Lowenfield was not legally directed to commence House-to-House Registration

first_imgDear Mr Lowenfield,We have asked several times for a meeting with you. We write now as a result of GECOM having officially announced the commencement of House-to-House Registration as of July 20, 2019. We have sought legal advice on this matter and it is our understanding that you have not been legally directed by the Commission to proceed as you are doing and that to conduct House-to-House Registration is unlawful.We have also noted that GECOM’s internal counsel has advised that GECOM would be in contempt of the ruling of the CCJ to carry out any instruction in this regard from former Chairman James Patterson, whose appointment by the President has been ruled to be flawed.You must also be aware that you are also taking this approach when there is a clear constitutional requirement to hold elections within three months of the validation of the No-Confidence Motion. The effect of GECOM’s action on electoral democracy and broader democratic governance cannot be lost on you.We wish to remind you that the Private Sector Commission has been an accredited elections observer since 2001. We have met and closely followed GECOM’s decision and activities all these years, meeting with Chairpersons and CEOs of GECOM, including yourself and former Chairman Patterson.You will be aware of the fact that the PSC participated in the consultations involving civil society, political parties and the international community in 2008 to undertake House-to-House Registration for the establishment of the current National Register of Registrants Database (NRRD). The decision to conduct House-to-House Registration was inclusive and respectful of all national actors and the subsequent exercise involved full involvement of political parties’ scrutineers in house-to-house visits.There has been, in this instance, a total absence of consultation with the political parties’ scrutineers and, therefore, political parties’ scrutiny of the exercise of registration you have now presumed to conduct, essential to establishing a credible NRRD. We cannot have a credible database if these elements are completely absent from the current house-to-house exercise you are embarking on.GECOM’s present conduct is a complete break from its history of inclusivity and respectful engagement with all the relevant stakeholders. GECOM is failing to meet its duty to communicate, provide facts and justify its actions to the public. You must be aware that undertaking House-to-House Registration without proper consultation and ventilation of the alternative approaches with stakeholders undermines your credibility and trustworthiness as an elections agency and your credibility and trustworthiness as Chief Elections Officer.Quite apart from the fact that, as we have pointed out, you are proceeding to conduct this registration unilaterally, unlawfully and in contempt of the fact that GECOM is without a Chairman and is not meeting as a Commission, we know that GECOM has not conducted a field test of the existing NRRD.GECOM is not, therefore, in a position to state with credibility that some 200,000 entries on the NRRD do not belong there. This advice to the President begs the question not only of why would anyone tell the President that but also why would a register under your custody since the 2015 elections, one that gave us a credible election in 2015 and has gone through cycles of Continuous Registration, has suddenly become so corrupted.We must remind you of your statement to observers in 2015 when the size of the voters’ list was 570,787. Asked about this list size, you said GECOM had opened more registration centres and was more efficient at registering persons, many of whom were also able to get birth certificates and requisite documents to register.GECOM, at that time, admitted to a lag in removing deceased persons and those who migrated permanently, but you personally assured us, and we know this to be true from our experience, that the procedures for voting, with the presence of political parties’ scrutineers etc, made it practically impossible for anyone to double vote or vote as an imposter.You confirmed that GECOM staff and parties’ scrutineers are given folios at every polling station with the particulars of voters registered at that station, including photographs. Thus, while it was ideal to keep the register scrubbed, you were not concerned then that the size of the list would undermine a free and fair election.Indeed, the 2015 election with a voters’ list of 570,787 electors and 412,012 valid