The Games Are On

Garvin Taylor – hopeful that more games would come to Grenada

Without any uncertainty, Grenada will indeed host Zimbabwe and West Indies in three One-Day International (ODI) Games.

Confirmation was given to the media on Tuesday by members of the Grenada Cricket Association (GCA) during a media briefing at the Grenada National Stadium.

The three ODI’s are scheduled for February 22, 24 and 26.

Acting Head of the GCA Garvin Taylor believes it would be a good thing for Grenada in the future once the country is able to host the games in the highest standard.

“If the games are a success the possibility exists that more games (will) come to Grenada,” Taylor said.

He said it is in the country’s interest to make sure that the games are a success as a means of giving the country the impetus to host more games in the future.

Events Manager Troy Garvey said with General Elections in Grenada carded for February 19, they feared that there would have been some challenges.

Garvey said the local authorities approached the West Indies Cricket Board requesting a change in the fixture or an alternative.

However, he said that with the assurance coming from the Royal Grenada Police Force that all of the security requirements for the games will be met, they now feel quite confident that they can deliver the games in the highest possible standards.

Troy Garvey – we can deliver

Garvey indica1ted that it is about four years since Grenada has had an international cricket match of that level.

He said with the competition in the region being high to host international cricket matches, it is crucially important for Grenada to execute at the highest level.

The Zimbabwe Team arrives in Grenada on February 16 while Team West Indies arrives on February 20.

Zimbabwe will be engaged in a practice match against the Vice Chancellors XI at Progress Park in St. Andrew’s on February 20.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Sports Veda Bruno-Victor gave the assurance that the fields will be totally ready for the games.

Bruno-Victor said special covers that are ordered from England will be used for the crickets nets for the teams to practice.

Ex-ministers not contesting

Joseph Gilbert – not in the race to seek re-election

Three of the five former government ministers under the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government will not be contesting the February 19 General Election.

The trio are – Peter David (Foreign Affairs), Joseph Gilbert (Foreign Trade & The Environment) and Karl Hood (Labour).

David was seen as the leader of a fraction of Congress that was seeking to capture the hierarchy of the party from Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.

The Member of Parliament for the Town of St. George along with nine others were expelled from Congress in September as the party tried to rebuild its image for the upcoming general election.

The former Foreign Affairs Minister made his pronouncement earlier this week stating that he will not be contesting the elections, but made it clear that it is not an end to his political career.

David, who returned to his career as an Attorney-at-Law since his resignation from the Cabinet last year leaves the Town of St George Constituency up for grabs involving a fight between two newcomers to electoral politics.

The ND will be fielding Franka Alexis-Bernadine who presently holds the portfolio of Education Minister while the New National Party (NNP) will attempt to win the seat through Businessman, Nicholas Steele.

According to David, inadequate timing to engage in active campaigning was the main reason for him not contesting the election.

Peter David – declared that he is not contesting the General Elections

When he quit the Thomas Cabinet last year, David announced at a public meeting at the St. George’s Anglican School on Church Street that he would definitely be contesting the election but could not state at the time on which ticket.

On Tuesday, Gilbert confirmed to The New Today newspaper that he is not prepared to contest the upcoming election due to insufficient time.

Like David, he indicated too that this was not an end to his political career.

The Cuban-trained Engineer has reportedly been spotted in the St. Patrick area in recent times in the company of several NNP political activists.

Hood had indicated since his resignation from the Cabinet in May that he has no intention to remain in frontline politics.

“I have decided when this term is over, I will not be running for office,” he told this newspaper.

Michael Church, the former Foreign Trade & Energy minister who resigned from the Cabinet in 2010 after being demoted following a trip he took to Geneva with NNP’s Trade Advisor, Dr Patrick Antoine unknown to the Cabinet, made it clear that he will contest the upcoming general elections but did not indicate if he will join another party or contest as an independent candidate.

When telephoned on Tuesday to confirm his candidacy for the February 19 poll, Church told The New Today that he will not give this paper a story and wants nothing to do with it since numerous negative stories were published in its pages against him.

Former Labour Minister Glynis Roberts who resigned from the Cabinet last year and was her subsequently expelled as a member of Congress is now charting a new political career under the banner of the newly National United Front (NUF).

