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Jamaica prepares for local government elections

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

#Jamaica, November 25, 2023 – Local Government elections are just around the corner and Jamaica is in preparation mode for a potentially hot competition on Election Day.

In readying for the typically heated running for divisional councilors and mayors, as is the nature of local government elections, the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ), as of November, commenced the recruitment process for elections day workers, as reported by The Jamaica Information Service (JIS).

The electoral office has been appealing to Jamaicans to apply for positions on Election Day, due, under the law, on or before February 28th, 2024, about three months from now.

Glasspole Brown, Director of Elections, informed the media that EOJ since the start of the recruitment process, training has begun. However, there are still many people than have the chance to be a part of  the election process, especially given the positions available.

The available positions include presiding officers, poll clerks, supervisors and polling station security assistants (PASSA) or or one-day police officers, as they are called.

Not only that, there are also positions for logistical support as well as short term employment within the Information Technology Department and Field Operations Department and in officers; this is for additional work before and after Election Day.

Upon starting the recruitment process, EOJ set a goal for approximately 28,000 people which they are now close to reaching.

“So far, the response has been very good, we are close to our target, but we continue to recruit because we have to go through a process of training these individuals,” expressed Brown.

He added that after training there may be a number of the recruits who do not make the cut due to not meeting the standard required to work on Election Day, hence the continuation of recruitment. Brown further pointed out that the EOJ will be prepared before the year’s end.

This term’s Local government election comes after three postponements, when the bill allowing the delay was passed earlier this year in February, reports say. Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness indicated that the election WILL be held In February or next year, as it is due.

In fact, further postponement was answered with heavy pushback from the opposition, which expressed that it is in contradiction to true democracy.

Local government elections in Jamaica are constitutionally (under the law) due every four years and were last held in November of 2016. The next due date was November 2020, but due to COVID-19, it was put off, despite the holding of general elections two months prior in September.

Caribbean News

Trinidad Makes Big Energy Commitment

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#TrinidadandTobago#Energy, February 20th, 2024 – To diversify its energy mix as well as its economy, Trinidad and Tobago is putting focus on energy transition for development, working on a solar project which will potentially change energy production for the nation.

This was announced by Prime Minister Keith Rowley at the opening of the Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo 2024 in Guyana on February 19th.

Expressing that energy is the center of economic development, Rowley highlights why this development is significant. He says in order to transform the energy system to cater to the growing demand for energy while decreasing global emissions, a broad mix of energy is needed.

He further mentions that this is what’s required of producer economies like Trinidad and Tobago for development.

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Caribbean News

Irish Humanitarian Organization in Haiti – Address Hunger Crisis and More

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Haiti#Crisis#ConcernWorldwide, February 2oth, 2024 – Seeing that Haiti’s humanitarian crisis worsens day by day with too many Haitians, hundreds of thousands, edging the line to severe deprivation of food, Ireland’s largest aid and humanitarian agency Concern Worldwide is addressing major food insecurity. 

 The organization in a release said “ “We are providing food assistance, via electronic vouchers to help families purchase food from local vendors so that they can feed their families and prevent malnutrition in children as the situation worsens.”

They are also working to provide Haitians with clean water and sanitation as the waterborne disease Cholera continues to threaten lives, killing more than 1,150 people in 2023.

And, they provide referrals for cases of sexual and gender based violence in Port au Prince.

Concern is supported by funding from USAID, receiving €2.1 million (euros) to help over 30 thousand people in the hunger crisis as well as €1 million (euros) yearly from the Irish Government for its work in Haiti.

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Caribbean News

Why the Haitian President’s Wife – Martine Moïse – was charged with his 2021 Assassination

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#Haiti, February 21, 2024 – Martine Moïse, the widow of Haiti’s assassinated President Jovenel Moïse, is being charged for involvement in his July 2021 murder, according to recent reports on Monday February 19th, 2024.

She is charged for complicity and involvement in criminal associations.

In his report, Haitian Judge Walther Wesser Voltaire reveals there were questionable actions related to Martine Moïse as well as statements that simply didn’t add up.

For instance, Voltaire states that she mentions hiding under the marital bed for safety during the attack on her husband, but authorities expressed that this claim is illogical, saying that a giant rat measuring “between 35 and 45 centimeters,” could not fit under the bed.

This is due to the fact that the gap between the bed and the floor was 14 to 18 inches, according to the indictment.

Considering these revelations, Voltaire states that her claims were “so tainted with contradictions that they leave something to be desired and discredit her.”

There are other suspicious actions by Mrs. Moïse, reported by the Judge, as revealed by Lyonel Valbrun, former Secretary General of the National Palace.

Voltiare’s report says Valbrun claimed there was pressure from the late President’s wife to make available to Claude Joseph, former Prime Minister, office space for the organization of a Council of Ministers.  Additionally, Valbrun reported that Martine Moïse dedicated hours to remove objects from the Palace during the days leading up to her husband’s murder.

Joseph, like the former first lady is also being charged for complicity and involvement in criminal associations.  Also, they were both injured during the attack on Jovenel Moïse.

The accusations against Mrs. Moïse, reports say, are also based on information from Joseph Badio, former official in Haiti’s Justice Ministry, who is accused of being involved in planning the Haitian president’s 2021 assassination.

According to the indictment, linked in  Voltaire’s 122 page report highlights Badio “outing” Mrs. Moïse for plotting with others, Joseph included, to kill her husband to gain power.

Joining Joseph and Moïse with charges is Léon Charles, ex-chief of Haiti’s National Police, carrying the worst of the charges including, murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of weapons, conspiracy against the state’s internal security, and involvement in criminal associations.

Haitian-American pastor Christian Emmanuel Sanon, former DEA informant Joseph Vincent, presidential security chief Dimitri Hérard, former senator John Joël Joseph, and judge Windelle Coq, are also among the accused, some already sentenced and some handed over to the US to face Federal charges.

Media reports have exposed that after a two and a half year investigation, there are still unanswered questions.  And, despite going into details about the assassination, it fails to reveal the motive behind it and how it was financed.

A separate case on Moise’s killing is being tried in Miami.

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