This season, Juventus has already received 94 million euros ($106 million) from UEFA and that could rise to almost 130 million ($147 million) if the Italian team wins its third European Cup — and first since 1996.That figure doesn’t include ticket sales. Juventus made a record 5.5 million euros ($6.2 million) on Tuesday from gate receipts, including hospitality. That beat the previous mark of 5 million euros ($5.7 million) from its 2-1 loss to Manchester United earlier in the season.And that will likely be surpassed no matter which team comes to the Allianz Stadium for the quarterfinals.Ronaldo hasn’t had the easiest time off the field after being accused of rape in the United States, but his influence on the field cannot be overestimated.Just look at Real Madrid, which had won the last three Champions League titles with Ronaldo but couldn’t even reach the quarterfinals this year without him. Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Ronaldo scored a hat trick against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, giving the Italian team the three goals it needed to overturn a 2-0 loss from the first leg.The win earned Juventus a spot in the quarterfinals, worth at least 16 million euros ($18 million) from UEFA and ticket sales.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“That’s why Juventus signed me,” said Ronaldo, who has scored 24 goals this season. “I do my job and I’m very happy. It’s been a magical night.”The Portugal forward was brought in to help Juventus finally win the Champions League again after some tough losses to Real Madrid, a team at the time led by none other than Ronaldo. Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Read Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil MOST READ Peaking at the right time Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci, centre left and Cristiano Ronaldo hug at the end of the Champions League round of 16, 2nd leg, soccer match between Juventus and Atletico Madrid at the Allianz stadium in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, March 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)TURIN, Italy — If you can’t beat him, buy him.The $131 million that Juventus spent to lure Cristiano Ronaldo away from Real Madrid is already paying off on the field and off it.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title His goals against his old team on Tuesday have already proved historic. The result led Juventus back from a two-goal loss in the first leg for the first time in club history.The victory also helped boost Juventus’ share price on Wednesday morning. The rise was so sharp that trading on it had to be temporarily halted after opening on the Italian Stock Exchange with a 23 percent increase on Tuesday’s closing price.That same stock market had taken a hit three weeks ago, with the club’s share price dropping more than 9 percent after its 2-0 loss in Madrid.Juventus’ presence in the quarterfinals and the manner in which it qualified will also boost its coffers in a way that is hard to quantify: Brand improvement.That is something Juventus has been working on for several years and which included the changing of the club logo and the signing of Ronaldo, which increased its following on social media by tens of millions.ADVERTISEMENT View comments
As our nation’s leaders continue to aspire for sustainable peace in Liberia, Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia, from its embryonic stage in 2008 has remained committed to peace in Liberia.There is no bigger sign of this commitment than our foundation values of advocacy for Peace Education and non-violence through the concept of volunteerism. We remain the bearer of peace messages and take the lead role for Peace Advocacy involving youth in Liberia.One of the hallmarks of MOP-Liberia is the meaningful involvement and active participation as well as engagement of young people in advocacy programs for peace. At MOP-Liberia, what we have discovered in our nascent years of existence is that at the heart of most Liberian youth is the quest for peace to prevail.Our values, as presented last week, are centered on preparing young people in schools and communities for peace and non-violence through the transfer of knowledge and skills.In keeping with those goals, young people are actively involved in peace building initiatives such as the “21 Days of Peace Activism in Liberia” Community Sensitization Campaigns and formation of peace clubs in schools. They are also challenged to find a practical application of acquire information during the mentoring programmes.We are always willing to do the little things that contribute to the attainment of sustainable peace in Liberia. MOP-Liberia’s vision is to become one of the great Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), youth driven, voluntary movement in Liberia and theSub-region which stands for key peace values and is not afraid or reluctant to stand up for peace and non-violence.MOP-Liberia is a conscientious objector to any form of violence anywhere in the world. It remains committed to the key peace values of hard work, building trust, honesty, tolerance and respect for human dignity and diversity.As MOP enters its sixth year of operation, it has earned a reputation for not just being passionate but is recognized as an organization with a compassion for peace and is an advocate for non-violence. These are traits valued by several institutions (The Carter Center-Liberia, Liberia Peacebuilding Office, United Nations Mission in Liberia, United Nations Volunteer Programme, International Alert, Shirley Ann Sullivan Educational Foundation) and more international and local partners that MOP collaborates with as we execute our programmes on Peace buildings in the country.MOP takes very seriously its responsibility to provide a peace loving and child friendly environment for young people from different cultural backgrounds in all learning environment in Liberia.Our mission is to inculcate our shared values to young people in the various peace clubs (in schools and communities) spread across the country.It is our expectations that young people who benefit from our programmes and inculcated with our core values would be great examples of the dedication and commitment that MOP-Liberia stands for.Peace, above all. Peace First. Let Peace Prevail.