Identified as the Interim President of the party, Roberts along with Attorney-at-Law, Ferron Lowe have announced that the party will contest the 2013 General Election by fielding a limited number of candidates.

NUF is due to hold its first convention on Sunday at the Calliste Government to elect its Executive.

Roberts will seek to hold onto her St George South constituency in a battle against the new NDC candidate, Businesswomen Merle Byer and NNP candidate, Alexandra Otway-Noel.

 

Adjournment in the Clyde Greenidge Beheaded Murder Trial

Steve Gurrie – has to wait longer for his trial

The long awaited trial of Steve Gurrie who allegedly beheaded two men with whom he had socialised with has been abruptly adjourned without a shred of evidence being heard.

The 15-member jury panel that was selected for the Clyde Greenidge murder trial was dismissed last week Wednesday by Madam Justice, Margaret Price-Findlay.

Without giving details, Justice Price-Findlay said as a result of certain issues that were brought to her attention, she took the decision to discharge the jury.

However, investigations carried out by THE NEW TODAY Newspaper revealed that the defense counsel, Ruggles Ferguson had served notice that he was bringing some preliminary constitutional legal issues before the court.

A high level source who spoke on condition of not being identified said that one of the legal issues relates to the non-availability in Grenada of the diminish responsibility as a defense.

The source indicated that because diminish responsibility is not a legal defense in the local jurisdiction, the defense is arguing that it affects Gurrie’s ability to get a fair trial.

The source explained that in order to find someone guilty of murder two things have to be established – actusrues, which is the act itself, and the mensrea.

According to the source, the act of the accused that caused the death of Clyde Greenidge, a Farmer/Proprietor of Birchgrove, St. Andrew’s, and Christopher Stafford, a Labourer of Byelands, St. Andrew’s on May 3, 2010 at Balthazar, St. Andrew’s is not an issue.

However, the issue for the defense is more the mental element of Gurrie at the time of the incident.

The outcome of the arguments on these preliminary legal issues would determine the start of the trial.

Gurrie is accused of using a cutlass to behead the two men and then taking the heads to the Grenville Police Station.

Worrying trends!!!

As the country moves deeper into election mode, the true colours of some people are beginning to be seen.

However, this should not come as a surprise in light of the 13 years spent in office by the former New National Party (NNP) under Dr. Keith Mitchell in which it was able to entrench itself through a well-executed system that affected just about every person in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

The NNP was very systematic in placing its operatives in each and every key position in Grenada whether in the judiciary, civil service, statutory boards, service groups, sporting organisations and others.

Even the Roman Catholic Church did not escape as the NNP hierarchy in

a most vulgar manner sought to influence the selection of the person who should become the Bishop of St. George’s.

The failure of the Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) when it got into government to dismantle and mash up the NNP well entrenched system at all levels is today continuing to be a nightmare for the administration.

With elections 25 days away, the NNP elements within the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) are grumbling and rumbling in an effort to trample their opponents within the force and to bring fear into the lives of those who are perceived to be supporters of the current ruling party and government.

This newspaper has received information that certain police officers are threatening to make the country ungovernable if Keith Mitchell is not restored to the Prime Ministership of the country.

Similar threats were made by some of the same officers back in 2008 when the NDC won the election 11-4 to bring an end to Mitchell’s stranglehold on Grenada.

A few of the disgruntled police officers promised to leave the force and not work under a Tillman Thomas government. The threats never materialized and the loud mouths continued to get their monthly salaries for the past four-and-a-half years.

Police officers are entitled to vote for the party of their choice but no one should tolerate any tendency on their part to openly engage in partisan politics in light of their motto to protect and serve all and sundry in Grenada.

There are reports that some officers in the south of the island are creating hardships for several beach vendors perceived to be NDC supporters.

The Tillman Thomas government is one of the few administrations in the history of Grenada that cannot be accused of interference in the running of the police force.

Eric Gairy created his own police force with the so-called Mongoose Gang, Maurice Bishop and the New Jewel Movement (NJM) did not trust them and set up the People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) for its protection while the Interim Government, the first NNP government of the late H.A Blaize and the Congress government of Sir Nicholas Brathwaite respected the police force in keeping with their commitment to respect institutions.

The same cannot be said of the newlook NNP of Dr. Mitchell as it interfered with the police force at every opportunity.

