth. They allege that the twins were stolen. Ms. Hamer has been on a fifteen-year search for her twins. Recently, two young girls were identified as the potential twins. Ostensibly, one resides in Antigua and the other in the US. If the allegations are true, this matter involves child abduction and human trafficking – international crimes.  Prime Minister Brown has not commented on, and seems disinterested in, the allegation that babies and medical records have disappeared from a government institution.

The Prime Minister in an official statement on December 27, 2019, disparaged Ms. Hamer as an “unknown woman” and a liar whose babies died in 2004. he offered not independent evidence of this. In subsequent social media posts, the Prime Minister, without providing any evidence, claimed that Ms. Hamer’s story “bears no resemblance to reality.” His attacks are an assault on women and mothers, and deserve stern repudiation. This is beneath his office. No Prime Minister who ascribes to the creed of human dignity and is in a balanced state of mind can be so callous and irresponsible.  CGID calls on Prime Minister Brown to apologize to Ms. Hamer for his insensitive attacks.

Prime Minister Gaston Brown apparently traffics in fiction from an alternate reality and continues to misguide himself about the facts in this case. He is holding out Dr. Joseph John’s disputed letter of October 7, 2004, as evidence that Ms. Hamer had a spontaneous abortion or miscarriage. Ms. Hamer and several other patients and nurses of the then Holberton Hospital have attested to seeing the babies born alive on “September 7, 2004,” and taken away. These eye witness accounts discredit Dr. John’s account which also states an incorrect birth date. Moreover, Dr. John’s letter establishes that he was not present the time Ms. Hamer gave birth. Rather he attended to her on September 9, 2004, two days she birthed the twins. Consequently, Dr. John’s opinion was predicated on alleged falsified medical records, which erroneously stated that the babies died at birth.

The responsible course of action the Prime Minister must pursue is ensure a thorough and independent investigate by a distinguished juris who can make a finding of fact which answers the following questions:

(1) Ms. Hamer never received  an account of what happened to her babies. What happened to the babies? Why were no photographs taken? Why weren’t the purported remains shown to the mother and handed over to relatives as Ms. Hamer requested? Where were the purported remains buried?

2. Within a few days of her discharge, the medical records disappeared. Holberton Hospital claimed it possessed no records or evidence that Ms. Hamer was admitted or treated at its facility. What happened to the medical records? Where are they? Is this how the state of Antigua is governed?

3. The Prime Minister alleges that Antigua Police conducted DNA tests on the identified child and the purported parents, and that the results concluded that the persons tested were the child’s biological parents. However the alleged DNA tests were done in secrecy and lacks transparency.  We reject these results as unreliable. Ms. Esther Amos, the reputed mother, stated on ABS television on December 27, 2019, that she provided a DNA sample that shows that she is the biological mother.

4. How were the DNA samples obtained by the Police? Did the Police collect them from the said identified child and reputed parents, or did the parents voluntarily provided the samples to the police unsupervised?   Who verified that the correct child provided the DNA specimens? Who supervised the collection of the DNA samples as well as the chain of custody of the samples from collection to delivery to the lab? Which laboratory conducted the tests and where are the documented results?

5. Ms. Keoma Hamer was not DNA tested, why? Why wasn’t Ms. Hamer or her representatives invited to witness the collection of the DNA samples?

6. Did the Antigua Police investigate the pregnancy records of Ms. Amos, the issuance of the child’s birth certificate as well as her school records? Did the Police interview former nurses and patients of Holberton Hospital? Did the Police interview Dr. John and Dr. Abbott?  Did the Police investigate allegations that the parents previously claimed that the child was adopted?

The Prime Minister has callously remarked that Ms. Hamer’s claim is a lie, and that her babies were born dead. He has unfortunately prejudiced this investigation with premature conclusions before the so-called police investigation has concluded. The government of Antigua and Barbuda has lost all credibility on this matter and may be seen as complicit in a cover-up.  We are therefore calling for an independent investigation into this matter by a jurist. We urge that all parties in this case be treated fairly, justly and with respect; including Ms. Hamer and Ms. Amos.


Call on Government of Antigua & Barbuda to Conduct Creditable Investigation Into Alleged Abduction Of Twins From Guyanese Mother

Submitted by the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) is deeply concerned that Antigua and Barbuda government authorities have not resolved allegations that twin babies were stolen from Guyanese national, Ms. Keoma Hymer, minutes after they were born at a hospital in Antigua on September 7, 2004, while she was in transit there. Evidence suggests that that 14 year old twins are alive. One allegedly resides in Antigua and the other in the US. It is inexplicable that this matter remains unresolved. Consequently, CGID has asked the US State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to investigate this allegation as it potentially constitutes abduction and human trafficking.

