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Jagdeo unbothered by SARA lawsuit over “Pradoville 2”

first_img– describes it as “Silly” and “politically motivated”Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has confirmed receiving a lawsuit from the State Assets Recovery Agency (SARA) over purchased land at “Pradoville 2” located at Sparendaam, East Coast Demerara, but has described it as silly and politically motivated.“Yes, I have received it, I am responding to it… my lawyers are responding to it… I didn’t even look at it; I heard it came and I told the guys to send it over to the lawyers… it’s a political matter, I don’t waste my time… it a routine matter for me,” he told the media on Thursday.Jagdeo said the Director and Deputy Director of SARA, Professor Clive Thomas and Aubrey Heath-Retemyer are holding their respective posts illegally. The Opposition has argued that the SARA Act provides very clearly that their appointments shall be made through a parliamentary process. Since that Act came into force last year, that process was never activated.The Opposition has argue too that a transition provision in the Act allowed the Director who operated in the agency before the Act came into force, to continue to act in that office for a limited period. They noted however that that period has long expired.Jagdeo said he recalled that SARA had stated publicly that they are working on some high-profile cases, with recoveries above US$10 million and these cases would be filed by the third quarter of 2018, which they did not. Instead, they have gone to the Pradoville issue.“SOCU (Special Organised Crime Unit), SARA nor FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) have not charged a single drug dealer, they have not launched a single cases against or recovered a single cent from anybody. Now Pradoville is the only case after we have spent close to $600-$700 million on hiring the geriatric cabal at SARA,” he added.The former President has also made it clear that he would not pay a single cent more for the land, even if he was asked to pay a difference by SARA. “Why would I waste my time behind an adventure which is a political matter…?” Jagdeo said, when pressed for an answer.Jagdeo had said that SARA is just another mean for the Government to secure employment for retired citizens. “If you shut down SARA, you can hire 400 people. Where are these US$10 million cases that SARA was supposed to discover, (they said) that how many people had US$10 million and above abroad. What is happening with them? They are just wasting our money.”The Opposition has also spoken about the directors known and professed political connections. Professor Thomas is a leader of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), one of the political parties in the coalition Government.On the other hand, Heath-Retemyer was quoted in the press as conceding that he has a political affiliation. He did not disclose to which political party he is aligned. Tacuma Ogunseye and Desmond Trotman, two longstanding leaders of the WPA were also employed by the agency.last_img read more

