Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 1st 2015 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, September 1, 2015
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BRIDGETOWN---Barbados Prime Minister Fre-
undel Stuart has made an impassioned plea for
the international community to re-think its poli-
cies regarding the provision of financial assistance
to small developing countries like those in the
Addressing the final day of the 60th Annual Con-
ference of the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP)
on Sunday, Stuart, the Caribbean Community (Cari-
com) chairman, said the new
policy was needed given the
vulnerability of the region to
threats of varying degrees and
most recently with the impact of
tropical storms and hurricanes.
Caricom countries have in the
past complained of being excluded
from concessionary loans from the
international community because
many regional states have been
graduated from low income
to middle income states.
Stuart said the inter-
national community in its re-think of the exist-
ing polices should include the adoption of a
vulnerability index, which represents an assess-
ment of the measure of the exposure of a population
to some hazard.
"This is what we mean when we go in international
forums and say to international financial
institutions...that there is something fundamentally
wrong with graduating countries like those in Caricom
from access to concessional financing using the dubious
measure of GDP (gross domestic product) per capita,"
Stuart s call comes as Dominica deals with the
impact of Tropical Storm Erika that killed 25 people
and left millions of dollars in destruction. The author-
ities said the death toll could rise significantly.
"I have in my capacity as Prime Minister of Barbados
and as chairman of Caricom been in contact with the
Prime Minister of Dominica and let him know that
Barbadian thoughts and prayers are with the people
of Dominica and that Barbadian support for Dominica
is being organised," Stuart said.
He told the DLP meeting that several Caribbean
islands, including Dominica, St Vincent and the
Grenadines and Grenada, had suffered as a result of
weather systems, making reference to the destruction
and death caused by the passage of a trough last
"When the large and powerful countries face natural
disasters, these disasters are local events, Hurricane
Katrina was a local event in the United States as was
Hurricane Sandy. Yes, these events caused major dam-
age but these countries were still able to function...when
these occurrences happen in Caricom countries it is
not a local event...it is a national event," he said.
Meanwhile, Jamaica s Prime Minister Portia Simp-
son-Miller said that the destruction in Dominica
underscored the impact of climate change on the
"The impact of these heavy rains and flooding once
again demonstrates the vulnerability and serious impact
of climate change in the Caribbean region,"
Prime Minister Simpson-Miller said in a
condolence message to Dominica Prime Min-
ister Roosevelt Skerrit.
"Jamaica shares the sense of grief arising
from the loss of lives, and anxiety for those
that are missing in our sister island. Our
prayers remain with the bereaved families,
and we ask that God grant them strength and
resilience as they face these difficult times,"
she said, adding that Jamaica is ready to assist,
in any way possible, with rehabilitation efforts
to restore normalcy to the island.
KINGSTON---The ruling People s National Party
(PNP) hopes to have most, if not all its candidates
in place by September 13 amid mounting spec-
ulation that Prime Minister Portia Simpson-
Miller will announce an early date for the general
PNP General Secretary, Paul Burke, speaking
on radio here, said that the party wants to
complete its slate of candidates by this
date and that most of the candidates
had already been selected.
At least two political commentators
believe that Simpson Miller will this
year name the date for the polls,
constitutionally due December 29,
2016. Last week, she told party sup-
porters in Clarendon that the PNP is
ready to face the electorate.
"I would believe that in the next two or
so months we might see an election called or cer-
tainly one announced," said lecturer in the Department
of Government at Mona campus of the University of
the West Indies, Dr Jermaine McCalpin.
He said there may be "a cultural reason this time
for the governing party to choose a date this year.
"Part of the reasoning for me is that much
of the election is about timing," he said, noting
"most of our elections over the last couple of
years have been called between September
Another political commentator, Nadeen
Spence, said while she believes that the date
for the polls will be announced this year, she
is also of the view that the current economic
environment will determine when the elec-
torate will choose a new government.
"I think that there is a certain kind of
movement to suggest that in terms of the
ruling party that they are the best that they
have been, she said, adding "if I were them
and in terms of how it looks now, this would
be the time to call the elections".
The main opposition Jamaica Labour Party
(JLP) has already indicated it would
be ramping up its election campaign
over the next four weeks in preparation
for a possible general election this year.
In the last general election, the PNP
won 42 out of the 63 seats contested.
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