Ms. Keoma Hymer is a Guyanese national, from Mahaicony, ECD, who was 19 years old and 7 months pregnant when she boarded a LIAT flight from Guyana to St. Martin on September 4, 2004. The flight in-transited in Antigua where she became ill. She was transported by ambulance to Holborton Hospital in St. Johns, Antigua, now renamed “Mount St. John Medical Center,” and was admitted. Incidentally, Ms. Hamer gave birth to identical twin girls prematurely on September 7, 2004, at Holborton Hospital. After delivery, Ms. Hamer saw her babies alive and heard them cry. She watched as a group of nurse took them away. This was witnessed by other patients. This was the last time she saw the twins.

Ms. Hamer recalls that a short while after the nurses left with the twin babies, a particular nurse returned and informed her that the babies had died. Ms. Hamer expressly told the nurse that she wanted photographs, hence, she must keep the babies and hand them over to her aunt on her arrival. The babies were not handed over to Ms. Hamer’s aunt. No photographs were taken. No account was given about what happened to the twins.   Shortly after this episode, Ms. Hamer’s representative returned to hospital to pay the outstanding bill. However, hospital staff advised the representative that there was no record of Ms. Hamer’s hospitalization at the hospital. Hence the refused the payment. Her admission and medical records had disappeared. Later when Ms. Hamer visited the hospital and was also told no record of her hospitalization exists.

CGID herein releases documentation establishing that Ms. Hamer was indeed a patient at Holborton Hospital at the time. Dr. Joseph A. John has certified this fact. Dr. John has also attested that he and Dr. Abbott oversaw Ms. Hamer’s care. He also detailed her medical condition and treatment; albeit his claim of the circumstance of her delivery seems inconsistent with established facts. There are also photographic and medical records of Ms. Hamer pregnancy and travel to Antigua. The claim that the babies had died appear to have been false. Several witnesses have attested to seeing the babies alive at birth. They allege that the babies were neither stillborn nor died after birth, but were allegedly stolen. There is strong evidence that the twins have now been identified. One allegedly lives in Gambles, Antigua, and attends Christ The King School. The other ostensibly lives in Syracuse, New York.

In the attached letter dated June 24, 2019, Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Health, Mr. Molwyn Joseph, advised Ms. Hamer, that this matter is under investigation. On December 4, 2019 Acting Police Commissioner, Mr. Atlee Rodney, informed Ms. Hamer that DNA tests could not exclude the purported parents as the true biotical parents; albeit, the credibility of the Police DNA tests is dispute.  This test was ostensibly done in July 2019. Despite numerous requests,   the results remained hidden from Ms. Hamer.

Administrators at Foundation Mix School, where one of the identified twins previously attended, have indicated that at enrollment, a purported parent claimed that the child was adopted from the Commonwealth of Dominica. Commenting on this matter, an official from the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare of the Commonwealth of Dominica said: “Our records do not reflect any adoption of the said child.”  Serious questions remain unanswered. What are the names of the parents listed on the birth certificates and in which country were the certificate issued? How can a child who is allegedly adopted carry the DNA of the adopted parents? Who collected the samples and supervised the alleged DNA test? If the purported parents had indeed given birth to the twins, where is the evidence, such as photographs and medical records, of the pregnancy?

Did the Royal Police Force of Antigua & Barbuda gather this crucial evidence? Why was the alleged DNA test done in secret and without credible witnesses? Only tests results from DNA samples collected in the presence of a Judge, Ms. Hamer, her attorney, where the entire transfer chain is supervised by the courts to preserved the integrity of the process, can be deemed credible and legitimate. This process must ensue urgently.

CGID calls for a thorough, fair and impartial Police investigation of this matter, which potentially involves serious criminal conduct if the allegations are substantiated.  An alleged party in these allegations currently resides in the US and allegedly works as a medical professional in the York City School system. CGID calls on New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio to direct the NYPD and the Department of Investigations to review these allegations.

Moreover, CGID calls on the government of Antigua & Barbuda to do everything within its power to resolve this matter urgently as it undermines public trust it its institutions. A nurse Roxan Babb-McCurdy, as well as nurse Lynette Daniels, were allegedly nurses at Holborton Hospital and on duty at the time of Ms. Hamer’s hospitalization. We call on all persons with knowledge of the alleged abduction and trafficking to contact and cooperate with law enforcement to ensure a timely resolution of this matter.

Description of attached photographs:

Barbados Pushing Regional Narrative

One of the noticeable marks Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley has been making early in her tenure is on the regional front.  By contrast former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart was silent and usurped the leadership role Barbados has played historically in the region. Prime Minister Mia Mottley at the 2019 Caribbean Forum on Regional Transformation for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth recommitted Barbados to the CSME project.  She stressed managed migration a la Canada and greater communication must be the focus to deepen regional integration. Following in the footsteps of her BLP predecessor Owen Arthur there is an intent by Mottley- who has lead for CSME- to expand the fiscal and financial space to the benefit of tiny Barbados.

