OPINION: Eyewitness: The ambiguity continues…


…on elections

The long-anticipated ruling by CJ Roxane George on the H2H Registration challenges was a bit of a downer to your Eyewitness. In trying to give something to each of the parties – the Govt, the Opposition and GECOM – she didn’t quite come off as Solomonic as your Eyewitness had hoped. As a result, it was the poor baby – in this case, our Constitution – that came out the worse for wear. Without citing all the cited Articles and their clauses, what was the gravamen (to filch a legal phrase) of the cases??

The Constitution always had the stipulation that, after a successful NCM, elections had to be held in 3 months. After the NCM was passed on Dec 21 2018, the PRO of GECOM announced they’d be getting ready to have elections by March 21. Yet, for reasons well ventilated in the public sphere – mainly having to do with foot dragging by Granger’s hand-picked Chairman, James Patterson – GECOM didn’t do a damn thing, even after the same CJ ruled that the NCM was validly passed.

Further appeals by the Govt – having nothing to do with GECOM, but on mathematical esoterica – placed the clock on hold; but nothing prevented GECOM from getting their systems in place to meet any new 3-month deadline when the clock started ticking again.

At this time, their major time cruncher was preparing an updated Official List of Electors (OLE), which is extracted from the NRR. There were two options: a claims- and-objections programme using the OLE from the just concluded LGE, or H2H. The first would take two months, while the second a year at least!! The Government, however, insisted that the OLE was “bloated” by some 200,000 names, and this could be rectified only by a H2H exercise.

It was against this background that Patterson decided to initiate H2H Registration. Soon after, he was declared by the CCJ to have been illegally appointed and the NCM validly passed. And we arrive at the present decision by the CJ, in which she, like the CCJ, insisted on using Gnomic rather than plain, unambiguous language. And so left the political pot boiling like molten lava as before.

Why couldn’t she say clearly that while she can’t order an exact DATE, GECOM must use a method of creating a list to meet, as closely as possible, the three-month parameter of Sept 18, after the clock started ticking again on June 18??

Didn’t she realise we aren’t dealing with persons of integrity, as the CCJ presumed when they pointed out that the 3-month deadline for elections after an NCM needed no “gloss”?

Fortunately, Claudette Singh cannot be Gnomic!!

…on “top schools”

While the announcement of the CSEC and CAPE results were overshadowed by the goings on over at the High Court, they still gave your Eyewitness that frisson of excitement to see our youths can still be motivated to achieve set goals. He’s constantly in trepidation that the Americanisation of mores that make young people so blasé might have reached our shores. He’s still in awe of our sixteen-year-olds writing TWENTY subjects at CSEC and succeeding with all grade ones!!

But two things made this year’s results more interesting. First, three of the top students are drawn from hinterland communities… and, more than anything else, he believes this will be the start of the deconstruction of the persistent notion in coastlanders that our hinterland folks aren’t quite “with it”. Of course, they are, but these results are proof of the pudding!

The second point is the performance of regional schools! They’re edging out the “premier” schools in G/town, even though the latter get the “cream” of each crop!

The times are a changin’

…in WI cricket

The times are a changin’ in cricket also. With Test cricket fighting to stay relevant by bringing in a two-year championship format, the T-20 format is still setting the pace.

But whither the WI Team?