Port-au-Prince, Haiti: The nation’s nine-member Provisional Electoral Council is scheduled to announce the official list of candidates eligible to contest November’s presidential elections next week.
At least two dozen candidates have filed nomination papers to contest the election, including US-based artiste Wyclef Jean and former prime ministers Yvonne Neptune and Jacques-Édouard Alexis.
Meanwhile, UNICEF has announced that scores of Haitian children are begging on the streets of the Dominican Republic as a result of the January 12 earthquake.
UNICEF officials say the influx of children in the Dominican Republic has left them vulnerable to exploitation and other forms of abuse.
NEW PARTY LEADER
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands: Attorney and former Speaker of the House Clayton Greene is the new leader of the Progressive National Party (PNP).
Greene defeated former premier Michael Misick; CEO of Digicel TCI, Jay Saunders and Queen’s Counsel Carlos Simons at the PNP’s national congress last Saturday to assume leadership of the party.
The winner was decided by majority vote.
Prior to the vote, Greene vowed he would bring “courage, fairness and sober mindedness” to the position if he won.
Misick announced his intention to join the leadership race earlier this year, after saying he had been asked by hundreds of party faithful to participate.
He stepped down as PNP leader last year amid corruption allegations, but has denied the charges.
HURT BY RAIN
Georgetown, Guyana: Heavy rainfall over the past several weeks has severely hurt the nation’s mining industry.
Last week, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds announced that production for July was only about 60 per cent of what is expected.
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Kellawan Lall says crops on low lying areas have been flooded.
The heavy rainfall has also prevented further sowing of crops, in addition to affecting ones already planted.
Prior to the rainfall, the Ministry of Agriculture had visited several farming areas and provided seedlings in preparation for the next crop. That plan has been put on hold because of the rain, Lall said, adding that the ministry would be returning to the affected areas after the rain subsides to begin planting again.
St. George’s, Grenada: The new regional ferry service that will connect several Caribbean countries is closer to being launched.
BEDY Ocean Line, the Grenada-based owner and operator of the new regional ferry service, has acquired a large vessel with accommodation for 900 passengers, 175 motor vehicles and cargo.
Benjamin Ross, the company’s CEO, said the specifications of the new vessel have been approved by the relevant authorities, and the decision to secure its services was prompted by requests from numerous potential users across the region.
Ross said the company’s other two vessels, La Palma Express and Nutmeg Express, with a capacity of 260 and 300 respectively, will provide charter and tour services between St. Lucia and St. Vincent.
When operational, the new ferry service will connect with and provide daily service to Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Grenada and St. Vincent.
The ferry service was initially scheduled to launch last October, but has been delayed. No date has been set for the launch as yet.