An example: initially the blogmaster was critical of Senator Alphea Wiggins’ appointment as Special Envoy with a mandate to develop a strategic partnership with Suriname.   With a large gathering in parliament why not appoint a member of parliament? Feedback in this space proffered that the  resume of Wiggins the diplomat is ideally suited to the task at hand. Time will tell.

Barbadians have been told by Wiggins about land donated to Barbados by Suriname – in a government to government deal – to be utilized on a pilot basis by local farmers. Although Wiggins has expressed disappointment at the weak response to the opportunity provided to local farmers and private sector there is hope the mindset of our local actors will change from being inwardly focus. In 2013 resident billionaire Sir Kyffin Simpson was reported to have significantly invested in an agriculture project in Guyana.

The farm, located in Santa Fe in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region some 231 miles (or 371 km) south-west of Georgetown, will be producing rice, corn, soya, cow beans, guar and eventually moso bamboo trees primarily for export. Already 10 000 acres are being prepared for cultivation and this will be extended by another 30 000 acres as production is steadily increased. Sir Kyffin has the option of tripling this acreage if the venture proves successful – Sir Kyffin Simpson Shows Leadership Investing in Agriculture

Last week at a business forum to promote trading opportunities in Suriname and Guyana was held in Barbados – opportunities identified agriculture, agro-processing, construction, renewable energy, tourism, education, and services. To add impetus to the message being championed by government, Minister Sandra Husbands with responsibility for  foreign trade could have co-opted support from Sir Kyffin or designate to update on his investment in Guyana.  Local private sector actors sitting on the fence needs to be persuaded to shed a risk averse mindset.

The blogmaster supports the renewed effort to deepen regional integration.  All sensible people will agree small islands in Caricom must do better to improve avenues for functional cooperation. It should be obvious to those with an average level of discernment that both Jamaica and Bahamas in the North share no great appetite for CSME – maybe just for the movement of the unskilled.  The alternative approach by Barbados to create opportunities with our neighbours in the South is a countervailing strategy to salvage the CSME initiative.

The idea to have Barbadian capital and technical resources combined with Guyanese and Suriname significant land and natural resources to the benefit of both countries in large scale agriculture and other opportunities is an approach which keeps hope alive.








STATEMENT BY US, UK and EU Rejected!


The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) rejects the statement today by the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union that Guyana’s APNU+AFC coalition government is in breach of the Guyana constitution, because elections were not held by September 18, 2019. This is an arbitrary date fixed by the political opposition PPP. It has no basis in law.

CGID condemns this blatant breach of Guyana’s sovereignty by the US, UK and EU, as well as deplores their nefarious interference in Guyana’s internal affairs. We also strongly denounce their apparent coordination with the opposition, which can potentially engender political instability and undermine our democracy. This display of prejudice by the Missions will deminish the respect and trust the Guyanese people repose in these foreign Governments.

The assertion that the government of Guyana is in breach of the constitution is false, irresponsible and baseless. CGID therefore challenges the Missions to cite the authority they used as the basis for their misguided and provocative statement, which is contemptuous of the Guyanese people and political process.

It is grossly hypocritical for Missions of the United States and the United Kingdom particularly, to presume to the lecture the Guyanese government and people about constitutional compliance when their individual governments are currently being challenged in court for violating their nations’ constitution.

In fact, on September 11, 2019, the Scottish Appeal Court – the Inner House of the Court of Sessions, ruled that the suspension of the British Parliament by the British government is unconstitutional. Such a matter demands the attention of the British Government and its representatives who now seek to collude and cast aspersions with respect to a matter that has been fully ventilated in Guyana’s highest courts. Thus we urge these parties to get their own houses in order.

CGID reiterates that the matters in connection with the December 21, 2018 no confidence motion were fully ventilated at the Guyana Supreme Court, Court  of Appeal as well the Caribbean Court of Justice. At no time has any court cited or sanctioned any constitutional violation by the APNU+AFC coalition government. Consequently, it is remarkable that these Missions have seemingly embraced an invention of the political opposition.

Guyana’s political and electoral processes and national destiny shall be determined solely by the people of Guyana and not foreign governments. CGID therefore call on the US, British and EU Missions to cease interfering in Guyana’s internal affairs; respect Guyana’s sovereignty and maintain neutrality with regard to Guyana’s politics.

Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) September 19, 2019

CCJ Has Ruled – Lawful Way Forward Imperative

Press Release, Guyana Trades Union Congress – 20th July 2019

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) calls for level headedness to prevail in the interpretation of the Consequential Orders of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). Those orders specifically address three areas of focus for resolution on the way forward since the 21st December 2018 no-confidence vote against the APNU+AFC Government was declared validly passed. These are- the Executive, the Legislature/Parliament, and GECOM. The Government and Opposition have accepted the rulings and orders but once again have different interpretation how these should be realised.

