…as no parliamentary extension means time running out for GovtIn the absence of a parliamentary extension of the Government’s time in office as set out by the Constitution when a no-confidence motion is passed, the clock is ticking on the Government’s legitimacy.Activist Christopher RamIn an interview with Guyana Times, prominent activist and lawyer Christopher Ram expressed concern at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) recent pronouncement that it could end up holding elections in March 2020.“That would be inconsistent, not only with the new Chairperson of GECOM’s commitment to have elections as soon as possible, but also inconsistent with the Constitution and the ruling of the Caribbean court. It means that what we will have is the defiance by GECOM of the ruling of the highest court of the land and the Constitution.”“This very act will amount to an abrogation of all the norms of democracy. That will lead us into really dangerous territory. We’ve had situations in the past when elections weren’t held on time, for example in 1978 and 1990. But never were those elections postponed in defiance of a court order.”Ram also noted that this period would be a test not only for democracy in Guyana, but the international community, including the Caribbean Community (Caricom). Persons have previously called out the international community for their relative silence on President David Granger’s failure to name an election date after losing the no-confidence motion of 2018.“This will be a test of the civil society of Guyana. It will be a test of the Constitution. It will be a test of the international community, Caricom, of the Commonwealth Secretariat. We (risk) becoming a pariah state,” Ram warned.March 2020After a more than four-hour-long meeting on Friday last, both Opposition and Government-aligned Commissioners disclosed to media operatives that March 2020 was one of several timelines proposed by the Secretariat.The Guyana Elections CommissionGovernment-aligned Commissioner Vincent Alexander confirmed that March 2020 was one of the dates discussed during the meeting. According to the Commissioners, one of the activities proposed to be undertaken by GECOM during that period is the printing of new national identification cards. However, Commissioner Bibi Shadick contended that such an initiative was unnecessary.She pointed out that ID cards were not needed to vote, as any other form of identification, such as a passport, was accepted. In lieu of any such documents, she said voters could sign an oath at the polling stations.Article 106 (6) of the Constitution states: “The Cabinet including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.”Meanwhile, Article 106 (7) goes on to say: “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”A no-confidence motion was passed against the Government since December 21 of last year. However, elections were not held and there was no resignation. Instead, the Government went through several levels of court, unsuccessfully arguing that the no-confidence motion was not validly passed.At the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), the final court had thrown out the Government’s case and had handed down judgement, saying that when the no-confidence motion was passed on December 21, 2018, Article 106 of the Constitution had immediately been activated. In addition, the Court had noted that the provisions of the article were clear.Instead of immediately starting serious preparations to hold elections in the shortest possible time; however, GECOM proceeded to carry out House-to-House Registration based on the orders of unilaterally appointed former Chairman, retired Justice James Patterson. Ram himself filed a court case challenging this process and sought to have GECOM comply with the Constitution.While that process was ultimately stopped by his successor, the decision to merge the new data from House-to-House Registration and to prioritise the printing of ID, instead of seeking to have elections held as soon as possible, has been criticised by People’s Progressive Party (PPP)-nominated GECOM Commissioners as part of the Government’s delaying tactics.In the 2000 Esther Perreira election petition case, then Justice Claudette Singh had ordered that elections must be held by March 31, 2001. Particularly, Justice Singh had ruled that the requirements for voters to have an ID card for the 1997 elections was a breach of Articles 59 and 159 of the Constitution and that the elections were null and void.The PPP has, therefore, contended that prioritising ID cards over early elections is a case of putting the cart before the horse.
