Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
In Trinidad, Daurius Figueira has written a book on the political violence against the Indian-based Democratic Labour Party (DLP) party in the 1960s. Pixabay

(Dr. Kumar Mahabir drafted this letter to address the issue of absence of election observers in the election in Trinidad and Tobago)

August 5, 2020


The Editor,

The absence of election observers in the election in Trinidad and Tobago

In light of the general election that will take place in Trinidad and Tobago in a few days, please publish the following item.

BRIEF REPORT on ICDN ZOOM public meeting last Sunday night (2/8/20) on the topic

Follow NewsGram on Quora Space to get answers to all your questions.

The absence of election observers in the August 10th election in Trinidad and Tobago:

Can the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) be trusted?”

The speakers were RALPH MARAJ, DR INDIRA RAMPERSAD and PROFESSOR SELWYN CUDJOE with DR BAYTORAM RAMHARACK substituting for RAVI DEV as the discussant.

MARAJ said that he was concerned about the absence of foreign observers, particularly the Commonwealth mission. He added: “Whilst we have a tradition of free and fair elections, there is no guarantee it will continue. We must always remain vigilant. … We are told that the Prime Minister received a letter from the Commonwealth stating they cannot afford to send a mission under our quarantine arrangements. But when asked to show the nation the letter, Rowley retorted, ‘I am showing nobody any letter. I am telling you the people, and I know you will accept that from a Prime Minister who always tells you the truth.’ The uneasiness has increased among many citizens as we approach polling day.”

DR RAMPERSAD emphasized the role and importance of foreign observers in light of the historical experience, the recent elections in Guyana, concerns in the Reports of previous Observer Missions and predictions that the results would be a close fight. She cited the judgement of Justice Dean Armorer in the Opposition UNC’s election petition against the EBC. The Judge ruled: “Accordingly, it is my view and I hold that the extension of the poll on the 7th September 2015 was illegal, and election officers who failed to close the poll at 6 p.m. acted in breach of Section 27(1) of the Election Rules.”


Professor Cudjoe argued that developed countries such as the USA, Canada and the UK do not have election observers. Pixabay

PROFESSOR CUDJOE agreed with all the speakers that observers are important in overseeing the election process, but did not see it as necessary. He argued that developed countries such as the USA, Canada and the UK do not have election observers. He said that it is part of a colonial legacy in which white people must be invited to oversee how black people are voting: “It is time to strike for our own freedom.” A member of the audience pointed out that CARICOM observers are nearly all black.

DR RAMHARACK examined the role played by the many international and local missions in observing the March 2nd 2020 elections in Guyana. He noted that the three previous speakers were not averse to having observers in T&T’s election on August 10th. Ramharack argued that the presence of observers would add legitimacy and confidence in the election to ensure that it would be more democratic.

Also Read: A Long Dispute Comes To An End

MODERATOR DR KUMAR MAHABIR’S COMMENT: Justice Dean Armorer ruled that the decision of the EBC to extend the voting time past 6 p.m. in the 2015 election was not lawful. Yet, neither Ms. Fern Narcis-Scope, then EBC’s Senior Legal Adviser nor any of EBC’s public officers, have been charged for violation of the law or misbehaviour in public office, or suspended or expelled from the EBC. Narcis-Scope will again preside over the August 10th 2020 election, this time as the Chief Election Officer (CEO).

The ZOOM public meeting was hosted by www.icdn.today

Sincerely,

Dr Kumar Mahabir, Coordinator & Moderator

Indo-Caribbean Diaspora News (ICDN)

Trinidad and Tobago, Caribbean

(AUTHOR’S BIO- Dr. Kumar Mahabir is an anthropologist who has published 11 books. He lives in Trinidad.)


Popular

Photo by Pedro Durigan on Unsplash

The world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.

Heinz has just rolled out a new product that the condiment company says is the "biggest innovation in sauce since the packet itself." Earlier this month, the world's largest producer of ketchup announced the Packet Roller, a ketchup bottle-shaped gadget that allows users to squeeze the most out of a condiment packet, CNN reported.

"Do not click 'purchase' unless you are prepared to change everything about the way you sauce," the Heinz Packet Roller website says. The roller goes for $5.70. The roller is pocket-sized, can be added to a keychain, and features a packet corner cutter.


Keep Reading Show less
Wikimedia Commons

Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer, is recovering from a right-knee surgery he underwent last month.

Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer, who is recovering from a right-knee surgery he underwent last month, said on Sunday that it was a difficult process to decide whether to undergo a third right-knee surgery after having two last year. But following Wimbledon, where he was "really unhappy" with his performance in reaching the quarterfinals, Federer opted to go through with it.

Federer, who made a late decision to attend this year's Laver Cup in Boston -- a tournament held between teams from Europe and the rest of the world -- said on the sidelines of the event that the recovery and rehabilitation are "going to take me a few more months and then we'll see how things are at some point next year". "The reception I've received, everybody is so upbeat that I'm here. They wish me all the best and they don't even see the crutches. They just want me to be good again and enjoy the weekend," Federer said in an interview for the event with former world No. 1 Jim Courier.

"I've seen some incredible tennis, some great matches and it's been wonderful. I'm really happy I made the trip," the winner of 20 majors was quoted as saying by atptour.com. On why he opted for a third surgery, the tennis ace said, "I was just nowhere near where I wanted to be to play at the top, top level. But I tried my best and at the end... too much is too much. Now I've just got to take it step by step," Federer said.

Roger Federer RG2012 volley Federer received thunderous ovations inside Boston's TD Garden, where he has often been sitting in the front row watching the action or behind the scenes visiting with the players. | Wikimedia Commons

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Eiliv-Sonas Aceron on Unsplash

By Hitesh Rathi

Cleopatra, was regarded as a great beauty, to preserve her skin, she took her daily bath in donkey milk. Besides, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed donkey milk for various diseases including fever, wounds, etc. To add to these benefits, donkey milk has four times the amount of Vitamin C than cow's milk has. So, it's no secret that donkey milk is a powerhouse of nutrients for both the skin and body.

Used for Anti-Ageing and Healing
The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties. These fatty acids blur the wrinkles on the skin and help to regenerate damaged skin. Plus, donkey milk also contains anti-bacterial properties which are effective in healing skin irritation and redness.

Look younger as you get old The milk contains essential fatty acids that work as powerful anti-ageing and healing properties.| Flickr

Keep reading... Show less