The Executive (Government) and Parliament (Legislature)  

The Executive in this current environment has been referred to by the CCJ as having “caretaker” status and advised that in this “role it should be restrained in the use of its legal authority.” There is no precise guideline/limitation on what a “caretaker” government means and what precisely constitutes “restrained in the use of legal authority” suited to our indigenous reality. This is why Government and Opposition must engage to establish the constrains to government functioning during a period like this that will be acceptable to both. It is not for Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo to determine what these must constitute and for the Government to act out of consort for the bonafide concerns of the Opposition.

Further, the CCJ as per its release dated 12th July 2019 ruled “Article 106 is clear and it should be followed.” Article 106, which is titled ‘The Cabinet’ has seven clauses. And whereas Clause 6 says “the Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by a vote of the majority…;” Clause 7 says that “[n]otwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office…and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.” We should all acquaint ourselves and abide with the seven clauses of Article 106 and allow the Government to use its legal authority to conduct the business of this country. Anything outside of this is anarchy.

Both Opposition and Government must go back to Parliament to address Article 106 in its entirety. Respect for the CCJ’s ruling would see adherence to this, what should happen next after a confidence vote is passed, and the fact that litigation was a contributing factor in putting a pause on election being held “within three months.” GTUC is well aware returning to the National Assembly may appear as though one side is losing ground, but this is not about losing ground it is about saving Guyana, utilising law and order.

The nation has gone past the 90 days as prescribed in clause 7 to hold an election, which kicks in the other conditionality of “or such longer period” as to when election can be held. And outside of GECOM, a constitutionally independent body, stating its readiness to holding election, the extant clause requires activation by “resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine.” Government and Opposition must return to the Assembly to give effect to this clause. Why is there no effort to seek a constitutional resolution as instructed by the CCJ as opposed to a political one with the potential for conflict?

This nation can take the example of political patience and respect for the Rule of Law being faithfully exhausted in other societies. Take the United States (U.S) and United Kingdom (U.K) for instance, they are utilising the Judiciary and Legislature to resolve serious differences with President Donald Trump administration, and leaving the European Union as with the UK  As we watch and see the methodical and patient pursuit and execution of the law, why aren’t our politicians learning and adopting these best practices of resolution of conflict. This nation must not be torn apart every time there is political difference and the issue of election comes up.

Election seems to be an opportunity not just to pursue a particular path of development but also to drive wedges between our people. It’s a shame our 21st century politics reflect the backwardness of the 19th century and anti-progressive societies. Gut feelings and passions have their place, but we cannot depend on that in matters relating to governance where the Rule of Law must take precedence.


There is no doubt election has to be held. This is not a willy nilly process and it is one that has serious implications for all of us and the way forward.

We remind this nation in 2006 then President Bharrat Jagdeo, himself faced with an electoral process, in an address to the nation said, “The law says that GECOM shall define the form of verification of the list or may decide on verification and will decide on what form it will take. Not the PPP, not the PNC, not any party, GECOM. That’s a constitutional body, independent just like the courts.” Neither the Constitution nor Elections Laws have changed since then. It is therefore an act of serious concern when a different posturing- seeking to dictate and malign personnel and the operations of GECOM- is now being pursued with a bullhorn, misrepresenting GECOM’s processes and the pathway to holding an election.

Similarly, as per CCJ release dated 12th July 2019, “As to the precise orders it should make, the CCJ cautioned, however, that it is not, ‘the role of the Court to establish a date on, or by which, the elections must be held’”.

Clearly, by now society should realise that despite the rhetoric, politicking and misleading statements we have come out of the CCJ empowered with the understanding that the no-confidence motion was validly passed, the process used to appoint the Chairman of GECOM was in violation of the Constitution, and the understanding that according to constitution GECOM is an independent body. Whereas this may not be pleasing to some or a loss to those looking for a different ruling, what is required is that we as a nation allow respect for the Rule of Law and do not interfere with a duly constituted body for election processes.

A peaceful way forward is imperative

Stirring up anger and inflaming passions as a means towards a political end have the potential for serious racial confrontation in this country. We should avoid this at all cause, for there will be no victors only losers. We also leave ourselves vulnerable to external forces. The legal system is obviously working if we allow it to work, if we respect its ruling and if we allow a level of integrity and good will to guide our interpretations.

