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first_imgNimba County District #6 Representative Dorwohn Gleekia: “I’m disappointed because our colleagues did not carefully scrutinize the process.” – Nimba Lawmaker expresses disappointmentThe House of Representatives, at 1:03 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, concurred with the Senate to ratify the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between the Government of Liberia (GoL) and the Hummingbird Resources (Liberia) Incorporated.This latest development, according to Nimba County District #6 Representative Dorwohn Gleekia, “the process of the concurrence was a disappointment.”Gleekia chairs the House Committee on Peace, Religion and National Reconciliation. He informed the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview that the “The Act to Ratify the MDA between the GoL and the Hummingbird Resources (Liberia) Inc. needed due diligence by scrutinizing the details.According to the Senate’s letter to the House of Representatives, dated March 1, 2019, individual Senators approved the Hummingbird Resource Deal on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 12:23 p.m., thus seeking the House’s timely concurrence. The Hummingbird Deal is the Senate’s Engrossed Bill #3.“I am disappointed over the process of the concurrence with the Senate on the agreement. I observed that there was not much time; no due diligence, and some of us do not know the cause of President Weah’s veto against the Hummingbird Agreement,” Rep. Gleekia said.“Last year, both Houses approved the agreement and sent it to the President for passage, but was vetoed and then, few months later, he sent the it back for passage. And then we did approve it without due diligence of dissecting the document,” he said.Rep. Gleekia’s disappointment is in agreement with Margibi Senator Oscar Cooper, Nimba Senator Prince Y. Johnson, and Senators Sando D. Johnson and J. Gbleh-bo Brown of Bomi and Maryland, respectively. They all walked out of session, and refused to vote on the bill on February 28, arguing that the bill was not also given due diligence.The Hummingbird Mineral Development agreement was previously ratified by the House of Representatives and Senate in June 2018, while President Weah vetoed it from the Senate to ratify the agreement in July 2018 on grounds that it equired an adjustment in two parts to bring a protracted benefit with mutual balance for each of the comparing parties.According to the agreement, it will yield US$250 million in direct investment to the country. It will also see development of the largest gold mine in the southeast of the country as the first major direct investment secured by the Weah’s administration.History of Hummingbird Gold PitchIn July 2015, a US$100 million gold mining agreement with Hummingbird Resources (HUM) for mining operations in Sinoe County was signed between GoL and the Company, but with the modification of the Bill and the addition of Maryland, Grand Kru and River Gee counties, there is yet to be known whether the worth of the signature of the Agreement, signed and granted as well as the mining license will remain the same.In the previous agreement, as of July 2015 and 2016, respectively, when it was submitted to the Senate, the company was to pay the government US$1.5 million signature fee once the agreement was ratified by the Legislature, and another US$1.5 million on the granting of the mining license.Hummingbird on annual basis commencing on the first anniversary of the effective date of the agreement will contribute an amount to the Social Development Fund (SDF) for the affected communities, which means those areas in which the company will do its mining, should enjoy some financial benefits. The SDF during years one and two, will amount to US$100,000; years three and four, US$150,000; years five to 10, US$200,000; and years 11 onward, US$250,000 throughout the 25-year period.The company will also pay all other taxes and duties. In keeping with GoL’s economic recovery plan, Hummingbird will give first priority to qualified Liberians for employment, help improve workers and community education and health and give preference to Liberian suppliers in terms of procurement.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) – Advertisement –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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