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,Every time one watches a press conference from the Granger Administration, one can easily conclude that some Ministers are part of a gang of talentless hicks and political hacks who are clueless as to what it really takes to run the affairs of a nation. If one reflects on the sugar issue as an example, Minister Noel Holder took the decision to shuts down four estates over a 12-month period (in his words “to cut the losses”), only to have Minister Jordan reopen two of them weeks after at an even great cost to the nation? Is this a joke?But what is even worse is that the largest portfolio in the Agriculture Ministry was ripped from the control of Holder and the Alliance For Change (AFC) poodles in the coalition who were promised the agriculture portfolio under the Cummingsburg Accord and placed firmly in the People’s National Congress (PNC) corner under Winston Jordan’s control. Whatever was the Cummingsburg Accord has now been smashed to smithereens and is now nothing but a sham. This very act hammered the last nail into the political coffin of the AFC; they are finished politically. Their only option now is to become PNC members en-mass, which I am told half of their leaders have already done. So much for the concept of a third party! The whole idea today is nothing but one big charade.If one considers the obstacle the Granger regime faces on this sugar issue, it now makes absolute sense that the better option all along was to pay the annual G$9 billion transfer from the Consolidated Fund and concomitantly take resolute and firm operational action to reduce the losses incrementally. This could have been achieved by actively eliminating the non-value added cost elements, attacking the rampant corruption in the Guyana Sugar Corporation at the managerial levels, consolidate the business where possible (merging Rose Hall and Albion as an example) and moving up the value chain (into ethanol, alcohol, more packaged sugar, agro-energy and possible refined sugar).Unfortunately, this course that the Granger regime took will only become more costly as the days go by and will hurt the taxpayers even more than the original path taken under the People’s Progressive Party. Now we are hearing that they need a loan of some G$30 billion just to keep the residual operation afloat over the next four years. What a disaster!When will President Granger spare the Guyanese people the indignity of listening to the confused positions of his competing Ministers and make a final and definitely pronouncement for the nation? After all, he should have some sort of vision for the sugar industry other than what passes for strategy today where his Government is responsible for the actively destroying of the assets in the sugar belt. I suspect if the President speaks decisively on the issue, he will spare the taxpayers the unending financial exposure and liability from this badly managed sugar issue.Regards,Sasenarine Singh
Dear Editor,The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is again unavailable, reminiscent of his unavailability on Nomination Day. Whispers by persons not wishing to be quoted reveal that he has gone to court, but which court? Calls to his mobile phone go unanswered.So, I call Mr Anil Nandlall who appears in both matters filed in Georgetown and Berbice, only to find out that the Berbice matter is being heard at 14:00h so I conclude that that is where the CEO has gone apparently since morning. No one can say that he was at work earlier.There is a hive of activity in the compound. The printed ballots have arrived and boxes are being opened as they have been since 2 pm yesterday all through the night up to almost 4 am. The newly sworn-in DCEO is ostensibly supervising, although she seems somewhat out of her league, and ballots are being extracted as per constituencies, in all 80 Local Authority Areas (LAAs). Scrutineers from the PPP/C have been present throughout the exercise yesterday and today they have been joined by scrutineers from other stakeholders. The Auditor, Malika Gibson, from all reports, seems to have her act together and is doing a good job.Otherwise, an onlooker can be forgiven for describing the whole exercise as chaotic. The activity is in preparation for the enveloping of ballots for members of the Disciplined Services – Army, Police and Prison – who are listed to vote on D-day which is November 2, 2018, and amazingly, as of 1:30 pm today, the lists are yet to be shared with the stakeholders contesting the LGE! And there are people who still wonder why there is no trust in GECOM’s ability to get it right!The exercise is being conducted using a list of ballot stations and the numbers of persons from each constituency of each LAA, so the ballots are being extracted from the sealed boxes as per the numbers on that list.Commissioner Benn, having witnessed the chaos last night, and not getting any kind of positive reaction from the DCEO, left to acquire some box cutters to help speed up the opening of the sealed boxes. I hope he is able to recover the money he spent. GECOM has nippers, acquired in a less than transparent process, but no box cutters! The Commissioner had lent them a knife last night.We assemble for the statutory meeting of the