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first_imgLudlow Watts, manager of Jamaica’s team to the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, defended the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association’s (JAAA) selection of Rasheed Dwyer to the team, while explaining the exclusion of quarter-miler Ricardo Chambers.Watts explained that Dwyer, who finished fifth in the 200m final at the JAAA/Supreme Venture Limited National Senior Championships and out of the automatic qualifying spots for his pet event, was added as a member of the 4x100m pool as a replacement for Andrew Fisher, who effectively gave up his spot after defecting to Bahrain.Chambers, who had battled his way back from years of injuries and setbacks, crossed the line in third place in the men’s 400m final at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships, which serves as the primary selection method for the World Championships.The athlete celebrated what seemed an automatic spot in the individual 400m, with the JAAA selection policy making provision for the top-three finishers with IAAF qualifying standards as representatives in individual events.However, Chambers was later disqualified for a lane violation, promoting Peter Matthews to the third and final automatic individual spot, with Edino Steele, Jonia McDonald and Dane Hyatt also promoted to the fourth – sixth positions.All three were, as a result, named as members of the 4x400m relay pool, with Chambers – who posted the third fastest time by a Jamaican this year (44.93) at the NACAC Championships recently – and a number of observers expressing surprise at his exclusion from the squad.Vacancy filled”In the case of (Rasheed) Dwyer, there was a clear vacancy because we had six places for the (4x100m) relay pool, but ended up with only five athletes because one person who had qualified in the top six at trials, (Andrew) Fisher, is looking to represent another country, so that left us with five athletes and a clear vacancy in the 4x100m,” Watts told Gleaner Athletics. “Based on the entry, you could not have gotten anyone else on the team unless it was someone for the relay pool.”He added: “In the case of (Ricardo) Chambers, there was no scope for him to get in because they already selected six athletes for the 4x400m pool, so he could only have been named to the squad if someone withdrew,” Watts explained.The JAAA selection policy states:”Athletes placing in the first four positions in the 100m and 400m will be named to the relay pool. The remaining members of the relay pool will be selected by the JAAA Selection Committee.”As mandated by the IAAF, athletes who are selected to run individual 100m/400m are automatic members of the relay pool.”Dwyer, who is coached by technical leader Maurice Wilson, also has wildcard considerations, having won the 200m at the just-concluded Area championships, the NACAC Open Champs in San JosÈ, Costa Rica.last_img read more

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first_imgAlmost two weeks after the 2018 Local Government Elections (LGE) was held, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is accusing the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) of withholding the official elections results, including vital breakdowns of party votes.In a statement on Friday evening, the PPP said GECOM continues to act in a manner that erodes public confidence in itself, while also conveying the public impression that it is ostensibly acting in consort with both the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) by not disclosing the “official results”.To date, according to the Opposition, all GECOM has done is the release of theGECOM Headquarters, Kingston, Georgetowntotal votes cast as 208,534, which constitutes 36 per cent of the total of the registered electors.“In the past, within a few days after elections, GECOM would normally disclose the formal results, which would include the votes obtained by each of the political parties contesting those elections, along with further breakdowns in terms of votes cast per region or votes cast per Local Authorities Areas (LAAs) along with rejected/spoilt ballots. On this occasion, for some inexplicable reason, GECOM is refusing to disclose this vital breakdown,” the PPP stated.The PPP believes that the refusal to do so is intentional, adding that if GECOM has the aggregate number of votes cast then it also has access to the votes received by each party since the aggregate whole is made up of those constituent parts.“We believe that GECOM is withholding this breakdown of the results in order to conceal from the nation the magnitude of the loss suffered by both the APNU and the AFC at the recently concluded LGE; and it is this omission, which allows the AFC to fabricate contentions of the like that it has received 10 per cent of the votes cast, a blatant lie,” the Opposition noted.The Party went on to highlight the “seriousness and alacrity” with which GECOM has treated certain allegations, which first surfaced on Facebook from “unconfirmed and dubious” APNU sources that there were certain irregularities, in relation to, the procedure for the approval for proxies in the municipality of Mabaruma.“Our information is that the GECOM officials who visited from Georgetown were being openly transported in the Mabaruma area by APNU officials. There was not even an attempt to hide the complicity. So here we have GECOM officials leaving Georgetown to travel to Region One [Barima-Waini] to investigate certain spurious claims emanating from Facebook, which at best, can have no material impact whatsoever on the results of that municipality, simply because APNU was soundly thrashed by the PPP at LGE in that area,” the PPP statement further detailed.Furthermore, the PPP has made multiple complaints of serious irregularities right across the country and according to the Party, in most cases, it did not get even a response from GECOM. The Party noted that whenever it did get a response from the elections body, it was one that rejected their complaints.For instance, the PPP drew attention to the numerous complaints of widespread allegations of blatant forgeries both on the lists of candidates and the lists of backers of both the APNU and the AFC; complaints against the Returning Officer for Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), who refused to accept requests for recounts by the PPP, which are guaranteed by law, in relation to the 2015 General and Regional Elections and rather than receiving some form of sanction from GECOM, this officer was promoted by GECOM to the position of supervisor for Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), in respect to the 2018 LGE.The Opposition continued that even in the elections petition filed against the 2015 General and Regional Elections, the Party highlighted a number of irregularities and illegalities committed in the electoral process; rather than assist the court in having these irregularities and illegalities addressed and ventilated, GECOM filed proceedings to strike out the petition.“Unless there is a fundamental change in the way GECOM functions, it will continue to contribute to a lack of confidence, not only in the Commission itself, but in the electoral machinery as a whole,” the PPP stated.Four days after the November 12, 2018 LGE, the Elections Commission held a press conference where it revealed the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has turned in significant improvements over its 2016 performance. What has also been revealed is that the elections were held with a voter turnout of just 36 per cent of the electorate.According to statistics released, the PPP made major gains in several Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and municipalities. For instance, the Party won 5 out of the 10 towns. These are Mabaruma, Anna Regina, Rose Hall, Corriverton and Lethem.Additionally, the data shows that out of 572,531 persons registered to vote, only 208,534 actually went out to vote. This is a turnout of 36 per cent. When LGE were last held in 2016, the turnout was 47 per cent.last_img read more

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