Both sides must exercise good faith and trust and put together agreed mechanisms how government must function in a caretaker mode. Both sides must return to Parliament and execute their duty consistent with the Constitution. It is a demonstration of good will and willingness to work together to arrive at a mutually satisfying

Both sides operating in good faith will better command respect and trust that they are capable of resolving the current impasse and not sacrificing the well-being of supporters for political gain. They must give leadership and guidance to get out of this political morass with all its potential hazards at this juncture of our growth. Equal onus is on the Leader of the Opposition to be responsible in his use of language and to desist from making misleading statements that will play to those who are vulnerable and easily influenced.

An era that has come to an end whereby if any one group believes that they can govern at the exclusion of any other, with mere token representation to window dress inclusion, that will not be acceptable.  Hence political gamesmanship must not take precedence over wise decision-making in keeping with the Rule of Law.

The GTUC is concerned about those whose only interest is seemingly securing their individual and corporate interests at the expense of the working class. There is no evidence to date of genuine efforts to build on the foundation of creating a political system of inclusion where all can benefit and feel valued.  There is a standstill in development and factoring the needs of diverse communities. The essence of grassroots development is lost to this era of politicians on all sides, replacing it with avaricious and self-serving behaviours.

Say what you will about Cheddie Jagan and Forbes Burnham they had a genuine interest in the development of this nation and its people. We are yet to see 34 years after Burnham’s passing any vision, any development that matches his era. We are yet to see 22 years after Jagan’s passing the willingness to sit and negotiate with his opponent across the table.

People Who Claim to be Academics and Political Scientists


Submitted by Dr Kumar Mahabir

Dear Editor,

Last Friday (July 12), the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ordered President David Granger and his Cabinet in Guyana to resign immediately from Government and call elections within three (3) months.

This now seven-month elections’ delay has clearly brought out the political and ethnic biases of academics in Guyana such as Dr David Hinds who is also a member of the ruling coalition Government. It seems that the two Davids think alike in their insistence that the illegal government should remain in power.

At a history conference in Guyana two weeks ago which I attended, Hinds again showed his ethnic biases. He gave the feature address on the topic of Dr Walter Rodney, whom he described glowingly as a “black nationalist” and “a Pan Africanist.”

Hinds pointed out the marginalisation of certain groups such as Rastafarians in the Caribbean but did not utter a word about the alienation or tokenism of (East) Indians in regional institutions like the very CCJ, CARICOM, the Caribbean Reparations Commission, etc.

During the Questions and Answers (Q and A) session, I asked Hinds why he spoke about trade union leaders such as Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler and not mention even once the name of Bhadase Sagan Maraj, Adrian Kola Rienzi (Krishna Deonarine) or Basdeo Panday.

I also asked Hinds why he spoke about Guyanese and Trinidadian icons such as CLR James, Makandal Dagga, Eusi Kwayana and George Padmore and not even once mentioned the name of Cheddi Jagan or VS Naipaul, the only Nobel Prize laureate from Trinidad and Tobago.

I also asked Hinds why did he talk about cultural creations in the Caribbean such as calypso, steelpan and ska and made no reference to chutney music as well as “doubles” street food or the curried “sour” sauce and “puri” roti from Guyana.

Hinds replied about not having enough time to mention everybody [Indians particularly] in his hour-long address. Pity these people who claim to be objective academics and political scientists in the Caribbean.


Dr Kumar Mahabir

San Juan, Trinidad and Tobago

Minister Henry’s Lawsuit Is An Abuse of Court Process & Attempt To Suppress Free Speech

By Richard Millington

Guyana’s Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry, on June 24, 2019 secretly filed a defamation lawsuit against President of the New York Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) Rickford Burke, in Guyana’s Supreme Court. The lawsuit alleges that Burke, who resides in the United States, stated on his Facebook page on March 9, 2019, that Henry “has failed Guyana with her incompetence as Minister of Education.” Henry contended in the lawsuit that she relies on her reputation to be an effective minister of government and that Burke’s post placed her in public disrepute.

Henry’s lawsuit is unfathomable. Although Rickford Burke has a huge following and a majority of Guyanese shares his opinion of Henry, everyone had moved on. No one remembered this four-month old conversation. With this meritless, ill-timed and ill-advised lawsuit, Henry has resurrected this topic. She now faces renewed scrutiny of her abysmal performance as Minister of Education at a time when her APNU+AFC coalition government faces a tough reelection. Detractors will undoubtedly link her incompetence to the performance of the government.

It must be disconcerting to President David Granger that Henry’s lawsuit is not in her private capacity but as Minister of Education. It is a flagrant attempt by a Minister to abuse the court process to silence critics. Her petty-minded attempt to suppress free speech violates democratic norms. It is a remarkable blemish against the APNU+AFC coalition government, which vehemently criticized the previous People’s Progressive Party (PPP) administration for their dictatorial tactics and repression of free speech. Undoubtedly, this is a public relations fiasco for a government whose public relations is profoundly disastrous.

