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Granger toys with Ramjattan as PM candidate

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first_img…insists will select PM after elections…hours later calls him “my PM candidate”…embarrassed AFC says President’s statement “gratuitous”, “confusing”The tit for tat over the coalition’s Prime Ministerial position seems never-ending with the Alliance for Change claiming that their candidate is the substantive choice, while President David Granger claims the right to choose who would serve as his chief minister.President David GrangerPresident Granger, on Wednesday, told reporters that he is yet to decide on who his running mate is, although AFC announced Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan as the coalition’s Prime Ministerial candidate.“We have completed our review of the Cummingsburg Accord and I have started to campaign as you know from the 3rd January with Mr Khemraj Ramjattan who has been nominated by the Alliance For Change. As you said, it is not a constitutional requirement and I have not named a Prime Ministerial candidate but I know what I am going to do and my partners…I reserve the right to choose and nominate a Prime Minister. I will nominate all ministers including the Prime Minister, who is my chief minister after the elections,” Granger said in response to questions posed by reporters.Khemraj RamjattanHowever, hours later, at a party rally at Hopetown, Region Five, he referred to Ramjattan as his Prime Ministerial candidate. However, at the very rally, Ramjattan was not introduced as the Prime Ministerial candidate but rather simply as AFC leader.Concerns have been raised as to who is the APNU/AFC coalition’s PM candidate when it launched its campaign on January 3. At the launching, Ramjattan was introduced as Leader of the AFC and not the PM candidate as well as he was noticeably absent from the campaign posters.Meanwhile, when contacted, Ramjattan told Guyana Times that he has “no comment to make” and promptly disconnected the call.Meanwhile, AFC later released a statement where it reiterated its position that the President naming the Prime Ministerial candidate is in direct contradiction with provisions of the recently signed Revised Cummingsburg Accord, which embodies the agreements between the two political organisations.“The assertion that he will choose and nominate the Prime Minister after the election is gratuitous and confusing to our supporters and the wider electorate,” said the General Secretary of the AFC David Patterson.The statement added that AFC is well aware of the constitutional steps regarding appointments once the election results are known. However, the party said the process does not change the fundamental agreement that the AFC names the Prime Ministerial candidate and have named its leader, Ramjattan.“Consequently, the AFC is not confused by the comments, which we notice has subsequently been clarified by the General Secretary of APNU. The AFC said it hoped clarity has been brought to the issue, which was carefully considered and agreed during the Cummingsburg Accord discussions,” the statement added.The AFC and APNU have been at loggerhead over the selection of a Prime Ministerial candidate since the 2015 Cummingsburg Accord gave the PM slot to the AFC.However, the revised agreement was signed on December 24 but details surrounding the agreement have not been made public. The signing was done at State House, with President David Granger and Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, representing APNU as the party’s Chairman and General Secretary respectively.On the other hand, the smaller party was represented by Ramjattan (as AFC leader) and Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson (as AFC General Secretary).Ramjattan was elected at the AFC’s last National Executive Conference to be the PM candidate, effectively overthrowing current Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo.There has been much speculation in the public domain on whether the AFC would have been able to reclaim its previous Cummingsburg Accord concessions after its showing at Local Government Elections (LGE) last year. In the revised Accord, AFC seats have been downgraded to a mere 30 per cent of parliamentary seats while the APNU will get 70 per cent. In the previous agreement, AFC had 40 per cent while APNU had 60 per cent.last_img read more

DONEGAL PRIEST AND CHOIR SINGER IN UNHOLY ROW OVER SONG

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first_imgAn unholy row has broken out after a church singer claims she was ‘verbally attacked’ by a priest for singing a popular song in honour of dead relatives.Singer SaraSara Laughlin claims she was shouted at by Fr. Shane Gallagher after singing the popular hit song ‘Voice of an Angel.’However Father Gallagher has disputed what went on, telling Donegal Daily that he felt he had been cyber-bullied by others commenting about the incident on Facebook. Teacher Sara performed the song at St Bridget’s Church in Lettermacaward, Co Donegal as part of an anniversary Mass for her late grandmother and uncle.But after the Mass on Saturday evening, Sara was asked to come into the sacristy of the church by Fr. Gallagher, she says.A disagreement ensued which Sara claims left her in tears, she told Donegal Daily.St Bridget’s Church in LettermacawardSara, a teacher and also director of the Donegal Youth Choir, alleged that Fr Gallagher said he did not want the ‘Sarah McLochlan song’ performed in the church. However Sara explained it was written by Fr Liam Lawton and was actually in her hymn book.Sara broke down and cried but now says she was then verbally attacked by the priest who allegedly told her “play all your emotions.”When Sara explained the song was for her late grandmother and uncle the priest, she claims he simply said “big deal” and when she said she was leaving he replied “great…go.”The church singer took to Facebook and has been inundated with messages of support and also outrage and anger towards the priest who allegedly attacked Sara.She said one of the reasons she posted a message on Facebook was to let people know why she would not be singing in the church ever again. “I have never been so insulted and spoken to in such a manner in my life! I treat the Mass with great dignity and respect and it means the world to me,” she said.“I have not been able to stop crying and shaking since.“I am gutted, shaken to the core, insulted, hurt, sad, afraid, bewildered and unable to stop crying! I am writing this so people will know why our voices won’t be heard in the chapel so close to our hearts anymore and it is with a heavy heart I write it,” said Sara.She has even received a message of support from Fr Liam Lawton who wrote the song. The priest said he read Sara’s message with great sadness and said her gift and talent far outweighed the injustice which has been done to her.And Father Lawton pleaded “Please don’t allow one person to destroy what you have to offer. You need to concentrate on your beauty and gift as, long, long after this experience is over and forgotten you will continue to touch hearts and lives with your beautiful gift.“And for what it’s worth you sing “Voice of an Angel” just like I imagined it should be sung when I wrote it.”She has received huge support from many in her local community.Last night many well-wishers called to her home to show support for the well-known choir singer following the incident.Many have encouraged her to report the matter to the Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Philip Boyce.Sara’s mother Eileen also witnessed the alleged incident along with her husband Chris, a well-known businessman in the Lettermacaward area.Eileen said she is “absolutely heartbroken” at what she witnessed.But she has vowed to have the matter “dealt with.”“The mass tonight was for my mum and my brother, who we lost at the age of 22. I asked Sara to sing the hymn ‘the voice of an angel’ for my mum tonight and I turned to my sister and said with tears in my eyes “this is for mum”.“We all love the music of Fr Liam Lawton so much and that hymn is so special as we think of mum and Tony as our angels in the darkness we have already had to face in life.“I am saddened to the core. Already the support of the community has been overwhelming and heartwarming and there is no way that this will not be dealt with. Thanks so much to all the people who have visited the house and showed their support,” she said.However Fr Gallagher said there is two sides to every story and said some of what Sara claimed is simply not true.He said he is considering issuing  statement on the issue and if that statement is forthcoming, Donegal Daily will publish it in full.DONEGAL PRIEST AND CHOIR SINGER IN UNHOLY ROW OVER SONG was last modified: October 7th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more