In light of President David Granger’s announcement that March 2, 2020 is the date set for the hosting of General and Regional Elections, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has expressed concerns that he might flip-flop on his words.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoAt a press conference on Thursday, Jagdeo said he will take the President’s word for granted, unless a proclamation is made as mandated by the Constitution of Guyana.“We would not believe this until we see a signed proclamation that this will be the date for elections, because he has flip-flopped so many times. You will never know if this is his final position,” Jagdeo said.He indicated that the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) is disappointed with the date that was announced by the President but they will have to work towards this timeframe.“If this is as close as we can get to a definitive date and it is actually so, we are disappointed but we’ll have to work towards that date,” the Opposition Leader expressed.Meanwhile, Jagdeo affirmed that the President’s address to the nation on Wednesday evening misled the media and failed to state a definitive date, despite promises to do so.“Having to announce a clear date for elections was all he was required to do on that night. He left us wondering what he actually said. This was the same President who was saying ‘I’m so anxious to have elections. I want to comply with the Constitution.’ And then last night, he did not actually name a date. I think he caused panic in the entire media community”.UnnecessaryHowever, the Opposition Leader rejects claims made by the Government that the Opposition needs to return to Parliament before it can be dissolved.It is a requirement of the President to issue a proclamation to dissolve Parliament when an election is impending. However, Government is seeking to extend its life by ordering the parliamentary Opposition to return to Parliament.The former Head of State clarified that an extension of Government’s life is unnecessary, since it is not linked to any decisions that should be taken to facilitate the polls. Moreover, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) would have bestowed the coalition administration with a caretaker status, indicating that its main function is to host elections.“He sought to link the date with the return of the parliamentary Opposition to Parliament to extend the life of his Government…Therein, are several fallacies. One, there is no link to the extension of his government, which has been illegal since March 21. He never sought that extension before,” the Opposition Leader noted.He further stated that “Secondly, the extension is wholly unnecessary for him to discharge the caretaker responsibility that had been accorded to him by the CCJ. Because a caretaker Government is only vested with one responsibility, that is, holding elections and having the authority to do all the things necessary with the holding of elections. By virtue of being caretaker, he can proclaim the date and he can dissolve the Parliament”.According to Jagdeo, Government is looking at the extension as a legal footing for activities which are not authorised under a caretaker administration. He had previously shared his position during a recent radio show.“We believe the real reason for all of this … they want they want legal coverage for all the criminal acts of theft and transfer of resources that they have committed because they believe if we extend the life of the Government, there will be no prosecution. There can’t be prosecution,” he signalled.No returnMeanwhile, in this regard, he reaffirmed that there is a zero per cent chance of the PPP returning to the National Assembly.“We have no intention of going to Parliament to extend the life of his government. Absolutely none. No intention whatsoever,” Jagdeo positioned.In his address on Wednesday night, the President blamed the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) again, stating that the extension of a period beyond three months for the holding of an election is related to the body’s readiness to hold the elections.“The Government of Guyana must, as a consequence, return to the National Assembly to request an extension. The National Assembly reconvenes on 10th October 2019. The President is required to both dissolve Parliament as provided for in the Constitution at Article 70 (2) and the ten Regional Democratic Councils as provided for in the Constitution at Article 73 (2),” he was quoted as saying.
Civmec wins three contracts in Australia. (Credit: Pixabay/David Mark.) Civmec, an Australia-based heavy engineering and construction services provider, announced that it has secured three contracts in Australia with a combined value of A$175m ($126m).As per Civmec, the three contracts are from the metals and minerals and the oil and gas sectors and are expected to contribute significantly to a solid base load of activity for its manufacturing facilities.The first contract is from BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) to fabricate, modularise and carry out commissioning of a ship loader, for its Hay Point loading port in Central Queensland.The second contract is from Woodside Energy, for a term of five years, with an option to extend it for one more year. As per the contract, it will support Woodside’s onshore and offshore production facilities and capital projects in Australia.And, for the third contract, Civmec will supply modules for the Iron Bridge Magnetite project, a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Iron Bridge and Formosa Steel IB.Civmec to complete BMA contract in second half of 2022For the first contract, BMA has selected Civmec to fabricate, modularise and commission the 1,800T SL2A ship loader at Hay Point Coal Terminal.The project is still subject to final board approval from BHP and Mitsubishi.As per the contract, Civmec will supply and assemble the ship loader, up to the no-load commissioning stage.The firm will manufacture the large material handling equipment at its Henderson manufacturing facility in Western Australia.Work is expected to begin immediately and is anticipated to be completed in the second half of 2022. During the peak manufacture period, nearly 150 jobs in Perth could be created.For the second contract, Civmec will support Woodside’s onshore and offshore facilities.For the third contract, Civmec will supply 4,700 tonnes of conveyor, trusses and trestles for the Iron Bridge Magnetite Project. Work is expected to begin this month and the majority of it could be completed in FY21.Civmec CEO Patrick Tallon said: “We are extremely pleased to be given this opportunity to further support BHP in the delivery of a ship loader. This contract follows on from other smart modules and machines delivered by Civmec for BHP projects as part of our partnership delivering high quality, complex machines.”“We are also privileged to have secured a long-term contract with Woodside, having delivered several projects to them in the past.“This contract will provide us with a base load of work and allow us to work with Woodside as a partner to optimise efficiencies and savings in the delivery of our services to them over the longer term.” The company has three contracts are from the metals and minerals and the oil and gas sectors