In a March 7, 2019, a Facebook post on Burke page criticized Henry and the Ministry of Education (MOE) for disregarding the Guyanese founder and pioneer of STEM Guyana. STEM Guyana’s Robotics program was recently introduced to students and young people in Guyana. The program developed rapidly and gained international recognition. In two years in ranked 10th in the world.

Burke said the Minister and MOE ignored STEM’s request to participate in MOE’s roll out of Robotics in schools. He said MOE instead engaged white-owned American company, A+ Technologies to demonstrate its Robotics capabilities MOE curriculum development experts. He blasted Henry and the MOE of choosing a foreigner over a Guyanese who possesses far more qualifications and capacity than the expatriate owner of A+ Technologies. It is inexplicable that Henry would engage Rickford Burke in this case of Guyanese patriotic advocacy, in which she cannot prevail.

Henry suffered a second round of blistering criticism from Burke and the public after she allegedly engineered to the press which asserted that Burke’s description of A+ Technologies as “white-owned” was “reprehensible, distasteful and tantamount to racism.’ It also called Guyanese to “speak out against” Burke. Burke publicly linked the letter to Henry. He explained that the language was verbatim to a missive from an assistant to Henry, who contacted him on Facebook and demanding that the post be removed. He added that a source in Henry’s secretariat provided CGID with a tip about the letter and its conduit to the media.

Responding to the letter in a March 9, 2019 post the CGID President blasted Henry and DOE as unpatriotic for disrespecting a Afro-Guyanese woman for a foreigner. He also slammed Henry as an “incompetent government minister and parliamentary representative for her constituency in Region 6.

Henry sent Burke a lawyer’s letter from Attorney Darren Wade, of Harmon & Associates, dated March 3, 2019 (an incorrect date), requesting a retraction and apology. A subsequent post appeared on Burke’s Facebook page stating that “Nicolette cannot intimidate me. Neither can she censor or suppress my freedom of speech right. I reaffirm my belief that she is an incompetent Minister and incompetent political parliamentary representative.” He told a Caribbean publication that his comments were not libelous and that they accurately reflect his belief.

Henry can neither win on the merits of her case in court nor win in the court of public opinion. First, there is plenty evidence to prove her incompetence. Foremost in the mines of the Guyana people is her embarrassing performance during the 2018 teachers’ union negotiation. Second, labelling Henry “incompetent” is not slanderous. It is an opinion of her performance. Furthermore, Burke’s comments were made in the US which is outside the jurisdiction of the Guyana Supreme Court.  Moreover, Henry is a Minister of government – a public official who serves the people. Her employers are the people of Guyana. She is therefore subject to scrutiny and criticism from the people. This places her at a far higher bar for libel and defamation.

The public has a right to criticize her performance. This is what she signed up for as a candidate for political office, and when she took the ministerial oath of office. Public accountability is an inevitable function of democracy. The recent arrest of social activist Melissa Atwell for exposing alleged incidents of malpractice at Balwant Singh hospital as well as Nicolette Henry’s lawsuit against Rickford Burke for saying she’s incompetent are violations of constitutionally protected free speech in Guyana, which must be condemned.

Also deserving of scrutiny is Henry’s attorney who has obviously misguided her. In paragraphs 1and 3 of page two of their letter to Burke, the Attorney conflated Nicolette Henry with the Ministry of Education, and consequently the Government of Guyana. Therein, the Attorney made pronouncements on behalf of the “Ministry of Education” and the government, after first affirming Henry to be the client.

Letter from Henry’s Lawyer:

The Attorney General’s Chambers make legal representations and pronouncements for the government. Lawyers in the AG’s Chambers say they are unaware of this matter and are shocked by the representations made. They confirm that Henry’s Attorney cannot speak for the government.

By filing this lawsuit Henry has placed her competence on trial in the court of law as well in the court of public opinion, and inevitably that of the APNU+AFC coalition government. Will the coalition allow her to take them down with her?

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Doing Things with Rules

The notion that lawyers, and especially judges, know everything is doubtless premised on the variety of determinations the profession is obliged to make as part of its diurnal routine. Is a medical doctor liable for negligence? Did a Minister exercise his or her discretion properly? Did an accused intend to murder the deceased? These are but a few of the decisions that are matters of law and whose answers lie exclusively within the realm of legal theory. Of course, in some matters, a court will be assisted by expert evidence, especially when determining matters that depend on the practice of a particular profession. For instance, medical negligence will be found where the doctor fails to act in accordance with an accepted responsible body of medical practice. What constitutes such is a matter of evidence from a medical expert in the particular area in issue.

A similar determination arose this week in the Caribbean Court of Justice, where, as the highest court in the Guyanese legal system, it was called upon to pronounce on a number of issues concerning the law of governance in that jurisdiction. These arose out of the infamous no confidence motion brought by the parliamentary opposition against the governing coalition administration. I say infamous because it may be recalled that one member of the governing coalition parliamentary group chose to vote against his side and therefore to carry the Opposition motion by a tally of 33 votes to 32.

