Bahamian election officials prepared for May 10 Poll, CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission told

Josephine-Tamai
Chief of Mission, Ms. Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer of the Elections and Boundaries Department of Belize

The CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission for Wednesday’s General Elections in The Bahamas has been assured that the Commission responsibly for the conduct of the poll is prepared, despite some concerns about the conduct of the advanced voting process.

The Mission, in an Arrival Statement, said acting Parliamentary Commissioner Mr. Charles Albury gave the assurance that despite the advanced voting concern and the fact that he only took up his acting position  five (5) days prior to the scheduled date of the elections,  he and his team of competent staff would ensure a smooth electoral process.

Orette_Fisher
Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Orrette Fisher, Director of Elections of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica.

The CARICOM eleven member Mission, which began arriving in The Bahamas on 4 May, is headed by the Chief of Mission Ms. Josephine Tamai, the Chief Elections Officer of Belize, with Mr. Orette Fisher, Director of the Elections Commission of Jamaica as Deputy Chief of Mission.  The other Members, who all have election management and observation experience, are nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.  They are supported by two staff members of the CARICOM Secretariat.

In addition to the acting Parliamentary Commissioner, the Mission has met the National Youth Council, the Commissioner of Police, the Democratic National Alliance (DNS) and the Bahamas Constitution Party (BCP).  It plans to also meet with other political parties and stakeholders including the media and civil society groups in an effort to obtain an overview of the general atmosphere and level of preparedness for the elections.

The Mission will observe Election Day activities including the opening of the polls through to the tabulation and announcement of the results.  Following the elections, it will issue a Preliminary Statement outlining its initial assessment of the process, followed by a Final Report which will be submitted to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

 

Read Arrival Statement: ARRIVAL STATEMENT_CEOM_ THE BAHAMAS

 

Working together – CARICOM SG, Ambassadors and Heads of Community Institutions

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Work to strengthen the Region’s governance and implementation structures continued Thursday with the first joint meeting of the CARICOM Secretary-General, Heads of Community Institutions and the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors  at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana.

Thursday’s exchanges followed the fifth Meeting of the Committee of Ambassadors, held at the CARICOM Secretariat, also in Georgetown, on Wednesday. The Committee plays an important role in the governance structure of the Community, providing strategic advice and recommendations to the Community Council towards advancing the integration movement.

The Heads of Community Institutions  meet regularly with the Secretary-General to seek to harmonise efforts towards implementation of the CARICOM Strategic Plan.

Several participants joined the meeting via video conference.

 

CDF Head calls on President Granger

President David Granger and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Development Fund, Mr. Rodinald Soomer at State House (Photo via Ministry of the Presidency)
President David Granger and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Development Fund, Mr. Rodinald Soomer at State House (Photo via Ministry of the Presidency)

Ministry of the Presidency, Georgetown, Guyana, May 3, 2017 – President David Granger, (on Wednesday), met with Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Development Fund (CDF), Mr. Rodinald Soomer, who lauded Guyana for its excellent track record in paying its contribution to the organisation as well as implementation of development projects. The meeting was held at State House.

The CDF is a 12-member body established under Article 158 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas signed in January 2001. The Agreement Relating to the Operations of the Fund was signed in July 2008 and the CDF began operating in August 2009. Its objective is to assist its members to maximise the benefits arising from participation in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) by reducing intra-regional disparities through effective partnerships and the provision of financial and technical assistance. Its members include Guyana, Suriname, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.

Last year, Guyana signed its second financing agreement for a blended loan facility with the CDF valued at US$10,432,263.

Region needs to develop digital financial services sector – CTU President

Telecommunications Minister, Senator Darcy Boyce speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Week at the Crane Resort. (Photo by C.Henry via BGIS)
Senator Darcy Boyce, President, Caribbean Telecommunications Union  (Photo by C.Henry via BGIS)

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago – “The ITU, UNECLAC, the CTU, the various bankers’ associations, the central bankers, the anti-money laundering regulators, the digital financial Services technology providers, the cyber security experts and the consumer protection officials need to see how we, as a region, can develop our regional DFS sector,” stated Hon. Darcy W. Boyce, the President of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, and Senator in the Office of the Prime Minister Energy, Immigration, Telecommunications and Invest Barbados.

Senator Boyce made a call for collaboration during the opening ceremony of the Digital Financial Services (DFS) Workshop, held in Port-of-Spain, 27-28 April, 2017.

The CTU President further gave the rationale for providing these services in the region: “Digital financial services, through the attributes of digital financial inclusion have significant potential to provide a range of affordable, convenient and secure banking services to the poor people, small and micro enterprises in the region.”

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Data is the new oil – TT Minister

From (left to right) - Cleveland Thomas, ITU Caribbean Representative; Dr. John Prince, CEO Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago; the Hon. Catherine Hughes, Minister of Public Telecommunications, Guyana; Gilbert Peterson, S.C., Chairman TATT; the Hon. Maxie Cuffie M.P. - La Horquetta/Talparo, Minister of Public Administration and Communications; the Hon. Melford Nicholas, Minister of Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Information, Antigua and Barbuda; Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General Caribbean Telecommunications Union and Sylvester Cadette, ITU Programme Officer, ITU Area Office, Barbados. (Photo courtesy Ministry of Public Administration and Communications Trinidad and Tobago)
From left, Cleveland Thomas, ITU Caribbean Representative; Dr. John Prince, CEO Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago; the Hon. Catherine Hughes, Minister of Public Telecommunications, Guyana; Gilbert Peterson, S.C., Chairman TATT; the Hon. Maxie Cuffie M.P. – La Horquetta/Talparo, Minister of Public Administration and Communications; the Hon. Melford Nicholas, Minister of Telecommunications, Broadcasting and Information, Antigua and Barbuda; Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General Caribbean Telecommunications Union and Sylvester Cadette, ITU Programme Officer, ITU Area Office, Barbados. (Photo courtesy Ministry of Public Administration and Communications Trinidad and Tobago)

 “By enabling things to communicate with each other independently of human interaction, the Internet of Things (IoT) opens up possibilities of new business models, new types of services and new revenue streams. The Internet of Things can facilitate new levels of efficiency, improving the way existing service across many different sectors are delivered,” remarked Ms. Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), during the opening ceremony of the Internet of Things Forum: Smarter Living in the Caribbean, April 24-26, 2017.

Cognizant of the potential of this technology to improve lives, she further cautioned the need to protect citizens’ digital and physical possessions and their privacy.

“As we embrace the concept of the Internet of Things, we have to be mindful of the potential societal impact. Provisions must be made to protect citizens’ person, their intellectual, digital and physical possessions and their privacy,” she said.

The Forum was organised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in collaboration with the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus, Caribbean Telecommunications Union, and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. (more…)