President David Granger has left the country for Cuba to do a medical checkup, leaving Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in charge at a crucial time when negotiations are ongoing between himself and the Opposition to choose a Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman.According to a statement from the Government, President Granger and his wife, First Lady Sandra Granger, flew out of the country on Saturday morning for a medical checkup at the Centro de Investigaciones Medico Quirurgicas (CIMEQ) in Cuba, where he was being treated for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.This comes after his completion of radiotherapy back in April of this year. The Head of State was diagnosed with the disease, a type of cancer which envelopes the lymphatic system back in October.The Ministry of the Presidency in its brief statement revealed that his trip for the medical evaluation was scheduled by his doctors at the Centre. Although no date was given by the Ministry, the President is expected to return to Guyana next week.His last visit to Cuba was in April, which marked the completion of the radiotherapy that lasted almost three weeks. It was noted that there has been no complication in this cycle of treatment and that the Head of State’s medical specialists are looking forward to his recovery and his return to normalcy.Granger will, however, continue a schedule of medication prescribed by his doctors who deemed it no longer necessary for him to continue chemo treatment.On October 30, 2018, the President and First Lady Sandra Granger travelled to Cuba for him to undergo medical tests after he had complained of feeling unwell. Days later, he was diagnosed with cancer.According to research, certain viral and bacterial infections appear to increase the risk of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. A few symptoms include swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpits or groin, abdominal pain or swelling and chest pain, coughing or trouble breathing. It also results in unexplained weight loss, persistent fatigue and night sweats among others.Constitutional crisisThe President’s latest visit comes at a time when a constitutional crisis beckons, after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled the no-confidence vote of December 21, 2019, as validly passed against his coalition Government.The CCJ had also ruled that the GECOM Chairman he unilaterally appointed back in 2017, retired Justice James Patterson, was unconstitutionally appointed.This had forced Patterson to resign and the President and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, to negotiate with each other to appoint a new Chairman. However, talks reached several tense moments that almost saw negotiations collapsing.Jagdeo had submitted a list for GECOM Chairpersons that included retired Major General Joe Singh, who served as GECOM Chairman years ago; Environmentalist Annette Arjoon-Martins, retired Justice of AppPresident David Grangereal BS Roy, businessman Captain Gerry Gouveia, Attorney-at-Law Kashir Khan, former Magistrate Krishnadatt Persaud, conflict resolution specialist Lawrence Latchmansingh; Retired Major General Norman McLean, businessman Ramesh Dookhoo, retired Puisne Judge William Ramlall and Onesi La Fleur.But in a turnaround, the President then submitted a list of nominees of his own that featured the return of former GECOM Chairman Patterson, in addition to retired Justice Claudette La Bennet, Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) Chairperson Kesaundra Alves, Stanley Moore, economist Aubrey Armstrong and former Solicitor General Kim Kyte. The President also proposed known PNC-affiliates and businessmen Stanley Ming (a former PNC parliamentarian) and Kads Khan.Alves and La Bennet were subsequently shortlisted by the President as persons he had no objections to. However, Jagdeo had rejected them and moved to put forward four more candidates in the hopes that they would have the President’s no objection. It is at this critical stage that talks rest.
APTN National NewsA case that could affect thousands of non-status Indians and Metis people is at the Supreme Court of Canada.It’s the final step of a 16-year-old legal battle to have the same rights as status Indians.APTN’s Annette Francis has the story.
Kent Driscoll APTN NewsThere’s a statistic that has been around since Nunavut was founded – the territory has Canada’s youngest and fastest growing population.It is often seen as a threat, a territory pressed to provide basic services facing a population bubble.APTN News met with one young mother and she’ll explain that in Nunavut, the challenges are basic, and [email protected]@kentdriscoll