Two police officers – Commissioner Fitzroy Bedeau and Sergeant Carl Caton were enticed to join the party and run as candidates in general elections. The NNP also sought to influence the selection process when it came to promotions in the service and some police officers were forced to take court action to seek legal redress for their plight.

Another important issue, which needs to be looked at, is the attempt by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Timothy Antoine to apply to the Public Service Commission (PSC) for his vacation when the country is on the verge of an election.

THE NEW TODAY is perplexed as to why the top civil servant in the Ministry of Finance would embark on such a course of action given the facts.

There is no doubt that at this point in time the Minister of Finance, Nazim Burke would hardly be in the ministry to give guidance to the process since he would have to be on the campaign trail on a daily basis in order to seek to retain his St. George North-east seat in the February 19 poll.

It matters not that Mr. Burke is highly favoured to win the seat which is considered as a garrison constituency for the ruling Congress party.

However, a more sensitive PS would not have given the slightest consideration in normal times to take vacation leave when his Minister would be so indisposed.

Mr. Antoine, unless struck by some kind of illness, should not have attempted to take his vacation leave at this point in time.

In addition, there are reports that he gave the PSC only five or so days notice of his intention and not in keeping with the six weeks requirement as stipulated by the rules governing the service.

Why did he do that? Is there more in the mortar than the pestle? Mr. Antoine is perhaps the only person who can give truthful answers to these questions.

Some people are not fools and can recall the words issued by the former Prime Minister and current Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Keith

Mitchell when he was in office.

This gentleman certainly gave the impression that Mr. Antoine was very much a part of his set up with words to the effect: “As long as I am the Prime Minister, Mr. Antoine will always be my Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance”.

THE NEW TODAY can recall an editorial that appeared in the now defunct GRENADA TODAY newspaper, which urged the Tillman Thomas-led Congress government within weeks of coming into office following the July 2008 general elections that it should move quickly to replace the three Antoine’s – Timothy Antoine, Patricia Antoine and Dr. Patrick Antoine from their current positions.

The view expressed then by that newspaper is that it was fearful that the trio were very much part of the NNP set up and that the Congress needed to remove them in order to dismantle the system that was created by Mitchell and NNP to run this country.

The government might only be reaping the produce from the seeds that it met in office, helped to nurture and allowed to grow in the past four-and-a-half years.

River Road man severely chopped

Abraham Modeste – charged with
dangerous harm

A brutal chopping incident at Tempe, St. George’s of which pictures went viral on social media networks has stunned the nation.

Clint Thorne, alias “Tonkie” of River Road, St. George’s is now warded as a patient at the St. George’s General Hospital after being chopped several times allegedly by Abraham Modeste from Tempe who has since been charged for the offense of Dangerous harm.

Thorne who is 34 years of age was chopped on his stomach and underneath his right foot.

The most severe of the wounds was to his stomach, which caused some of his intestines to be exposed.

The injured man had to be rushed to the St. George’s General Hospital by members of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) who responded quickly to the incident that occurred last week Tuesday.

THE NEW TODAY Newspaper has been reliably informed that the incident arose out of an altercation between the two men.

It is alleged that Thorne went to Modeste’s workplace and delivered some blows on him with a cutlass.

Modeste appeared in court last week Thursday and was remanded to custody at the Richmond Hill prison by Her Honour, Magistrate Karen Noel.

At the time of his court appearance, Police Prosecutor Terrence Andall told the court that the injured man is warded at the intensive care unit at the hospital in a critical condition.

The court learnt that Modeste has six previous convictions, which include possession of cocaine, and praedial larceny.

Constable Andall said although an address of Tempe is given for Modeste he has no serious fixed place of abode.

Modeste is due back in court on February 5.

 

Christmas promotion winners get prizes

FLOW’s grand prizewinner, Junior Benoit, receive one of his winnings from Head of Service Delivery, Mrs. Claudette James-Newton; his other prizes in the background

FLOW customer Junior Benoit is the grand prize-winner of the “Flow with us this Christmas” promotion.

Benoit, a St George’s resident, walked out of the LA Purcell Furniture Store last week Friday with an ultimate entertainment Centre comprising of a Sofa Set, a 42 inch flat screen TV, a Surround Sound System, a Laptop Computer and a Cordless phone.

In accepting his prizes, the lucky winner encouraged other customers to pay their bills on time so that they too can become winners.