Commission at 1 pm, the Chairman, whom I am informed, signed his contract just last week, comes in at 1:22 pm to say that his clock had stopped, hence his late arrival to the meeting room from his office less than 50 metres away, and apologises profusely, before he realises that there is no CEO, no scribe to take minutes, and, in fact, no support staff from the secretariat. He looks lost until I say that the CEO is ostensibly in Berbice, along with the Legal Officer, and this is hearsay from me, since I only knew that the Berbice matter was being heard at 2 pm. No official communication has been made to us as Commissioners and apparently neither to the Chairman if I am to go by his bewilderment! We tell the Chairman that Malika Gibson, who normally fills in when the Legal Officer is absent, did come up, but we all thought that her presence was crucial for the exercise being conducted outside, so all the Commissioners told her to go back so that that exercise would not be adversely affected by her absence.So the Commission meeting becomes a half-hour gaff, for which no notes are taken, and during this period, Commissioner Corbin with input from Commissioner Gunraj sought to give an oral report of their attendance in Calgary for the printing of the ballot papers and other sensitive election forms, eg, statements of polls. The report seemed to reveal some kind of non-uniformity with three of those forms, so I asked for a written report, which will hopefully tell all and which can be discussed at the next statutory meeting of the Commission.Meanwhile, it is agreed that the Operations sub-committee will meet every day at 3 pm and as often as necessary in an emergency. The whole Commission is also to be kept informed via email.The ‘gaff’, as I call, it ended at 2:00 pm. So, that is all I have for this week, folks, until next Tuesday, which, of course, will be the day after D-day. It is my plan to visit as many ballot stations as I can, to observe the process. My fellow Commissioners, I am sure, have similar plans.Sincerely,Bibi Safora ShadickGECOMCommissioner
Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine on Monday charged the National Trust of Guyana (NTG) and Guyanese, on a whole, to make every effort to preserve the country’s tangible and intangible heritage.The Education Minister, who also has responsibility for culture, youth and sport, was part of a group of officials who delivered remarks at the opening of the Georgetown International Heritage Conference at the ArthurOfficials at the opening of the conference at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre on Monday.Chung Convention Centre.According to Dr Roopnaraine, the organisation has no excuse and needs to come up with comprehensive systems of preserving both the tangible and intangible heritage.“Even as I applaud the heroic efforts…valuable work, must admit that the State mechanisms for identifying and observing our built heritage have been far from ideal over the years,” Dr Roopnaraine told the audience.He said the absence of protocols to preserve the most historical building in the capital reflected the gaps in cultural heritage policy that should not occur in a “sculptor rich society as ours”.Dr Roopnaraine said one of his commitments, as a projected outcome of a completed policy, was the creation of a mechanism or the expansion of the remit of the National Trust, with a focus on preserving cultural heritage.He said over the next two years and beyond, culture would occupy centre stage in Government’s sustainable developmental plan. He said there would be an examination of the implication of cultural practices in the era of climate change.“We live in an era when cultural conflict, manifesting itself in the extreme as open warfare, resulting in the destruction of valuable built heritage and artefacts, much of it, hundreds of years old.”Chief Executive Officer of the National Trust of Guyana, Nirvana Persaud said the organisation was established in 1979 following the passage of the National Trust Act. She said the vision of the Trust has surrounded the ideal that heritage should be valued. The National Trust has been doing this for the last 44 years, she said.Also speaking at the event, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said Government hoped that one day Georgetown would be counted among the heritage capitals of the world. He said cultural heritage remained an undocumented casualty of war.The Government hopes to revitalise the scope of work to be undertaken by the National Trust and to ensure that it reaches out to the newly elected Town and District Councils to take responsibility in their respective areas for heritage resources, the PM noted.Meanwhile, United States Ambassador Perry Holloway, who was also present at the event, said the Embassy was doing a lot for the preservation of Guyana’s cultural heritage. He is hoping that in the next month or so, two projects – the repairing of the Stabroek tower and clock and the Georgetown lighthouse, which has been standing tall since the mid 1800s – could get the necessary funding.According to him, Guyana and the US are also this year celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations, as the Americans were one of the first countries to recognise Guyana.The three-day conference, a collaboration between the National Trust and the World Monuments Fund, was organised to boost the heritage sector, particularly the tangible cultural heritage and to preserve, promote and protect Guyana’s heritage resources.During the course of the sessions, seven important areas are expected to be covered including management and policy, history and theory, documentation and conservation, heritage sustainability, heritage and community, and world cultural and natural heritage and economics of preservation.
