Latest update March 22nd, 2023 12:59 AM
Jun 28, 2016 News
The Region Five Region Democratic Council continues to be plagued by controversy, and there seems no end in sight.
Regional Chairman, Vickchand Ramphal, has been accused of disrespecting President David Granger. The coalition members of the council are adamant that unless Mr. Ramphal offers an apology, be it oral or in writing, they will not recognize him as Chairman of the RDC, and so he will not be able to chair any such meeting.
Mr. Ramphal on the other hand, has stated that he did not mean to be disrespectful to President Granger, and has not offered an apology.
As a result of the ongoing controversy, the Regional Democratic Council, Region Five, so far, has been unable to deliberate on any matter for the year.
The statutory meeting of the RDC is set for the third Thursday in each month. Each month councilors together with the heads of various government departments within the Region, would turn up at the board room, Fort Wellington, only to watch whatever strategy the collation group of councilors, choose to employ to ensure that the Regional Chairman is unable to proceed with the meeting.
The Regional Chairman, on the other hand, has been simply stating that he meant no disrespect to President Granger, but he has not been addressing the issue of an apology as demanded by the coalition group of councilors, and that has led to more controversy.
When the body met on June 16, last, for the statutory meeting, one was initially led to believe that all was well until Councilor Carol Joseph informed Chairman Vickchand Ramphal that he had departed from what they had discussed and agreed upon.
She continued that since his statement fell short of what could have been classified as an apology, it could not be business as usual. Mr. Ramphal, rather than rebutting the statement made by Councilor Joseph, simply repeated his statement, prompting Councilors, Gloria Lindo, Dolston Hutson, and Delon Crawford to ask him to do the honourable thing, and have the council move on.
Instead, the meeting was adjourned for a short time, and when the group reassembled, the Regional Chairman simply announced that the meeting was adjourned until June 23.
On the morning of June 23, there were seven of the ten PPP members present for the 18-member RDC, when the Regional Chairman called the meeting to order. And the Officer-in-Charge, Fort Wellington Police Station was the only head of department present.
The Regional Chairman claimed that June 23 was agreed upon after consultation with Councilor Carol Joseph, and MP Jennifer Wade. He further stated that the clerk of the RDC knew of the meeting, since the Regional Chairman had properly instructed him through written communication, but that the Regional Executive Officer, Mr. Rodrick Edinboro, failed to carry out his duties as clerk to the RDC, and that the clerk was political since he was taking instructions from politicians.
When contacted, the Regional Executive Officer said that the statutory meeting has to be held on the day specifically set aside, which in this case is the third Thursday of the month, June 16. However, the council can call a special meeting and duly inform the members.
In the case of last Thursday’s special meeting, the clerk is claiming that he received no formal instruction pertaining to the special meeting as is required, and so could not serve notice on members.
When the special meeting was convened last Thursday, the seven members voted to change the day for the statutory meeting from the third Thursday to the fourth Thursday of the month. Members however, are claiming that such a vote has to me taken at a statutory meeting with at least two-thirds of the membership present. Thus controversy continues to reign within Region Five RDC
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I have said before that in the interest of peace and continued progress for the good of this region the Chairman should apologise only for peace sake as it seems that the other childish councillors are not going to let it go. So Mr. Chairman in the interest of peace and progress for Region 5 offer and apology. Saying you are sorry does not take away from your manhood or destroy you professionally. I believe it will show humility.
To the Regional Councillors requesting an apology should the Chairman fail in offering the apology you are all demanding – please tell the people who voted for you all what NEXT. I guess my idea is have a compromise so that this great region can experience growth and development.