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Published:Wednesday | April 10, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Golding pleased with electoral process in Maldives


Former Jamaica Prime Minister Bruce Golding yesterday said he remains confident that the general election will provide an opportunity for the leadership of the Maldives and the newly constituted People’s Majlis to strengthen democracy in the country.

Golding, who headed a Commonwealth group that observed last Saturday’s general election, said that he wanted to commend voters “for the peaceful and orderly manner in which they exercised their democratic right to vote on April 6.

“Once again, they have taken a step forward in consolidating their country’s democracy. We challenge the leaders they have chosen to spare no effort in realising their aspirations,” Golding told reporters.

He said the the Commonwealth group was “privileged” to have witnessed the “aspiration of a nation for a stable, peaceful and inclusive democracy where rights and responsibilities under the Maldivian Constitution and laws are fully respected.



Britain apologises for latest Windrush foul-up


The British government was forced to issue yet another apology to the so-called Windrush generation after it was discovered that more than 500 private email addresses were mistakenly shared with recipients of a mailing list for a compensation scheme announced by London last week.

The Windrush generation are the estimated half a million people, who between 1948 and 1970, moved from the Caribbean to Britain, which in 1948 faced severe labour shortages in the wake of the Second World War.

The government last week agreed to pay up to £200 million in compensation to people whose lives were damaged by the Home Office’s mistaken classification of them as illegal immigrants.

In a ministerial statement, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said that an email sent to people and organisations who had registered an interest in the compensation scheme included details of other recipients’ email addresses, which amounted to a breach of data protection requirements.



Antigua lashes out new US sanctions against Cuba, Venezuela


The Antigua and Barbuda government has denounced the latest round of economic sanctions against Venezuela as the United States seeks to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office in the South American country.

“That is certainly a decision we abhor. We believe that sanctions kill, and whereas the United States may be seeking to force regime change, the reality is they are bringing extreme poverty and hardships to innocent people in Cuba, in Venezuela,” said Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Last weekend, the Trump administration announced its latest round of economic sanctions against the Maduro government aiming at oil shipments between Venezuela and Cuba, which Washington has accused of propping up the Maduro administration. The US levied sanctions on vessels operated by Venezuela’s state-run oil company, as well as on two international companies that transport Venezuelan crude oil to Cuba.

“Venezuela’s oil belongs to the Venezuelan people,” said US Vice-President Mike Pence.

Browne told reporters that Havana could continue to count on St John’s support as his country has shared a good relationship with Cuba over the past 25 years.

“We have a number of Cuban trained doctors, and in addition they have been making available their expertise in medicine, engineering and other areas to the people of Antigua and Barbuda”.

He recalled that when Barbuda was ravaged by Hurricane Irma less than two years ago, Cuba was among the first countries to respond.



Haiti gets new PM


Haitian President Jovenel Moise yesterday announced Jean Michel Lapin, who once served as a courier in the public administration, to be the new prime minister of this French-speaking Caribbean Community country.

Lapin, who had been serving as acting prime minister ever since 93 of the 103 members of the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour of removing Prime Minister Jean-Henry Ceant last month, was reportedly one of three persons considered for the permanent position.

In a Twitter message yesterday, Moise confirmed the appointment of Lapin, will now spend the next few days forming his government before going before the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate to be ratified with a vote on his political programme.

Lapin is the third head of government under Moise, who took up office in February 2017.

The installation of a new government is an International Monetary Fund prerequisite for the disbursement of the first tranche of a US$229 million loan to Haiti.