FLOW’s Head of Service, Delivery Claudette James-Newton, and Manager of LA Purcell Furniture Store, Richlyn Phillips made the presentations to Benoit at a ceremony held at LA Purcell Furniture Store.

The promotion, which was launched in November 2012 and ran until December 24 saw FLOW partnering with longstanding company, Purcell’s Furniture Store to furnish its grand prizewinner.

The two Max Pak winners, Catherine Phillip and Freddy and Vashti Williams also took home a 46-inch flat screen TV each.

Customer Service Representative at Flow, Wendy Dowden presented the prizes to the two winners.

The “FLOW with us this Christmas” promotion gave new customers signing up for any FLOW service or existing customers paying their bills on time and in full an opportunity to qualify to win the grand prize or weekly prizes.

Several customers were also presented with their winnings during the competition.

They are Kindle Fire – Valine Sylvester, Mavrick Legaul, Chad Rodd Haywood, Dannie Francis and Theophilus Mitchell; Shopping Vouchers ($100 Value) – Elizabeth Charles, Elizabeth Noel, Alister Felix, Johnice Barthlomew and Douglas Lewis; 3 Months Free Broadband – David Griffith, Bob Phillip, Noel Lessey, Emmanuel Hairy and David Lord; 3 Months Free Cable – Ryan Holder, Hesron Barry, Leah Peters, Norma Walters and Earl Charles; and 3 Months Free Talk – Vera Agatha Parris, Christine Felix, Fleda Hinds, Cathyann Pierre and Glenroy Bascombe.

 

Benoit: Do not look at the list

Judy Benoit cautions against the online list

The Parliamentary Elections Office has distanced itself from a voter registration list published on the Internet.

At a news conference held last week Friday, Supervisor of Elections, Judy Benoit made it clear that “the list was not put there by the parliamentary elections office”.

She said that she received calls from citizens who expressed concern that their private information were published online, but made it clear to them that “the office is not associated with this publication in any way”.

Benoit told the media that she discussed the issue with Attorney-General, Rohan Phillip, but was told that there is nothing in the Constitution barring the publishing of the list online therefore there is no legal course that can be taken against the publishers.

The Opposition New National Party (NNP) is one of the political parties that has an online copy of the list on its Internet sites: www.nnp.gd.

However, the Supervisor is advising eligible voters to check the official lists published by the Parliamentary Elections Office to verify their information or to contact the office for official information.

She warned that the office cannot verify the contents of the lists online, as they do not know if changes were made to the list.

Benoit also told reporters it is unfortunate that some Grenadians failed to register within the stipulated time to become eligible to vote in the February 19 General Election.

The Supervisor who recently returned on the job from medical leave following a mild stroke last year said, “people choose to wait” which resulted in long lines shortly after the election date was announced by Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and subsequently the writ for the elections being issued by Governor General, Sir Carlyle Glean.

Her response was in connection to scores of Grenadians who rushed to get registered before midnight last week Wednesday.

According to Benoit, it was unfortunate that several Grenadians had to be turned back without being registered, as the system would have shown that they were registered after the stipulated time to be eligible to vote.

She disclosed that between Sunday and midnight on Wednesday of last week, approximately 2000 persons were registered in time to be on the final Voter’s list.

The Supervisor of Elections spoke of being satisfied that the office had met the target of 60,000 registered voters.

Benoit commended her staff for their services particularly over the last few days of registration, which saw them in offices throughout the country up to midnight in an effort to accommodate registration.

She said the Electoral Office cannot promise that every registered voter will receive their identification cards in time for election day, but assured the nation that her office will do all in its power to issue as much cards as possible.

She is also appealing to persons registered early but who did not receive their ID’s to check with the various offices to collect their cards.

The Supervisor said that their main priority right now is to focus on printing and issuing cards.

However, she is appealing to registered voters to check the lists to ensure that their names are listed and that the information listed is correct.

Benoit stressed that the office is 95% ready for the task ahead (Election Day) and that the hardest part of their job is to ensure that all eligible registered citizens are properly listed.

Regarding concerns about missing names on the list, the Supervisor of Elections pointed out that on her return to work earlier this month from her illness, she was informed about the complaints but was able to verify that the names that were removed were sent back for correction.