A major catastrophe was averted on Thursday after lightning struck the Hits and Jams Studio, causing a fire to erupt in the transmission room.The incident occurred sometime around 10:35h at the Lance Gibbs Street, Queenstown, office of HJTV and 94 Boom FM.Staff members of Hits and Jams studio outside the building following the Thursday morning fireAccording to reports reaching Guyana Times, during the heavy downpour on Thursday morning, lightening struck the company’s signal tower causing a spark inside the building.However, staff members were quick to take action, turning off the main power and containing the small blaze in the transmission room while the fire service was on its way.Speaking briefly with reporters, Director of Hits and Jams Kerwin Bollers explained that when the lightning struck the tower, it sent a surge of electricity to the systems in the television station’s transmission room. This resulted in the equipment being overpowered, as such, a fire broke out.At the time, Bollers said it was too early to assess the extent of the damages incurred.“Hopefully there is not much damage… we’re trying to assess it and determine, pretty much, what are damaged and what can be repaired… we have some technicians coming over to check the equipment out,” he told reporters at the scene on Thursday.At the time when the fire broke out, there were about a dozen persons in the building, including popular radio broadcaster Feliz Robertson who was on air at the time. She recalled that they heard a loud explosion before her DJ noticed smoke in the building.“When that (explosion) happened, I was stunned and so my DJ pulled down the mics so that no one can hear us scream or panic, and we started to unplug whatever we can,” she told this newspaper. Robertson went on to say that they then started to douse the fire which was at the time on the ceiling of the transmission room. She noted that they managed to contain the blaze with a fire extinguisher. The broadcaster continued that they then gathered everyone out of the building and managed to take with them small pieces of equipment. She noted that shortly after a call was made to the fire service and fire tenders arrived on scene and took charge of the situation.
Justice Philip A. Z. Banks, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, has recused himself from the hearing and determination of the matter related to an appeal filed by lawyers representing Hans Capehart Williams and Mardea Paykue Williams, due to earlier involvement, while serving as Minister of Justice and Attorney General.Hans and Mardea were, in 2010, convicted and sentenced to death by hanging, as a result of their involvement in the killing of Merideh Angel Togba, a 14- year-old girl. She had been found dead hanging in the bathroom of the Williams’ home.Then Criminal Court ‘A’ Judge Blamo Dixon found the two guilty and sentenced the two to death.Justice Banks recused (withdrew) himself from the matter on Thursday, April 3, when the Full Bench of the High Court was about to hear argument in a “Writ of Certiorari” prayed for by Williams’ lawyers.A certiorari is an order a Higher Court issues to review the decision and proceedings in a lower court and determine whether its judgment its judgmentwere any irregularities.It all started when Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, who was presiding over the hearing along with the four Associate Justices, seated themselves in their respective seats in the joint chamber at the Temple of Justice.They prepared to listen to legal arguments between the defense team and state lawyers over the request. Surprisingly, Associate Justice Banks publicly announced “I’m recusing myself from the full bench that will hear and determine the case, because I have earlier participated in it, when I was then chief law officer, when I served as Justice Minister and Attorney General during the trial.” He added, “I am doing this so that my impartiality in this hearing will not reasonably be questioned.”“I have previously served as a lawyer concerning the same case and have expressed my opinion concerning its outcome. This is why I will not be on the Bench to hear and decide the case,” declared Associate Justice Banks justifying his decision.According to legal experts, it is provided by law that justices have to recuse themselves from a case, if they have some personal bias concerning anyone or possess independent knowledge of the facts in the dispute, or if they worked on the case as a private or government lawyer.Immediately after Associate Justice Banks’ recusal, Chief Korkpor openly said, “these are some of the reasons people will say justice delayed, justice denied, or we do not want to hear the matter. This is not so; but Associate Justice Banks’ decision sometimes leads to a tie-vote or it leads to affirmation of an equally divided court. His recusal at times could leave the court without the required quorum to hear and decide the matter so as to make a speedy determination.”He however concluded, “I will be traveling today, April 4, and upon my return, we will schedule the date for the argument. The matter is hereby suspended.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Date: July 19, 2014 @ 7 p.m.Venue: Monrovia City Hall BallroomDesigner & Couturier Abraham Pelham is hosting a fundraiser for his project, “Shield The Children”, which provides rain gear for children. The event includes a cocktail and a fashion show displaying his ‘Ladies of the World’ collection with looks inspired by: Lolita, La Femme Fatale, La Dolce Vita, Mata Hari, Nefretiti, & Josephine Baker. Shield the Children will take place at the Monrovia City Hall Ballroom on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 7 p.m.Pelham is a Liberian-born designer based in Paris who has made a life overcoming the challenges of working from a wheelchair in the world’s fashion capital. His Shield The Children fundraiser will not only provide rain gear for children who cannot afford it; the initiative intends to inspire Liberian children to turn their challenges into incredible chances for self-discovery and success.For tickets and information, please call 0880629580.