Dhoni shines for IndiaINDORE, India (AP):Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni produced a courageous knock under pressure and Axar Patel came up with some timely strikes as India completed a gritty 22-run victory over South Africa in the second one-day international yesterday.Dhoni gave a superb exhibition of batting in the company of lower-order batsmen, with his unbeaten 92 helping India to level the five-game series 1-1. Left-arm spinner Patel extracted enough turn from the pitch to grab 3-39 as India bowled out South Africa for 225 in 43.4 overs in reply to the hosts’ 247-9.Dhoni smashed four sixes and seven fours as India fought back after being reduced to 104-5 in the 24th over.”It was not an easy game as a lot of people wait with open swords and want you to make mistakes,” Dhoni said in reference to his below-par spell with the bat. “As a complete batting unit we didn’t perform well, but we bounced back well.”Pakistan takecontrolABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP):A double century by Shoaib Malik and his 248-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Asad Shafiq yesterday gave Pakistan the upper hand at the end of the second day of the first Test against England. Chasing a massive Pakistan first innings total of 523-8 declared, England’s openers made an assured start and were 56 without loss at close of play. Captain Alastair Cook was unbeaten on 39, while his new opening partner Moeen Ali was on 15.Pakistan’s innings was built around Malik’s 245 runs in his first Test match in more than five years, and an eighth Test century by Shafiq (107).”Both Malik and me had planned to be patient and try not to lose our wickets. We knew we will get the runs if we stuck around,” Shafiq said.Malik’s innings lasted more than 10 hours and he faced 420 balls for his 245. He came in at the fall of the first wicket with the score on 5 in the third over and he was seventh to go in the 150th over. Captain Misbah-ul Haq then declared the innings a couple of overs later when Zulfiqar Babar became the fourth victim of Ben Stokes, the most successful England bowler with 4-57.
Voters list Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo believes that there is no need to remove the names of Guyanese who are overseas from the Official List of Electors (OLE), saying that enhanced scrutiny at the polling stations can prevent any attempt at illegal voting.Speaking at his weekly press conference last week, Jagdeo pointed out that it would be unconstitutional to remove people’s names from the voters’ list, especially if those persons are overseas for short-term visits.“You cannot remove people’s name from a list if you’re simply abroad because what if you abroad for two or five months? Then you will lose your rights to vote, because your name would not be on the voters’ list,” he argued.However, the Opposition Leader noted that his party – the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) – is not interested in working out a deal with the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government either.He made this statement recalling that for the 1997 elections, the PPP had done that with the then People’s National Congress (PNC) Opposition, which is the leading party in the APNU alliance, and ended up losing two years of its term in office owing to litigation filed by the PNC.“PNC and PPP agreed to use voters’ ID as identification absolutely necessary for voting. The same PNC, after losing elections, filed a case that the use of ID is unconstitutional and the elections were vitiated. We lost two years of our term, not because there was fraudulent elections, but because the arrangement we made with PNC was deemed unconstitutional. So we’re not interested in making no arrangements like that, so they can go challenge it again,” he asserted.Moreover, he also ruled out using immigration records to cleanse the OLE, saying that it would not properly reflect the movement of Guyanese, since persons leave through the Suriname ‘Backtrack’ route and through Lethem as well.Instead, Jagdeo suggested that a parallel list be prepared in addition to the OLE, which would still have the names of overseas Guyanese.“So each Presiding Officer will have the Official List of Electors and they would have a list of the immigration records of people who have been abroad for over three months,” he noted.This way, according to the Opposition, if someone from the immigration list shows up to vote, then an alarm should be raised and that person will be thoroughly vetted and scrutinised before being allowed to vote.“Enhance scrutiny so you don’t have to worry about people aboard voting. So that was what we suggested (as to) how you address it. Not by removing people’s name from the OLE; that would be unconstitutional. (You) can’t remove them just like that, but have to enhance the safeguards that they don’t vote,” he reasoned.Extra polling agentsFurther, Jagdeo, a former Head of State himself, said he had also suggested to President David Granger that monies be set aside to hire extra polling agents, in addition to those appointed by the parties, and to have an observer in each of the 2200 polling stations to lessen the chances of illegal voting and ensure that those eligible to vote are able to do so.“Besides, GECOM (Guyana Elections Commission), themselves, have been arguing how robust their system with the Presiding Officer is. So, you would not have people, even with their names on the list and they may be abroad, they wouldn’t be able to vote and that would work well with us because we don’t steal no votes,” the Opposition Leader noted.Jagdeo’s comment on the issue of overseas Guyanese voting comes on the heels of Government’s spokesperson, Minister of State Joseph Harmon last week saying Guyanese living overseas who usually return home to vote during local elections may not get the opportunity to do so at the upcoming polls.Harmon said that once overseas-based Guyanese were not here to register during the house-to-house registration exercise, then they would not be included on the voters’ list and as such, would not be allowed to vote at the next elections.“It’s not a matter of dis-enfranchising anyone. Our laws do not provide for overseas voting save and except those persons who are in the employ of the State and are in the embassies, and so on, abroad. So persons who are Guyanese residents abroad, at the time of house-to-house if you are not here, then certainly your name cannot be on the list. That is why house-to-house is so important,” he asserted.Only last week during a meeting with the GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice James Patterson and the Commissioners, officials from the US-based Carter Center suggested, among other things, that a list of non-resident persons be generated to use on Election Day to identify substitute voters and/or illegal voters.GECOM has already rolled out its 2019 work programme, which includes the conduct of house-to-house registration, something which has been a topic of contention between the Opposition and Government-nominated Commissioners at the elections body.Nevertheless, the Commission had voted to go ahead with House-to-House registration, which Chairman Patterson had indicated would conclude in November. In fact, he informed the Head of State in a letter that polls could not be held before late November 2019 and the elections body needed some $3.5 billion to prepare for the hosting of elections.