These matters managed to present a number of legal issues for the Court’s determination; among them, whether there was a difference between a no confidence motion that was not expressly provided for in the Constitution and a motion of confidence that was so provided? What constitutes the majority necessary for the passage of a no-confidence motion and whether the Court had jurisdiction to inquire into the issue of Mr Persaud’s [the MP who voted with the Opposition motion] qualification to be a member of the National Assembly.

Of these issues, I found the first to be the most intriguing and I have written in another capacity more times than one on the very point. The matter became a legal issue because the legal advisors to the governing administration were of the view that first, there was a difference between an absolute majority and a simple majority; and that 33 votes could not constitute a majority in a 65 member Parliament because a majority was half of the total plus one and, since there could not be 0.5 of a vote, half of 65 had to be rounded up to 33 and the added one would give a total of 34. Too besides, they argued further, since 33 was already a majority of 64 members, it could not also be the majority of 65, a grater number. Of course, this assertion took no notice of the reality that 34 was also the majority of 66, itself a greater number than 65.

I argued in one of my writings on the subject last year, relying on the learning in Robert’s Rules of Order that the use of the formula half-plus-one to constitute a majority is apt to cause problems. According to the text, “Suppose in voting on a motion 17 votes are cast. 9 in favor and 8 opposed. Fifty percent of the votes cast is 81/2 so that 50 percent plus one would be 91/3. Under such an erroneous definition of a majority, one might say that the motion was not adopted because it did not receive 50 percent plus one of the voted cast although it was, quite clearly, passed by a majority vote”.

A similar argument appeared to find favour with President Saunders who drew on his judicial experience of what constitutes a majority judgment.

Since the Assembly comprises an odd number, there is no need to imply into the Constitution any formula for defining a majority as being ‘half plus one’. Indeed, as an American judge noted,12 the 50% plus one ruleleads to illogical results when it is applied to odd numbers. So, for example, it is trite that when a Court of Appeal sits as a panel of three, a majority decision is 2:1. The Chief Justice was therefore right when she adjudged that a majority from among 65 members is a minimum of 33.”

It bears remarking that the learned Chief Justice of Guyana had also reasoned likewise although she appeared to base her determination on an obverse application of the golden rule by positing if Persaud had voted against the no-confidence motion, the government would have accepted that the vote count of 33 is the majority of all elected members”.

In support of their argument, the lawyers for the governing administration had cited two authorities from Commonwealth jurisdictions. The CCJ found neither useful. As for the first, from Vanuatu, it related to a circumstance where an even number of members constituted the parliament.

Kilman was a case where the Vanuatu parliament consisted of 52 members. Only 51 voted on a particular motion that required an absolute majority. The result of the vote was 26:25. It was in this context that the court said as is stated above. Twenty-six votes could not carry the motion because what was needed was a majority of 52 and since 52 was an even number, in that specific context that majority could only be obtained via the formula of half the Members of Parliament plus one.

The second authority from Anguilla was also easily distinguished-

In that case the question concerned the number of members necessary to constitute a quorum. The Assembly comprised 11 members. The quorum requirement was two-thirds. Mathematically, two-thirds of 11 yields 7.3. The question was whether to constitute the quorum one should round up to 8 or round down to 7 members. The court held that since the concept of a quorum meant the least number possible for the valid transaction of business, one could not round down to 7 as that number would fall below the mandated quorum of 7.3. One should round up to 8 which would satisfy the quorum condition. Hughes v Rogers, therefore, has no relevance to the question at hand.

To be continued



Guyana’s Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), today (Yesterday), June 21, 2019 said via its Facebook Page, that it intends to “file private charges” against me for “inciting violence” because I called on Guyana’s security forces to investigate allegations that the PPP has been acquiring and stockpiling weapons. Calling on the police to investigate a crime or allegation of a crime is not a violation of the law. The responsibility of the Guyana Police Force, and other security forces is to investigate crimes and allegations of crimes. The PPP cannot intimidate me. I’m undeterred by its threat. I therefore reaffirm my call for the Police Force to investigate these allegations.
The PPP is smarting from its own sordid history of political and criminal violence. The PPP government, during Bharrat Jagdeo’s presidency, was accused of, and investigated for, killing over 400 Afro-Guyanese young men. The PPP was also investigated for torture and other crimes against humanity.
Moreover, I also intend to direct my Attorneys to file criminal charges against opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo for making reckless statements on March 10, 2019, at a political rally at Babu Jaan, Port Mourant, Berbice that incited violence against President David Granger, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and other government ministers. Jagdeo repeated said statements at press conference at his Church Street, government office on March 14, 2019. Jagdeo’s incendiary statement incontrovertibly incited violence and racial polarization, and constituted a criminal violation of the law.