“They were not actually missing”, she said, “they are in the system, the people are registered but it’s just a matter of those that had errors were sent back for correction and the last list happened to be printed before these names were actually sent back in the corrected form”.

Both the two main political parties in Grenada – The National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New National Party (NNP) have raised concerns regarding names omitted from the electoral list.

Benoit reiterated that within days of her return to office, the names were corrected and put back on the list.

Baptiste might support NDC in February 19 poll

Michael Baptiste likely to give support to NDC

Former Opposition Leader, Michael Baptiste will most likely be joining forces with the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas for the February 19 general election.

Baptiste was selected by the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) about a month ago to lead its team of candidates in the poll that was called two weeks ago by PM Thomas.

He had told THE NEW TODAY that he would be seeking to regain the St. Andrew South-west seat that he won in the 1995 and 1999 general elections – the first on a GULP ticket and the other with the NNP of ex-Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell.

According to a well-placed source, Baptiste has come to the realisation that the GULP will not be able to mount a successful platform for the poll and took the decision a few days ago to throw his support behind Congress.

The former Opposition Leader reportedly held one public meeting earlier in the month in his hometown village of Munich in which he lambasted the NNP and its Candidate for St. Andrew South-west, Yolande Bain-Horsford.

The outspoken and fiery Baptiste appeared on some of the NDC platforms in the July 2008 elections and helped the party to its 11-4 victory against NNP at the polls.

The source said that a meeting was held during the last weekend between the former Opposition Leader and some of the top leaders of Congress to discuss his participation in the election campaign.

He declined to give details but said it was more than likely that Baptiste and the NDC top brass would be able to hammer out an agreement to get the GULP member to lend his support to their cause.

He said that Baptste is eager to appear on the campaign platform to take the fight to the NNP candidates in the four St. Andrew’s seat, and the two in St. :Patrick’s including St. Patrick East that is held by Prime Minister Thomas.

It is not clear whether the GULP will continue with its plans to field a limited number of candidates in the election.

The February 19 battle is expected to be a straight fight between the incumbent Congress and Mitchell’s NNP, which governed the island for 13 years between 1995 and 2008.

 

TAWU & NNP meet to discuss national issues

TAWU’s President General Chester Humphrey – was part of the meeting

A delegation of the New National Party (NNP) recently met with the Management Committee of the Technical and Allied Workers’ Union (TAWU) at the Union’s Headquarters at Green Street.

The NNP’s delegation which was led by its Party Chairman, Senator the Honourable Gregory Bowen included Honourable Anthony Boatswain and Mr. Nicholas Steele, Caretaker for Town of St. George Constituency.

The Union’s delegation, led by its President General, Senator Chester A. Humphrey, Deputy President of the Senate included 2nd Vice President Gordon Raeburn and Assistant General Secretary Cde. Trevor Xavier.

The meeting was initiated by the NNP, as part of its interface with various stakeholder organisations on the implications of closure of Parliament, but it also visited a range of other national development issues.

The parties noted that the prorogation provision of the Constitution was designed to divide Parliament into different Sessions and to be used in the event of national emergencies. They specifically underscored that representative government forbids its use as a mechanism to stifle parliamentary debate – and prohibit parliament from performing its vital “watch-dog” role.

Both parties agreed that the closure of our parliament at this time was an absolute rejection of the ‘Democratic Governance Agenda – Transparency, Accountability; and amounts to a fundamental assault on the underpinnings of our democracy.

Commented the President General – a veteran with 22 years in the Senate and its current deputy President, “to literally ban Parliamentarians from meeting to discuss the nation’s business – particularly in the face of a grave fiscal collapse of Government is a step into executive autocracy and an annihilation of the essence of Parliamentary democracy.”

NNP’s Chairman Gregory Bowen – headed the delegation

On the country’s development, TAWU provided a list of matters it wanted an incoming NNP administration to consider among which were:

 

(1) An immediate amendment to the INCOME TAX Act to remove the sunset on taxing Severance Pay arising from RETRENCHMENT;

 

(2) Amend Section 66.1 of the LABOUR RELATIONS ACT from “reasonable time” to “within 10 days.” This amendment to be done at the very first session of the first working sitting of Parliament;

 

(3) Implementation of a National School Bus Service partially funded with a universal fare;

 

(4) Implementation of National Health Insurance to address the challenges of Public Health care financing;

 

(5) Setting up of a Sovereign Re-capitalisation Fund for the Hotel Sector in order to save local properties from bankruptcies and going the way of La Source – this would save and expand hundreds of jobs of hotel workers and put income into the hands of farmers;

 

(6) Within six (6) weeks of forming the Government restart the Feeder/Farm Roads CCC project;

 

(7) (I) Reorganise the Ministry of Labour – create a Division of

CONCILIATION & MEDIATION OF INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES to be headed by someone with an LLB and with five (5) certified mediators.

