Dear Editor,Few politicians have the courage, capacity and ability of Bharrat Jagdeo; people shower praises on his leadership against the Government for early elections. “He is we boy”, they say. There is virtually no comparison to Jagdeo on either side of the political divide. There is hardly any charismatic alternative in the Opposition PPP save one who is engaged in the legal battle for constitutionalism. That is the overwhelming view of people around the country as the Opposition Leader carries the struggle for constitutional rule and early elections.As almost everyone noted in a survey I am conducting on varied issues, other political leaders would have abandoned this intractable struggle long ago; it is a tough fight with insurmountable challenges. But Jagdeo has stayed the course, and for this, the party’s supporters, and even some on the other side, are most grateful. Even his critics and some within the party who oppose him lauded his fight for elections. They themselves recognise they lack the skills and acumen to lead a struggle the way he does. As people commented, the man has the mettle to lead a fight for adherence to the Constitution and democratic governance. There is hardly any Opposition to his strategy to get early elections.The Caribbean Court of Justice ruled almost two months ago that elections must be held, in accordance with the Constitution; the Constitution dictates elections be held within three months of a successful passage of a No-Confidence Motion. The motion was passed on December 21. A court challenge put a pause on the date. The pause ended on June 12 with the final verdict of the CCJ; the pause was lifted on that date. However, the body that is responsible for holding the elections says it is not ready. From December to now, some seven months later, preparations for elections have barely started. The President says he will not call elections until GECOM says it is ready. The CONSTITUTION says the President fixes a date and GECOM will advise if that date is practical. The Opposition Leader is carrying the struggle like no other to enforce the verdict of the court for early elections. Other Opposition figures from outside the party have also joined in the battle for respect of the Constitution.People (party supporters and some on the other side) love Jagdeo; anyone who does not accept this fact is fooling themselves and they lauded his leadership. As people noted, Jagdeo has inherited a leadership (General Secretary of the PPP) some four years ago just after the party was reeling from “two defeats” in general elections. They say the party was perhaps at its worst position when he took over the mantle. Jagdeo has worked conscientiously to restore the party’s shattered stocks like when he was President. He carried the party to two landslide victories in local elections. Whether he can lead the party to victory in general elections is too early to tell as the focus right now is on an election date.Will the struggle by Jagdeo and others for constitutionally due elections pay off? All legal scholars are unanimous that elections must be held. The overwhelming view among the population at large is elections must, should, and will be held as per the Constitution. But as the President stated a few days ago, GECOM has to advise him when it is ready so he can announce a date. That announcement from the GECOM Chair could come soon after Chief Justice George’s ruling on August 14. The CJ herself is also likely to reiterate the view and order elections.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisram(On the ground amongvoters)
Prosecutors alleged the systems were sensitive and labeled NOFORN, or barred from the view of foreign nationals. Defense attorneys argued that Mak had given presentations on the information on the disks at symposiums that were open to foreigners. Defense attorney Marilyn Bednarski, who called the government’s case against Mak “an alarmist overreaction,” argued that the government did not place restrictions on the information on the disks until several months after Mak’s arrest, so he could not have known about it. Staples said a person must first apply to the State Department for a license to send out the information, and Mak never did, despite his intensive training in how to handle classified and sensitive information. Staples told jurors that in 1989, the State Department barred the export of any military technology to China, and that “barely nothing on these disks could be sent to China.” After the verdicts, Staples said that Mak never sought permission for the presentations. SANTA ANA – A naturalized U.S. citizen from China was convicted Thursday of sending sensitive information on submarine technology that he worked on at a defense contractor job in Orange County. Chi Mak, 66, of Downey was found guilty of five counts of conspiracy to violate export control laws and other charges. He also was convicted of two counts of attempting to send sensitive material to China, acting as a foreign agent without notifying the U.S. government and making false statements to federal agents. Mak faces up to 35 years in prison, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Staples. Under sentencing guidelines, that amount would probably be less, but it will still be “a substantial” prison term, he said. The eight-woman, four-man panel deliberated less than three days. Mak, an electrical engineer at Power Paragon in Anaheim, was accused of conspiring with his relatives to send an encrypted computer disk to China in October 2005 that contained information on the Quiet Electric Drive power system designed to make submarines quieter, as well as a solid state power switch for ships. Mak and his wife, Rebecca Chiu, were arrested in their Downey home shortly after his brother, Tai Mak, and his wife, Fuk Li, were arrested on Oct. 28, 2005, at Los Angeles International Airport, as they prepared to board a plane. Prosecutors allege that Tai Mak had an encrypted disk so that the information within would not be found. Mak told agents who later questioned him that he had given documents relating to research for the U.S. Navy to his brother so that Tai Mak could select engineering books for Chi Mak while his brother was in Hong Kong, according to the indictment. Tai Mak’s son, Billy Yui Mak, who is accused of encrypting the material, was arrested later. The other family members are scheduled to go to trial on June 5. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!