Sam Clucas 1 Goals from Abel Hernandez and Sam Clucas propelled Hull back into second in the Sky Bet Championship and ratcheted up the pressure on Cardiff manager Russell Slade.Saturday’s embarrassing FA Cup exit to League One strugglers Shrewsbury had reportedly left the Bluebirds boss on the brink, with online polls showing many fans want a new manager to be installed.The pressure on Slade will only increase after an uninspiring display at promotion-chasing Hull, who usurped Derby with a win more comfortable than the 2-0 scoreline suggests.It was a 10th home win of the season for Steve Bruce’s men and a result that always looked likely after Anthony Pilkington clipped over Cardiff’s best chance midway through the first half.Hernandez’s penalty five minutes before the break give Hull an advantage they would not relinquish, with Clucas volleying home the hosts’ second shortly after the restart to wrap up victory.It was meek response to the 1-0 home loss to Shrewsbury and a result that looked likely once Hull found their feet, with Bruno Ecuele Manga denying the dilly-dallying Hernandez an early opener.David Marshall should have been tested at the very least and the same went for Mo Diame shortly afterwards, with his curling effort flying well over the Cardiff goal.Only a timely Matthew Connolly block prevented Hernandez directing home an exceptional Clucas cross as City continued to control proceedings, with Cardiff finally mustering their first attempt after 27 minutes.A wonderfully-weighted ball from Craig Noone put Pilkington through on goal and the winger’s clipped effort rippled the net, only for it to quickly dawn on the travelling support it had landed on top of the goal.It was a great chance that Slade’s men were made to rue five minutes before half-time, when Lee Peltier wrestled Harry Maguire to the ground from a corner.Referee Scott Duncan pointed the spot and Hernandez converted, hitting a powerful effort out of Marshall’s reach.Hull’s lead never looked in danger from that point onwards and Marshall did well to prevent man-of-the-match Maguire scoring an unlikely effort at the far post shortly after half-time.Clucas’ free-kick created that danger and the winger himself soon added Hull’s second, keeping composed after his initial effort ballooned off a defender to volley home low past Marshall.Pilkington and Joe Ralls had efforts on rare voyages forward as Cardiff attempted to peg back Bruce’s men, but nearly went further behind when Diame and Hernandez linked up.Marshall did well to deny Clucas when Hull next attacked and substitute Tom Huddlestone twice tried his luck from distance.Marshall again denied Clucas in stoppage time and, much to the relief of the 162 visiting fans, prevented David Meyler making it three with the last effort of the evening.
ANA presented with two SKYTRAX Category AwardsANA presented with two SKYTRAX Category AwardsAll Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest and 5-Star airline for seven consecutive years, today won “World’s Best Airport Services” and “Best Business Class Onboard Catering” at the SKYTRAX World Airline Awards, in a special ceremony in Paris at Musee de l’Air et de l’ Espace, Paris Air Show.The awards, hosted by London-based airline industry rating company SKYTRAX, are determined by the results of a worldwide passenger survey. This is the seventh year that ANA has earned “World’s Best Airport Services” since 2011, and it is the very first time ANA has been awarded “Best Business Class Onboard Catering,” reflecting the airline’s commitment to ensuring a quality experience to its passengers in both service and experience.“We are delighted that SKYTRAX recognized our commitment to our customers both on and off our aircrafts,” said Hideki Kunugi, Executive Vice President of ANA. “As a global leading airline, ANA continues to provide our passengers with the best hospitality from the moment they check in until they leave the airport at their destination as these awards make clear. We’d like to thank our dedicated team members on the ground and on board and to our customers for recognizing these efforts and continuing to make ANA Japan’s leading airline.”For the “World’s Best Airport Services” award, passengers recognized the efforts of ANA’s ground staff at airports for having exceptional customer service with its flyers and going the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction is a top priority. In addition, the following initiatives by ANA have been commended:An increased number of automatic check in baggage machines “ANA Baggage Drop” to ensure check-in procedures are as smooth as possible.Revamped domestic ANA LOUNGES in Itami, Fukuoka, and Naha airport, designed by world famous architect, Kengo Kuma.The ANA LOUNGE in Narita Airport expanded to create a more spacious environment for flyers.Extended opening hours of ANA’s lounge at Haneda International Terminal to provide comfort and convenience to passengers.Lobby service training for staff to help the needs of customers at both check-in and at ANA’s lounge.ANA has also been awarded for “Best Business Class Onboard Catering” for the following reasons:Increasing the volume of the international cuisine’s main dish as well as more options of cheese.In order to answer to the various demands, ANA has added continental breakfast, cereal and yogurt as additional choices.ANA have added a symbol to represent vegetarian meals in-flight.ANA have enhanced the meals on flights departing outside of Japan by collaborating with famous chefs for flights departing from Germany and Belgium.“ANA is a very strong performer in the World Airline Awards and this is demonstrated by these two major customer awards,” said Edward Plaisted, CEO of SKYTRAX. “World’s Best Airport Services award covers all front-line processes from check-in, lounge service, arrivals, transfer and boarding, and in the opinion of customers, ANA is providing the very best experience for both staff efficiency and the quality of staff service. We congratulate all the ANA staff who worked so hard to achieve this No 1 ranking. It is also a great achievement for ANA to win the award for World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering, because this is a very competitive category amongst the world’s leading airlines.”While it is ANA’s pride and honor to receive the two awards in addition to the 5-Star rating, which we won for seven consecutive years, we will continue striving to provide the best hospitality as a global leading airline.Source = All Nippon Airways