 

(II) Reorganisation of the Factory Inspectorate with the appointment of an Occupational Health & Safety Director with minimum qualification of a BSc. in that discipline;

 

(8) Return of Grenada to being a full member of the International Labour Organisation;

 

(9) Restoration of workers representation to the Unions at the Postal Corporation as well as all other statutory Boards. Protection of that representation at the Grenada Electricity Services;

 

(10) Reinstatement of the unfairly dismissed workers at the National Lotteries Authority and the passage of ANTI-SEXUAL HARASSMENT at the WORKPLACE LEGISLATION.

 

The above were some of the request made to the Parliamentary Opposition’s delegation.

The New National Party Delegation undertook to examine TAWU’s proposals in the wider context of the country’s overall economic and social development.

The parties also agreed to keep the communication lines open; the NNP delegation thanked TAWU for facilitating the cross-fertilisation opportunity.

 

Glynis stamps authority in NUF

Political Leader of the National United Front (NUF) Mrs Glynis Roberts

Former Government Minister, Glynis Roberts is Grenada’s third female political leader.

The two-time Parliamentary Representative for St George South was elected unopposed as Political Leader of the National United Front (NUF) on Sunday as she prepares to lead a group of limited candidates into the February 19 General Election.

The St George South Representative will seek to reclaim her seat in Parliament while her colleague Attorney-at-Law, Ferron Lowe will challenge NDC’s Randall Robinson and NNP’s Gregory Bowen for the St George South-East seat.

Another former NDC member, Valdon Paul will compete with Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and NNP’s Clifton Paul for the St Patrick East seat.

A turnout of approximately 100 people attended NUF’s party Convention and Political Campaign launch at the Calliste Government School in the South of the island.

The party’s constitution that directs the election of members, discipline, aims and objectives was read out and ratified subject to minor amendments made by party members.

The Executive elected to lead the party are as follows: Chairperson – Siddiqui Sylvester; Deputy Chairperson – Jerome Joseph; Political Leader – Glynis Roberts; Deputy Political Leader – Ferron Lowe; General Secretary – Dr. Winston Thomas; Assistant General Secretaries – Terrence Benjamin and Peter Spencer; Treasurer – Manley Phillip; Assistant Treasurer – Esther Frank; Public Relations Officer – Valdon Paul; Recording (Executive) Secretary – Jomi Thomas; and Trustees – Emlyn Lambert and Phillip Isaac.

In her maiden address as political leader, Roberts told supporters, “I will not let you down”.

In reference to the two main political parties in the country – the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Opposition New National Party (NNP) the female politician charged that both of them have exhausted their usefulness.

“There comes a time in a country’s history when the old must be done away with” she said.

Roberts was first elected as a Parliamentarian under the banner of Congress in 2003 and then again in 2008.

However, she resigned as a member of the government last year amidst internal fighting when a group of dissidents sought to replace Prime Minister Thomas as Political Leader of Congress in favour of his ex-Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David.

Roberts was subsequently expelled along with eight others as members of NDC.

In the presence of three expelled members of the NDC – Peter David, Chester Humphrey (both have not indicated their support for the NUF) and Siddiqui Sylvester, the new political leader was at pains to make it known that NUF is not a breakaway fraction of the ruling Congress party.

In seeking to chart the way forward for the new party, Roberts said that NUF would focus on breaking the cycle of poverty as well as concentrate on education, job creation, developing the agriculture sector, improved health care services, tourism, culture, the environment and implementing social programme that will support strong family bonds.

Guyana’s controversial Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee was the guest speaker at the NUF’s Convention and Campaign Launch on Sunday.

The Guyanese government minister has been dogged by the passage of a no confidence motion against him in Parliament in Georgetown over allegations that he has ties to alleged criminal and notorious characters in the South American republic.