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Quite recently there has been a rousing interest in the political future of Liberia with the distant bells tolling the knell of the arrival of the 2017 elections. Consistent with the political habits of the political “wannabes” the interest of the Republic suddenly takes center stage when any election season is suddenly bearing down upon us, forgetting that the interest of the state and its people should be an unending saga preceding days long before elections and the day after the conclusion of any electoral process.This gives flesh to the phrase popularized by Chea Cheapoo’s PPP party prior to Charles Taylor’s quest for the Liberian presidency in terming those brands of politicians as “political ricebirds” who migrate and swoon over Liberia, only during elections season. Lest we forget that the ultimate reward for success is timely and early planning; but in my country there seems to be a mental fixation that one does not have to plan ahead and put in motion any tested strategies for success but the illusion that success is achieved thru sudden urgency. This unpreparedness might have led us to the many failures even in our international sporting competitions. My people the glorious future is for those who prepared and work at or for it. So if you are thinking of any political engagement do your homework; either you plan for it now and get to know your constituents now or you forfeit those glorious intentions goodbye.I decided to write this very short article about our electoral proclivities as we are once more being mesmerized by political pundits in the speculative game of “probables” in the ensuing political season of 2017 with surprising redemption armor for Liberia. The chilling reality in Liberia is that most of the potentials on the peoples’ political radar have not shown any piercing visionary leadership which any future political leadership at this time is begging for. Then I am hoping that our “wanabes” will now begin to demonstrate objectivity, integrity, sheer truthfulness and honest seizure with the rice and palm oil concerns of our people.The season for pandering for political office is only a stone’s throw away; let us say less than twenty four months hanging time, and already we are being bombarded with rumors of not only potential contenders and self anointed political messiahs, mergers and expedient future collaborations, scheming, abject sycophancy, public relations ploys cum political planning. The political clowning will always be there as it is systemic in us to assume this gimmickry, underpinned by unpretentious deceptions, betrayals and often times darn right lies defining “Liberian Politics”—–promises of building pies in the skies; a season for promising what you know you really cannot accomplish. So what is new? One would have thought that with the much trumpeted new dispensation we will now commit to better and REAL POLITIKS.We have seen time in and time out the despicable practice of our “wannabes” to political office mushrooming when the political season is on the horizon, manifest and ostentatious dangling of themselves before the electorates, fueled by a very strange mixture of over-bloated egos, wanting to be wanted and trying to out- portray themselves as the “knights in white armor” singled out by some magical wand to be the political saviors of our time, even doing the St. Peter thing of denying their masters. Most disparagingly, our electorates seem to idolize personalities rather than judge past contributive performances, and misplace substantively by the immediate availability of the mighty “dollar” amount, oblivious to the legitimacy of the source; you see seeking for electoral support now degenerates to who can dole out to his constituents rather than the cohesion of your colleagues and constituents to support their parochial development needs. You are not judged by what funding one has sourced to impact the educational needs of the students or focus on the “HOW” one will coerce his companions if and when elected to approve the relevant bills essentially targeting his electoral domain? I am talking about improvement for qualified teachers, improvement of the learning environments and conditions. I am talking about any funding for the health needs of your constituency to cope with the often occurrences of infectious transmissible diseases? The public might not know, that you as a Legislator, cannot within your salary construct roads, but you can incessantly engage your constituents who in most cases might not even have consulted you, except when they needed and secured access to your funds to address their personal needs.This well orchestrated foreplay of contemplating and pretending to run for high office gives a lot of political under-achievers, political cast-offs preceptors of political exclusivity, sometimes bearers of no credible track record of public office, the opportunity to preen their opinions on half-baked theories and mostly “pie-in-sky” manifestoes of political solutions. Some of our pretenders are suitcase politicians who are convinced that mere coatings of being a “BEEN_TO” in the diaspora now bestows on you that cloak of entitlement pregnated with the commanding