Bahamas Blog International
Grenada, we mourn - again!
Related to country: Grenada
By M. B. Archibald-MBA (fs), FICB
Our much loved son of the soil, George Brizan, could not have been more correct when he named his book "Grenada, Island of Conflict!" Is there something in our waters, our soil, our spices from which we got our name or in our very character that predisposes us to internal strife and conflict? Brizan’s thoughtful book or even just a cursory examination of our last fifty years certainly would make anyone shake his/her head with perplexity.
Among many, many questions now being asked, two predominate for me: i) Will we ever have an extended period of political peace that so many long for?; and ii) Could not these ‘adults’ -- grown men and women -- in the ruling NDC who claim “to love our country” and want to “serve our country” have sat down together in a room with locked doors and not come back out until they have hammered out their differences for the good of the country? After all, they all know our history and how desperately calm, maturity and political peace is needed. Was that too much to ask for, to expect?
My own feeling at the moment, like many other Grenadians I have spoken to here and abroad on both sides of the political divide, is one of anger, frustration, disappointment and worry for the future of our country. I remembered that, when I returned to Grenada to live a few months before the election in 2008, making many phone calls and trying without success to see any of Messrs Thomas, Burke and David. I knew these gentlemen and I wanted to determine for my own self two things: i) Their overall philosophy and plans for the development of Grenada; and ii) the strength of their commitment to working together as one united entity -- particularly as, like many others, I saw the NDC at that time more as a marriage of convenience of two groups coming together to remove the NNP from government.
One good friend of mine who knows the NDC well suggested to me that it was incorrect to regard the newer incoming participants as a group but as separate individuals all coming into the fold of the party as it were, especially as some who might have been considered part of the group now firmly support Prime Minister Tillman Thomas as leader of the party. However, I still hold the view that it was largely a coming together of two “groups”.
I was worried that it was the desire to defeat then Prime Minister Keith Mitchell that was the glue that bound them together, rather than a common philosophy and agreement on the way forward to develop this country. I never got the chance make that assessment as all I got for my pains was the odd phone call promising that someone would get back to me. Maybe they were simply too busy for one returning Grenadian.
While so many focus on which one is wrong and which faction to support, I suspect there is blame enough to spread around to most of the participants. Was it all just a marriage of convenience for both sides after all? Was one group coming in as wolves in sheep's clothing purely with the intention of taking over the party as some suggest? Were they all, on both sides, so intent on removing the NNP that they did not seek to make sure that they were compatible? Did they all buy into the manifesto -- the fundamental philosophical and organisational thesis that should guide the party in government if elected? Did they all have the commitment to good governance, transparency and accountability?
Since major policy differences have yet to be articulated but only hinted at in street talk, does the real issue, as was put to me, surround the process and timetable for a transition of leadership within the party?
Did the perceived need to save the country or did the lust for power drive out all other considerations.
Whichever it is, the citizens are left between a rock and a hard place and continue to suffer -- as always.
May 17, 2012
Caribbean Blog International
The Bahamas: ...Message from the Leader-Elect of the Official Opposition - Dr. Hubert Minnis
Related to country: Bahamas
Leader-Elect of The Official Opposition
In a unanimous vote, the Free National Movement Members-Elect of the House of Assembly after consultation with the Central Council of the FNM invited me to serve as Leader of the Official Opposition.
It is with a profound sense of responsibility that I accept their invitation on the twenty-second anniversary of the passing of Sir Cecil Wallace Whitfield, a Founding Father and former Leader of the FNM.
Accordingly, I will advise His Excellency the Governor General of the decision of my colleagues, and I will receive the instrument of appointment as the Official Leader of the Opposition.
Once again, the transition of office from one party to the next in Government has been seamless. This is a matter of national pride in our vibrant and enduring parliamentary democracy.
For our part, we pledge to work with the Government in the best interest of the Bahamian people. At times, this may require that we oppose what we believe is not in the national interest.
We will not oppose for the sake of opposing. But we will oppose, without hesitation and vigorously, what we believe is harmful to the general welfare and common good of the Bahamian people.
We will also stand guard over, and be ever ready to protect, the Constitutional rights and freedoms of all Bahamians
As a matter of priority, and in the interest of transparent and accountable governance, we ask the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Urban Development to provide details of their work as consultants for a foreign company that is engaged in oil exploration in The Bahamas.
Further, we note that the Prime Minister has appointed a Minister of Urban Development. We are flattered that the Government has borrowed the idea of urban development from the FNM. We wait to see if this is mere window dressing or yet another slogan such as Urban Renewal 2.0.
At the appropriate time we will detail further ideas for genuine urban development, building on the accomplishments of the last five years.
The Scriptures remind us, in all things, give thanks. And, we are reminded to always have an attitude of gratitude.
In this spirit, I wish to give my personal thanks to the people of Killarney who re-elected me to serve as their representative in the House of Assembly. I thank my constituency association and campaign staff and volunteers.
I thank my wife, Patricia, family and friends for their unwavering support.
I also thank my colleague and friend, Hubert Alexander Ingraham for his outstanding service to the people of The Bahamas and to the FNM.
In gratitude to him and for the sake of all Bahamians, let us pledge to carry on his legacy and vision which is to build a greater Opportunity Society for every Bahamian across the length and breadth of the country we all love and cherish.
May God bless our efforts. May God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
May 10, 2012
Caribbean Blog International
Alfonso Quinonez - leader of the Organization of American States (OAS) electoral observation mission team says: The election process across The Bahamas was 'well prepared and executed'...
Related to country: Bahamas
Nassau, The Bahamas
THE election process across The Bahamas was 'well prepared and executed,' according to the Organization of American States' team of observers leader Alfonso Quinonez.
Mr Quinonez said yesterday afternoon that his team had been throughout the constituencies and had had no reports of any election fraud, vote buying, or voter intimidation.
"We have observed the process and everything has gone well. Obviously there may be something brought to our attention because there is still some time to go (before the polls close) but so far everything has gone very well," he said.
Mr Quinonez added that they had witnessed some voters' votes being protested by various parties but those issues had been dealt with by Parliamentary officials.
"At this point, we can say the elections have been conducted in a very professional manner. The elections are very open and very professional. We are looking forward to the closing of the vote and to check the count."
Mr Quinonez stressed that he and his team were not here because they believed something was going to go wrong or that they were here to substitute electoral authorities.
"What we see is that this is an electorate that is very lively and very engaged. We have seen red shirts interacting with yellow shirts and in a very amicable manner. It is very positive and speaks highly of the Bahamian democracy; also you have a high turn out which speaks highly of democracy because this is not a country where voting is compulsory."
May 08, 2012
Caribbean Blog International
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