Caribbean Report 19-01-1999

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1. The ruling New National Party retains power in Grenada following a landslide victory in general elections winning all fifteen contested seats. In an interview with anchor Ken Richards, Keith Mitchell attributes the party’s win to a lack of unity and clear programme by the opposition political parties and no evidence to support charges of corruption against the ruling party. He comments on the need to make critical changes in cabinet positions, putting in place a system of checks and balances in parliament and mass involvement of the population in all levels of government (00:00-02:05)
2. Bertram Niles reports on the upcoming Barbados elections contested by the governing Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). Owen Arthur head of the Barbados Labour Party comments on the significant achievements of his ruling party during the last four years. Opposition leader David Thompson speaks of his plans under a DLP run government to restore social balance. UWI Political scientist Neville Duncan comments on how adequately the two parties have addressed issues of concerns to the average Barbadian (02:06 - 08:21)
3. The Guyanese dollar has fallen to an all-time low against the US dollar. Director of Research at the Central Bank of Guyana Dr. Gobind Ganga speaks on the fall in commodity prices of sugar and gold and less foreign exchange available on the floating market as major factors leading to the current currency decline and the measures enacted by the bank to counter the currency depreciation. Mr. Anand Persaud, Head of the Economics Department at the University of Guyana views the approach of pumping foreign exchange into the economy as a failure and believes that the solution to the current crisis lies with the local businessmen and their level of confidence in the economy. Chelston Lee reports (08:22-10:27)
4. Circulatory problems and a persistent flu are factors resulting in former President of the Dominican Republic Joaquín Balaguer decision to seek medical attention in Houston, Texas. Journalist Jean Michel Caroit reports that despite failing health and his age (92), several leaders in the Social Christian Reformist Party have indicated that Belaguer will serve as a candidate in the next presidential election. Militants of the party prefer former Vice President Jacinto Peynado to run as the presidential candidate (10:28 - 13:36)
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