advantage over a “stay to”— home grown survivalist. Much more than that they even vent “paper-thin” populous rhetoric on the unsuspecting mostly minimally illiterate populace, pretending to provide a clamor of social answers that are mostly in their heads and their imaginations, so paper thin that even a 1947 third grader can put holes thru. They refuse to take lessons from the experiences of political veterans whose political wisdom and coaching could make an ocean of a difference. Hey what? That in the diaspora they do it this wayism does not transform itself to and contributive political plus in Liberia with her own political culture. We see the likes of former war lords still reeling from the explosions of the TRC’s expose of tortuous roles of “salvation” in our devastating civil crisis. They forget the adage that says “fool me first time, shame on you, but fool me second time, shame on me.” There will always come a time when cushioning behind their present statuses will eventually self exhaust their limitations and the chickens will come home to roost. We should learn to distinguish those who have their roles and have sought the forgiveness of the electorate and whose commitments and sincerity to help our country are determinable, tangible, demonstrative and sincere. Regrettably, some of those riding the crescendo of tomfoolery, with its companion undependability, encountered the wrath of their now believers. Lucky for us we frequently are often entertained to their intemperate fire-ups and kooky talk of corruption and human rights abuse, with claims of their constant “sashaying” with and being wooed by international operatives or perceived political nobodies and has now laced up their running shoes for a sprint at the much coveted “Presidency” of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf whose tolerances on most indiscipline confrontations under the aegis of the sanctity of Universal Freedoms on alleged issues of corruption, and blaring the accusations of recycling of accused abettors of “cookie jar” offenders gives the impression of a soft political target. Make no mistake that TARGET is by no means soft. Just do not keep making the error of thinking that the leopard you may encounter is by no means a domesticated cat. It is no wonder we hear rumors of the well veiled intentions of a compendium of “loyal” partisans and members of the ruling cabinet, including some of whom who prize themselves of always reaching across the aisle to the grass-rooters when no such hands are reaching back, to them. Folks shine your eyes, oh; be aware of the ides of March. Let us all put our political toys away and start to have some refreshed and fresh political conversations on where we intend to take this country come 2017. Those conversations should now begin to take shape and poise to take flight. If there were any time to consult, the time is NOW.The author: President Pro Temporare Emeritus of the Liberian Senate; Winner of the Primary of the Alliance of Seven Political Parties of the “Progressives”, 1997 for the Presidential Candidacy. Ranking Executive member of the Ruling Unity Party. Professional Geoscientist; former Assistant Professor of the University of Liberia; Former CEO of the Liberia Football Association and two time President of the Liberia Basketball Federation and a Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of the AFLShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
In a spirit of respect and support, the Center’s observation mission identified several areas where steps can be taken to improve the conduct of future elections in Liberia, including promotion of the Political Rights of Participation of Women, Youth, Persons with Disabilities, LGBTI, and Ethnic and Religious MinoritiesOne of the five justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia, on Friday, November 28, issued a “stay order” on the holding of the Special Senatorial Elections, pending a hearing by the full bench into a lawsuit filed against the National Elections Commission (NEC) by some political parties. The stay order includes all campaign activities.The Associate Justice Presiding in Chamber, Cllr. Philip A. Z. Banks’ decision was the result of a petition to halt any other proceedings on the part of NEC, because the ongoing electioneering process is a threat to public health against the spread and transmission of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).The lawsuit against NEC was jointly filed by several institutions and individuals including the Concerned Group of Eminent Citizens, the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) and Leaders of Political Parties. Others were the Civil Society Organizations by and thru its Spokespersons Blamoh Nelson and J. Emmanuel Z. Bowier, John Ballon, Milton and Nathaniel Barnes.Justice Banks did not say how soon the full bench would hear the matter and make its final determination, but NEC now has four days from the date the stay order was issued, to present its case to the Supreme Court as to why the elections should continue as planned.The Supreme Court will then decide whether or not to endorse Associate Justice Banks’ ruling, which could cause the election date to be further postponed if Banks’ ruling stands.A key concern among many is what becomes of the expenses undertaken by candidates, political parties and the NEC.The Chamber Justice’s decision coincided with the launching of the campaign of Amb. George Manneh Weah, standard bearer and Montserrado County senatorial candidate for the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC). The CDC campaign launch drew tens of thousands of people in a parade through Monrovia which literally brought the city to a standstill.According to the Justice in Chamber, the senatorial election which is scheduled for December 16, must be suspended pending hearing by the full bench of the Supreme Court, after listening to arguments.Justifying his action, Justice Banks said, he did it in accordance with the law, but clarified that the entire full bench would determine the next step, including whether the election process should be postponed in the midst of Ebola or if the NEC has put into place necessary preventive measure to stop the spread and transmission of the deadly virus.He was quick to point out that there is no Supreme Court justice can single-handedly determine the matter, adding, “Because it involves [a] constitutional issue, which required the full participation of the five justices of the High Court.”