votes cast gave us credible National and Regional Elections. In 2018, the voters’ list of 573,923 that was generated from our continuously updated NRRD also gave us a credible Local Government Election. You nor anyone else expressed concerns about a bloated list and credibility of an election on the basis of the list size relative to our population as recorded in the 2012 national census.We have had two voters’ list above 500,000 that gave us two credible elections. Now you are attempting to reason that a list of similar size cannot give us a credible election and that the only remedy is the most extreme of options – House-to-House Registration to create a brand new NRRD. You have ignored the fact that the existing NRRD has been continuously maintained and has not expired. You have, instead, inexplicably, discounted the reasonable statutory option of Claims and Objections for an election to bring the register up to date for constitutionally due elections.You are also aware of the policy decision taken for cycles of Continuous Registration, which include Claims and Objections periods being undertaken to update and maintain the database so that it would be in a condition to produce a voters’ list whenever necessary.In fact, evidence will show that GECOM took the policy decision for cycles of registration specifically because it wanted to be in a position to hold elections at any time. Ten Continuous Registration exercises were carried out since 2008. In 2018, you carried out the 10th Continuous Registration and Claims and Objections period prior to the Local Government Elections in 2018. In 2017, the ninth ‘Claims and Objections’ was carried out in a non-election year. GECOM has been continuously refreshing the NRRD, which does not expire.You have not professionally justified this attempt at this extreme and dangerous action you have taken. The exclusive and non-transparent way you are going about it will not produce a credible NRRD. In fact, experience shows that such an exercise would take far more than the three months you have scheduled to properly include registrants.In 2008, the whole process took one year, with six months of registration followed by fingerprint crosschecks etc, before ID cards could be issued. You are undertaking it during school holidays and the wet season, additional factors that will present challenges.Undertaking a complete revamp of the NRRD in such a relatively short span of time before an election will more than likely disenfranchise voters, particularly domestic migrant workers, persons abroad for medical, school and other reasons. Evidence and experience indicate that you are not going to be able to create a credible voters’ list within a year by scrapping the existing NRRD and creating a new one.The laws were amended in 2005 to introduce a continuous cyclical registration process using the database created in the 2001 House-to-House Registration as the base. House-to-House Registration is the very antithesis of Continuous Registration. They cannot coexist. To break the cycle and discard the database is, therefore, clearly illegal. Names can only be removed from the National Register in accordance with the Act, for example by death, insanity etc.In 2008, when it was decided to conduct another Hous- to-House Registration after the 2005 Amendment, the law was amended in 2007 to permit that exercise. It could not have been lawfully done without that amendment.The Private Sector Commission calls upon GECOM to immediately suspend the House-to-House Registration exercise until a Chairperson of GECOM has been named and can inclusively and respectfully decide the best way forward.It is the responsibility of GECOM and the Government to canvass the positions of all the political parties for a decision that is in the best interest of the country. The ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice must be respected.In the meantime, we call on you as Chief Elections Officer to discharge your duty professionally and objectively and provide information to the public to correct misinformation about the voters’ list and voting process.Our country’s commitment to democratic principles, respect for the rule of law and free and fair elections must rest on a truly independent electoral agency. GECOM’s conduct at this moment in our history will be consequentially long into our future. Every employee of GECOM must withstand public scrutiny regarding their impartiality. We trust you understand that this is being closely monitored in the public’s interest.Sincerely yours,Capt Gerald GouveiaChairmanlast_img read more

