Caribbean News in Brief – November 11, 2010

NO REGRETS

Kingston, Jamaica: Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Daryl Vaz, has warned Jamaicans against letting down their guard in the future after being spared the full onslaught of Hurricane Tomas last week.

“To those who might have felt that all they did was in vain, I would say to those skeptics, it is better to be safe than sorry,” he said at a press conference at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) last Friday.

He emphasized that threats of storms or hurricanes must be taken seriously and commended the nation’s emergency response agencies, saying this was the “best prepared” the country has been, in terms of being proactive in protecting lives and property. (JIS)

AID POLICY DEFENDED

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Senior government minister, Jack Warner, has defended Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s aid policy. Persad-Bissessar has been criticized for attaching conditions to aid Trinidad and Tobago is giving to its storm-hit neighbours.

Last week, Persad-Bissessar said Trinidad and Tobago must benefit from any assistance given to CARICOM states hit by tropical storm, Tomas.

Critics have described the statement as insensitive, and consumers around the region have been calling for a boycott of products made in Trinidad and Tobago.

In response, Warner said those criticizing Persad-Bissessar should remember that “charity begins at home”.

DISMISSAL

Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis: A challenge to the election of a government parliamentarian which was based on allegations of fraud and illegal practices has been dismissed by a High Court judge.

British Virgin Islands Resident Judge Indra Hariprashad-Charles announced her ruling last week on the petition mounted by political leader of the People’s Action Movement (PAM), Lindsay Grant, against Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports, Information, Technology and Posts, Glenn Phillip.

Grant’s lawyers had gone to the court alleging that bribery and corruption on the part of Phillip himself, and/or leader of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) Denzil Douglas, and/or other prominent members of the party, secured the candidate’s victory in the January 25, 2010 elections. However, Justice Hariprashad-Charles said the material evidence to support the claim was lacking.

The January polls resulted in the SKNLP returning to office for an unprecedented fourth consecutive term after it took six of the eight seats on St. Kitts, with the other two going to PAM. On Nevis, the Concerned Citizens’ Movement (CCM) won two seats, while the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) took the third.

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