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ECC Smells Constitutional Crisis in 2017 Elections

first_imgThe Joint Resolution (LEG-002 of 2010) that set the threshold upon which the 2011 elections was conducted cannot be the same instrument upon which the upcoming 2017 elections should be held because it would violate the country’s Constitution, the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC) has warned.The 2010 threshold process contravened article 80 (d) and (e) of the Liberian Constitution for which the Legislature and the National Elections Commissions (NEC) are again resolved to tread a similar path. The ECC Executive Director, Oscar Bloh, told a news conference in Monrovia yesterday that the special arrangement under which the 2011 elections were conducted cannot be used for the upcoming elections as it would cause the country to perpetually violate its laws.But it appears that this would actually be the case as Members of the House of Representatives on September 27 voted not to set a new electoral threshold for the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections.The lawmakers’ decision was an endorsement of a report from the Committee on Elections and Inauguration advising them not to set a new threshold for next year’s elections. That body has written the Senate for its concurrence.The Chairman of the House Committee on Elections and Inauguration, Representative Gabriel B. Smith, said in his report that on the basis of history and electoral tradition, quoting Article 80 (d) and (e) of the 1986 Constitution, it is assumed that a threshold should serve two regular periods of six years, and in so doing, it would be “lawfully incorrect” and “politically troublesome,” for the 53rd Legislature to prescribe a new threshold on the basis of a census report for which the 52nd Legislature had already passed a resolution.However, many observed that the lawmakers’ decision has political undertones. Observers have said that the lawmakers are afraid to lose their strongholds should a new threshold be set causing district demarcations to be restructured.The ECC, however, said in a statement yesterday that it is deeply concerned about this unconstitutional situation. The ECC is a non-partisan professional network of civil society organizations that monitors, documents, and reports on election issues with the aim of promoting transparency and accountability in the country as well as strengthening the democratic process. The committee collaborates with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).It said: “We are deeply worried that no decision has been reached between the NEC and the Legislature on setting a new threshold to reapportion districts for the upcoming elections, which is in keeping with Article 80 (d) and (e) of the Constitution.” Article 80 (d) states that each constituency shall have an approximately equal population of 20,000, or such number of citizens as the Legislature shall prescribe in keeping with population growth and movements as revealed by a national census, provided that the total number of electoral constituencies in the Republic shall not exceed one hundred.While the ECC statement stipulates that: “Immediately following a national census and before the next election, the NEC shall reapportion the constituencies in accordance with the new population figures so that every constituency shall have as close to the same population as possible; provided, however, that a constituency must be solely within a county.”But the ECC pointed out that in 2010 constituencies were not apportioned based on the 2008 census report, as they should have been legally. “Rather, the Legislature through a joint resolution in 2010 instructed NEC to set a special threshold, which led to the addition of nine new districts (seats) to the then existing 64 that the 2005 elections produced.”“This joint resolution, which contravened Article 80 (d) and (e), has expired because it was meant for the 2011 elections; and therefore, this same formula cannot be used for the 2017 elections.”Under the Liberian democratic structure, representation is not based on registered voters, rather the country’s population informed by a national census report—which in this case is the 2008 National Housing and Population Census.In view of the above, the ECC calls on the Legislature to convene a special session to set a new threshold based on the 2008 nationwide census report. The ECC added that this should be done before the start of the voter registration exercise.In a related development, the ECC also said it has observed with concern non-compliance in certain provisions of the Liberian Constitution by some political parties and independent candidates, who are required by law (Constitution, Article 83 d) to publish and submit to the NEC, detailed statements of assets and liabilities by the first of September each year.While it may be true that some political parties have submitted financial statements to the NEC, “the constitutional provision cited above dictates that the report filed with the NEC must be published to satisfy both conditions of publishing and submitting.” The ECC also commended parties that have made their financial reports public. In furtherance of the above observation, the ECC recommended that the NEC publish names of all political parties that have failed to submit their financial statements, while at the same time compel these parties to comply with the Constitution.“The NEC is a government institution that is under obligation to let the public know which political parties have submitted their financial statements, and which have not done so,” Mr. Bloh said.The NEC is yet to comment on the concerns of the ECC.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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CL heartache not new for United, insists Mourinho

first_imgMourinho was on the winning side that night as Real Madrid manager and also sent United out of the last 16 when Porto boss in 2004.“I’ve sat in this chair twice before with Porto, Manchester United out, and Real Madrid, Manchester United out, so I don’t think it’s anything new for the club,” said Mourinho, who bristled at questions over his tactical approach.“I don’t want to make a drama of it. We have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours, that’s football. It’s not the end of the world.”The visitors were deserving winners as they controlled the game throughout, but had to wait for Ben Yedder’s introduction as a substitute 18 minutes from time to add a clinical finish by taking his Champions League tally for the season to eight goals in seven appearances.Ben Yedder put Sevilla in front two minutes later when he blasted into the bottom corner before heading in a second shortly after.Romelu Lukaku reduced United’s arrears, but it was too little, too late with Mourinho’s decision to once again drop Paul Pogba certain to be scrutinised.“In the first half we played a good game apart from the last 30 metres,” said Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella.“In the second half we were more clinical with Ben Yedder, he made the difference today.”Mourinho sprang a surprise before kick-off by recalling Marouane Fellaini at the expense of Pogba, who had also been dropped for the first game.Sevilla dominated the vast majority of the first leg only to be denied by some stunning saves from David de Gea.However, it was wayward finishing rather than the Spanish number one that prevented the visitors making the most of their ascendency for most of the match.Indeed, of Sevilla’s 10 efforts on goal in the first period only one weak Muriel effort forced De Gea into making a save.– Fellaini gamble backfires –Substitute Wissam Ben Yedder’s second goal looped over the line to finish off United © AFP / Oli SCARFFMourinho’s gamble on Fellaini appeared to have largely backfired as he failed to impose his physical presence on Sevilla’s ball players in midfield.Yet, the Belgian nearly made the breakthrough with United’s best move of the opening period when he latched onto Alexis Sanchez’s layoff and his powerful effort was turned behind by Sergio Rico.The second period began in the same vein as the first with Sevilla on the front foot, and only a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Eric Bailly denied Correa a clear sight of goal.Pogba, who cost United a then-world record £89 million ($116 million) in 2016, was eventually introduced just after the hour mark with Fellaini sacrificed.However, even the Frenchman couldn’t kickstart the hosts and they were eventually made to pay.Ben Yedder had only been on the pitch for two minutes after replacing Muriel when he finally broke the deadlock in the tie with a brilliant finish low into De Gea’s bottom left-hand corner.“Manchester United have experience in the Champions League, it was a special game for us,” said Ben Yedder.“But I believed in myself, believed in the team and we showed we are a great team.”Mourinho responded by throwing on Anthony Martial and Juan Mata, but their attacking edge was needed far earlier as Ben Yedder soon put the outcome beyond any doubt when he forced home a corner at the far post despite a despairing effort by De Gea.Lukaku finally got United on the board six minutes from time when he swept home Marcus Rashford’s corner.But it was to little avail as United have now failed to reach the quarter-finals for four straight years.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Jose Mourinho’s United put in a lifeless display and were dumped out by Sevilla © AFP / Oli SCARFFMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 14 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted European disappointment is nothing new for the English giants after losing 2-1 to Sevilla at Old Trafford to crash out of the Champions League by the same scoreline on aggregate.Wissam Ben Yedder struck twice in four second-half minutes on Tuesday to send Sevilla into the quarter-finals for the first time in 60 years as United suffered a first European home defeat since Alex Ferguson’s Champions League farewell in 2013.last_img read more

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