“The decision has to be made by the full bench to provide finality to this constitutional dispute and to ensure a lawful election,” Associate Justice Banks wrote in Friday’s decision.He also instructed the NEC to file all necessary legal documents supporting its legibility to hold the special senatorial elections within the period of four days.Election officials met Saturday to determine the next steps and asked attorneys for clarification on the Supreme Court order, including whether the entire special election which political parties and independent candidates have plunged themselves into making huge financial expenditure should be postponed or just campaign activities.In their complaint to the High Court, the lawyers based their argument on the proclamation made by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf regarding the protection of public health against the spread and transmission of the Ebola Virus Disease.“As the sole reason for suspending the voting rights of the Liberian people… the virus continues to threaten public health,” emphasizing that “the ongoing election activities represent a significant act of the complacency and a serious denial by Ministry of Justice (MOJ) that Ebola is invisible, that it is real that it has no cure… that it has killed and continues to kill thousands of Liberians; and could kill even more if such mass-based activities such as an election are allowed.”They further argued that the legal way to address the default of Article 83 (a) and to, at the same time, protect public health against the risk of spreading and transmitting the Ebola Virus Disease, (EVD), and the legitimacy of the tenure of the administration, is to revert to Article -1, “whereby a cross-representative forum of political parties and civil society organizations with legal and national character can be convened by the President, with the approval of the Legislature to set a suitable date for the conduct of the Special Senatorial Election,” concluding “while, at the same time protecting the Administration from losing its legitimacy over the issue of the Article 83(a). “Article -1 of the 1986 Constitution acknowledges and affirms that “All power is inherent in the People In order to ensure democratic government which responds to the wishes of the governed, the people shall have the right at such period, and in such manner as provided for under this Constitution to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular elections and appointments.”It can be recalled that on October 1, 2014, the President wrote the legislature requesting approval to restrict, suspend and re-phrase the language of several provisions of the 1986 Constitution relating to the “…fundamental rights of Liberian citizens” as provided for under Articles 1, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, and 24Three days later, on October 4, 2014, the President issued a Proclamation stating that National Elections Commission (NEC) had “informed the government that it (NEC ) had been unable to undertake several of the processes that are prerequisites to conducting the pending 2014 Senatorial elections, including: the deployment of staff in the field to conduct civic/voter education; the recruitment and deployment of the required polling staff at polling centers; the importation of basic, essential and sensitive electoral material.”She added that, “due to the suspension of flights to Liberia, the requisite campaigning of senatorial candidates and the monitoring of the process and activities by the NEC to ensure that there are no violations of the Elections Law and that violations are adequately addressed… the government is convinced that the condition of elections in this period of the Ebola Virus crisis would not only be inimical to the nation and to its people, but would create greater problems for the stability of the nation and a lack of credibility in the result of such elections by the people and the international community under the current crisis situation.” Concluding the Proclamation, the President ordered and declared “the October 14, 2014 Senatorial Elections and all the voting rights associated therewith and connected thereto are hereby declared suspended.”Nine days after promulgation of the Proclamation, the Legislature, on October 13, 2014, passed a Joint Resolution #002/2014 approving the President’s order suspending the October 14, 2014 Senatorial election and, at the same time, directing the NEC to “immediately commence consultations and discussions with all recognized and accredited political parties, independent candidates, civil society organizations and other stakeholders, as well as national and international health authorities on a new date for the holding of the Senatorial election for 2014; not later than December 20, 2014, pending the approval of the Legislature.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)