January 27, 2006

NYC members put differences aside

The smoke has finally cleared with regard to the recent impasse at the National Youth Council. All matters seem to have been resolved in a most professional and efficient manner.

At a brief press conference held last Thursday at the Council’s Headquarters, President, Michael Johnson said, “The executive body has decided to settle the impasse in the interest of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”{{more}}

Johnson said that the recent turmoil had made him stronger as a leader and an individual. He said, that they as youth representatives were sending out a message saying, “The National Youth Council (NYC) is much bigger than all of us.” To this end he noted that as young people they are capable of resolving problems amidst all the difficulties that arise.

An apologetic Johnson said he was withdrawing all the harsh comments thrown at his colleagues and said it was perhaps not the best action on his behalf. Johnson said his apology shows his level of maturity as an individual and a leader.

He humbly asked for the continued support from the Government, Business sector and the youth so as to continue the good work they have been doing over the years.

Junior Bacchus, who was recently elected mediator to the Council, said that there was a need to keep the National Youth Council in the public’s eye in a positive way for the improvement of the Youth Council. In his estimation, Bacchus said, the disagreement was as a result of a bit of stubbornness on the part of both parties. He stated one of his findings was that there was a misunderstanding of the constitutional provision with respect to the position of Chairman of Conference. Bacchus noted that in previous meetings held by the Council, the Chairman of Conference was seen as a part of the quorum and that the chairman does not necessarily have the power of a vote.

Bacchus also tackled the issue of the suspension of the President, and outlined the procedure to go about suspending someone. “The constitution clearly outlined that for an executive member to be suspended (there should be) two thirds members of the executive.” It was noted that during the vote on the motion to suspend the President, the Chairman of Conference was included among the six persons present. That meant only five votes could have been cast, thus making the vote null and void. Bacchus further added that his role as a mediator was not to solve problems but to facilitate and guide the process where both parties could come to an amicable settlement with respect to the problems facing the NYC.

Second Vice-President, Kyle Defreitas said despite the past conflict, they have the ability to set aside their differences and sit down as an executive and move forward. “We are supposed to be the pivotal organisation for all youth organisations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Defreitas. He noted that it takes leaders with good character to be able to put aside differences and work towards a common goal.

A meeting held the night before served to allow members of both sides to air their views and come to the conclusion that they need to put those matters on the back burner and move ahead.