Live blog Costa Ricas 2018 election results

first_imgAfter a volatile and uncertain election season and with a huge percentage of undecideds coming into the final stretch, we simply don’t know much about what is going to unfold tonight in Costa Rica – except that it’s gonna be interesting, folks. As soon as the polls close at 6 p.m., tune in here as we follow the evening’s developments with bated breath.11:24 pm: As Fabricio Alvarado gives his partway-to-victory speech, following that of his newly minted opponent, Carlos Alvarado, it is hard to believe how much this race changed in its final days. Fabricio – the candidates will have to pardon our use of their first names in what will be a very confusing two months to come – was sixth in the CIEP-UCR poll as recently as December, and surged to the lead following the Inter-American Human Rights Court’s ruling on gay marriage and his fierce opposition. Carlos was fifth in that same poll, and surged to second in the final days as those famously undecided voters made up their minds.There is much more to say, but for now we’ll say goodnight. We’ll all need our rest for what’s ahead in the next eight weeks before Round 2 takes place on Easter Sunday.9:48 pm: With 68.3 percent reporting, Fabricio Alvarado holds the lead at 25.2 percent, Carlos Alvarado looks increasingly solid at second with 21.1 percent, and Antonio Alvarez Desanti has 19 percent.If these tendencies hold, this could be seen as the definitive confirmation that Costa Rica’s traditional bipartisan structure is a thing of the past. It is also important to note that no matter what, the next president will not have a majority in the Legislative Assembly, and if a Renovation-PAC second round does take place, the next president will not even have the largest number of legislators (Liberation is in the lead in the legislature with 17 seats).9:20 pm: “It’s going to be a culture war election,” says political science professor Fabián Borges, looking ahead at the second round. “I guess Costa Rica is officially an advanced democracy where we fight over culture and identity more than the economy.” (This, at a time when the Costa Rican economy provides plenty to worry about, and that’s a huge understatement.)It’s hard to overestimate how ground-shaking this election will be if, after decades of bipartisan dominance alongside the Social Christian Unity Part (PUSC), the National Liberation Party (PLN) candidate, Antonio Alvarez Desanti, does not even come in second.Lots to unpack on the Legislative Assembly side: having such a sizable Restoration Party faction within the assembly will mark a significant shift. Meanwhile, the Citizen Action Party, while in second place at the moment on the presidential side, looks to decrease to only 9 seats, down from 13 in the period that will conclude in May.9:10 pm: With 45.7 percent of votes reported, here’s how it stands: 25.9 percent Fabricio Alvarado (National Restoration Party), Carlos Alvarado (Citizen Action Party) at 20.1 percent, Antonio Alvarez (National Liberation Party) at 19.5 percent. Meanwhile, the Assembly is lining up with 16 legislators for Liberation and a whopping 14 for evangelical National Restoration.We could be looking at an Alvarado-Alvarado runoff, but the night’s still young.Meanwhile, Juan Diego Castro, who for some time was the controversial front-runner, is conceding. Supporters of Costa Rica’s National Renovation Party react to the partial poll results for the presidential elections, in San José on Feb. 4, 2018. AFP Photo / Jorge Rendón8:50 pm: The second cutoff held a surprise. While Fabricio Alvarado held the lead, the Citizen Action Party’s Carlos Alvarado moves up within spitting distance of Liberation’s Alvarez (Liberation 19.9 percent, PAC 19.3 percent). A second round of voting is now guaranteed.Opponents of evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado around the country are left to wonder: would the charisma-challenged but socially conservative Alvarez Desanti be a stronger opponent against Alvarado, given that he comes closer to matching the preacher’s social conservatism? Or would an Alvarado vs. Alvarado matchup, in which the socially liberal Carlos Alvarado could energize a younger base, be a better bet?8:11 pm: The Supreme Elections Tribunal’s Sesión Solemne is getting underway with the singing of the National Anthem before TSE President Luis Antonio Sobrado presents the first batch of results. National Restoration Party presidential candidate Fabricio Alvarado has a significant lead at 26.7 percent of the vote, with 11.5 percent of voting tables reporting. National Liberation Party (PLN) candidate Antonio Alvarez Desanti is second with 22.6 percent, followed by Carlos Alvarado of the Citizen Action Party (PAC) with 16 percent.7:30 pm: As that first batch of data draws closer, we have a chance to reflect on some of the big questions these results may help us start to answer. Will this unusual election, when, as our columnist Alvaro Murillo has pointed out, a candidate’s party identity has become all but irrelevant, mark the end not only of the 20th century’s bipartisan system but also of remaining loyalty to the traditional National Liberation Party? Have national divisions been redrawn along the lines of social issues such as abortion and gay marriage?Will the chaotic campaign have driven voter turnout even further down (the abstention rate was 31.8 percent in 2014, one of the lowest turnouts in history), or will Fabricio Alvarado’s appeal to conservative voters – or opposition to his religious views – have energized his base or his opponents?Without any doubt, the biggest question of all is whether the approximately one-third of voters who were still undecided when the last opinion polls were conducted, turned out to vote or stayed home, and how they flipped. Stay tuned.6:29 pm: The polls are closed and the waiting game is on. Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) officials have announced they expect to have their first set of results for us at approximately 8 pm. Until then, we’ll be parsing available information about voter turnout, although our correspondents’ visits to voting centers around the country showed variations that seemed to befit this unpredictable election season. Some centers were jam-packed, while others were sluggish; Citizen Action Party (PAC) supporters predictably swarmed university neighborhoods, while we heard reports of massive movements of National Restoration Party voters in rural areas.Certainly one data point to watch in the coming hours is estimated voter turnout in rural and urban areas, although it’s a bit of a guessing game as to whom that will favor. The voting station in Cipreses de Curridabat, an eastern San José suburb, was packed at approximately 1 pm. Katherine Stanley / The Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:With flags and cheers, Costa Rica faces an uncertain future on Election Eve And they’re off! On sunny Election Day, Costa Rican voting heats up Why these Costa Rican women dressed as characters from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ to vote todaycenter_img Is the wait driving you to climb the walls and comerse las uñas? Catch up on our election coverage here.This live blog is written by Tico Times Managing Editor Katherine Stanley Obando, with commentary and data from contributors including Assistant Editor Elizabeth Lang, political scientist and former Tico Times reporter Fabián Borges, and freelance contributors Verónica Ramos, Jonathan Jiménez, Gregory Calvo, Iva Alvarado, Gabriela Brenes, Carlos Andrés Madrigal, Augusto Bolaños, Francisco Cubillo and Juan Osorno.last_img read more