CCJ’s Consequential Order Requires Guyanese to Unite

Press Release submitted by Guyana Trades Union Congress (19th June 2019)

CCJ’s Consequential Order requires citizens uniting to hold politicians accountable to a higher political order and love of country- not just power

The fundamentals of our democracy and regional integration stand strong in the decisions handed down by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Tuesday 18th June.  The rulings- ‘no-confidence’ motion and appointment of GECOM chairman-of the CCJ is a signal that the integrity of our judicial system in Guyana and the Caribbean can be relied on to adjudicate disputes in any environment of partisanship and polarisation. This is important in a context that notwithstanding the many questions and aspersions made about the integrity of the system Guyana and CARICOM states can be proud today.

Respecting due process

The Caribbean through Guyana has set an example of how political conflicts can be resolved through the judicial process. A process that requires trust, confidence and belief that the judiciary is the final arbiter on interpretation of the laws and the guardian of same.

The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) is heartened that notwithstanding vocal acceptance or rejection of the High Court or Appeal Court’s rulings on the given issues, due process allowed the various stages of our judicial system to be rightfully granted all parties involved. The Government, Opposition and all society are bound by the rulings of the CCJ and neither party can today claim they were denied due process and equal access to this branch of government and finally to the CCJ.  This is the fundamentals of our democracy reflected in the adherence to Rights and the Rule of Law.  This is indicative of what good governance is all about.

Right to legal justice

But even as we mark this achievement let us recognise that it came only after many were believed to be figuratively kicking and screaming through the entire process, seeking after political responses and satisfaction (political justice) that presented risks of deeper chasms, with domestic and regional instability as opposed to a more rational and acceptable judicial pursuit that reinforces the rights of all, confidence in this arm of government and the separation of powers therein. It came notwithstanding the belief and projected comments that Government was holding onto power and amidst calls for them to step down even as they sought to defend their belief and right to pursue judicial settlement.  This was a right that could easily have been denied had they bowed to pressure leaving many uncertain as to whether they were cheated out of government.

Peace through legal justice

Guyana and the Region have won.  GTUC reiterates the call made on 21st December 2018, when the Parliamentary vote was considered passed, that this is not a time for triumphalism or opportunity to create ethnic tension and divisions in society. The only victors here are all Guyanese and our branches of government that were allowed to deliberate consistent with the role of each. If we act contrary, likewise the victims will be all Guyanese and our branches of government, an untenable situation that will not serve the collective well. Let us claim victory as a nation. Peace, law and order and our judicial system remains intact. Together we must now build bridges to deepen our democracy and safeguard our nation for all Guyanese.

Building bridges and forging unity

We have to move forward based on the rulings and we must do so in an environment of mutual respect, consistent with the systems and recommendations that would guide our behaviour and steer the ship of state. GTUC reiterates its call to the Government and Opposition to meet and chart a way forward as to how government will function consistent with Article 106(7) of the Guyana Constitution. Management of the state is a day-to-day activity, failing which anarchy prevails. We call on the media and all Guyanese to rise to the challenge of building a better Guyana.

One with more tolerance and respect for the rights and rule of law; for all to be held accountable to these fundamental and universal principles of good governance; respect for the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and the rights of each to pursue legal justice which distinguishes us  on the continuum  of civilisation and   political  maturity. It is now time for our political leaders, supported by all stakeholders, to come together in determining the way forward as we continue to test and charter new waters.  We must have a better Guyana for all.

 Unchartered waters

We are reminded that there remains no convention or written guidelines how the society ought to function in a post “confidence” (no-confidence) environment. This the political parties must equally turn their attention to as matter of urgency. All of the political operatives over the years have been calling on citizens to put Guyana first. This is the time the GTUC calls on the politicians to demonstrate leadership that puts Guyana first.  There can be no hesitation, no reluctance, no refusal or political showmanship to delay the arrival at a position of satisfaction to all sides that would best serve this country by ensuring inclusion of all and the protection of rights.

People’s power

The parties return to the CCJ on June 24th to address the Consequential Order. We must go there with a plan as to how the country will proceed, in the interim and after the elections, consistent with Article 13 of the Guyana Constitution. It would be unfortunate to have the CCJ imposing on us what we are capable of determining.  It would be an insult to our forebears who came together to fight common enemies and build Guyana.  It would cast a dark cloud on our ability to unite for the common good and leave us vulnerable to internal and external destabilising influences.  The jury is out now on the ability of Guyanese citizens to unite and hold the politicians of this country accountable to a higher order of politics and love of country not just power. In a democracy granting the power is ours to give, ours to influence and ours to deny.