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Horst concludes third leg of Crashed Ice series

first_imgHorst was also set to compete in the team event, a race he and his fellow team, Living the Dream, won at the last race in Saint Paul, Minnesota. However, the team race event was cancelled so racers could have more time to practice on the unique indoor track in Landgraaf. Overall, Horst finsihed 29th out of a total of 66 individual racers. The next Red Bull Crashed Ice event for Horst is March 2, being raced in Lausanne, Switzerland.- Advertisement –last_img

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Roger Bannister, a gentleman who almost didn’t run race that defined him

first_img Read more Share on Pinterest “I was also unsure whether I should start my finish immediately or wait another 150 yards and overtake Chataway in the back straight. I decided I would stay a bit longer and then went. There was plenty of adrenaline then, I can assure you!”When his effort was spent he collapsed, almost unconscious. He described feeling like “an exploded flashbulb” but he had the record. And it changed him. As he put it: “I suddenly and gloriously felt free from the burden of athletic ambition I had been carrying for years.” June 1953 Spurred on by SanteeThe American Wes Santee runs 4 min 2.4secs. In response, Bannister runs 4min 2secs in an invitation race at Motspur Park, Surrey Share on Messenger Share on Facebook May 1951 ‘Someone will do it’Bannister runs 4min 8.3sec, the fastest time of his career, in America and discusses his chance of breaking four minutes: “I may not do it but someone will” Reuse this content Timeline How Roger Bannister’s record came about Share on WhatsApp The moment Sir Roger Bannister made history – video Share on Twitter Thank you for your feedback. His record lasted six weeks before the Australian John Landy lowered it by more than a second. But later in 1954, when the pair met at the Empire Games in Vancouver, Bannister emerged triumphant after an epic contest – later called, with complete justification, the Miracle Mile – coming from 15 yards down with a surprise sprint off the last bend.“I felt it was a piece of unfinished business to be able to reproduce the performance of my sub-four-minute mile in a race,” Bannister said. “And I ran the final lap in the last race I had in England beforehand in 53 seconds to persuade Landy that his best chance was to run me off my feet.“However at the half-mile he looked as though he was doing it. He was 15 yards ahead and I thought either he’s going to break a world record in 3min 56sec or he’s going to have to slow. But I managed to catch him by the bell – and then I just managed to choose the right moment to take him by surprise.”It is often said when someone dies that “we will never see their like again” but in Bannister’s case it is almost certainly true.For having won the Empire Games and European Championships in 1954 he then hung up his spikes aged just 25 – at his absolute prime – to focus on medicine.Bannister admitted in 2014: “If I were to start running today I could not combine training with being a medical student.“Most top athletes will train two-three hours a day, whereas I would run half an hour – very hard – five days a week.”But while the last of the gentleman athletes has left us – his legacy will endure for ever. Altogether now: 3:59.4. Even now, 64 years on, 3:59.4 is a number recognisable to every sports fan – and one that instantly unlocks sepia images in the mind’s eye. Of Sir Roger Bannister hurling his body across the line in a desperate bid to make history. Of an expectant crowd around him. And then the deafening roar – and the sweetest release – as the crowd hears he has become the first person to run the mile in under four minutes. Topics Play Video May 1954 Pacemakers help record runBannister, with help from Chris Brasher and Chataway, runs the first four-minute mile, timed at 3 min 59.4secs at Iffley Road, Oxford. John Landy runs 3min 57.9secs only 46 days later Support The Guardian May 1953 Getting closer but no cigarBannister runs 4:3.6 in Oxford, with Chris Chataway pacemaking. A second attempt at the Coronation British Games a fortnight later is timed at 4min 9.4 secscenter_img Share via Email August 1952 Failing to fly at RAF StadiumBannister announces attempt to break mile record at the RAF Stadium in Uxbridge but performs badly, finishing in 4 min 13.8secs ‘We have lost a giant’: athletics world hails Sir Roger Bannister Show July 1952 Dedicated to the causeBannister finishes fourth in the Olympic 1500m and decides to concentrate on breaking the mile record What is also forgotten is Bannister had felt “stale” a month before breaking the record and so had decided on a radical strategy: a three-day break to go hiking. It was, he admitted, “bordering on the lunatic”.But there was a method to the madness. It gave Bannister time away from training and took his mind off the record attempt. His key training session involved 10 repetitions of 400m with short rest periods between each lap – his aim being to do each one in around 60 seconds.Before his break he had struggled. Afterwards he took flight – and suddenly laps of 59 seconds felt easy. But Bannister still had to break a barrier many thought was physiologically impossible. When I spoke to him on the 60th anniversary of his achievement he talked through the race fluently but dispassionately. The anger he felt after a false start by his first pacemaker, Brasher. Then feeling so full of energy on the first lap he was shouting: “Faster!” And then the fear at the end of the 62.4sec third lap when the record appeared to be slipping away.“I heard the lap times as they went by,” he says. “The first was 58. The half-mile 1.58. But the three‑quarters was three minutes and one second so I knew I had to produce a last lap of under 59. Was this helpful? Share on LinkedIn Athletics … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. 0:59 Bannister runs 4min 8.3sec, the fastest time of his career, in America and discusses his chance of breaking four minutes: “I may not do it but someone will” Sir Roger Bannister obituary features Read more Since you’re here… Sir Roger was later to become a prominent neurologist but by then he already knew the power of the mind. As he admitted, he imagined bombs and machine guns would rain down on him if he did not go at absolute full pelt.Yet Bannister’s record for the ages, achieved on 6 May 1954, nearly never took place. For after working in a hospital that morning, he almost decided not to travel to the Iffley Road track in Oxford because of high winds.However a chance meeting with his coach, Franz Stampfl, convinced him otherwise. Stampfl told him: “If you pass it up today you may never forgive yourself for the rest of your life.”Yet it was only 30 minutes before the race was due to start at 6pm that Bannister decided he would compete. “My pacemakers Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway were getting a little impatient,” he told me in 2014.“They were saying: ‘Make up your mind!’ But it was I who had to do it. I was very concerned about the weather but when the wind dropped it proved just possible.”Bannister’s performance was more remarkable still given his lack of training. He would skip his gynaecology lectures, enabling him to run for 45 minutes at lunchtime, and did only 35 miles a week. Hide last_img read more

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