“The composition of the EMB (Electoral Members Board) should be representative of the society. . . Consideration should be given to appointing independent persons known within the society for their integrity. It is recommended that the chair of the commission should be a person who holds or has held high judicial office (a high court or supreme court judge). That is the practice in several countries. (Taken from the Southern African Development Community’s “Principles for Election Management, Monitoring, and Observation in the SADC Region”, as adopted by SADC in Johannesburg 2003.) Public Policy 

Where We Slipped: Choosing Electoral Board Members in Liberia

Jackie N. Sayegh “ Elections are central to competitive politics. They are central because, ideally, they should provide the opportunity for yesterday’s winners to become today’s losers, and for yesterday ‘ s losers to become today’s winners. The model of democracy on which this theory of elections is based is liberal democratic. The centrality of elections to liberal democratic politics also presupposes the importance, particularly of impartial electoral administration. This is because the indeterminacy of elections the possibility of erstwhile winners becoming losers and erstwhile losers becoming winners-which is an…

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It can be recalled that Christopher Walker, Sports Editor of FrontPage Africa newspaper, was also brutalized while he was covering the National County Sports Meet at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex. He explained that some of his belongings, including his camera and phone, were damaged as well as his wallet, containing US$250 USD and L$1000 were taken away from him. An investigation by the Police following a complaint by FPA about the manhandling of Journalist Walker has been at a snail pace. Public Policy 

Ruthless Presidential Security Unit Admits Abusing Liberian Journalists

    Monrovia – Following blatant frequent denials by the government of Liberia that no journalist has been manhandled by state security, FrontPage Africa has obtained a letter in which the Executive Protection Services admits that it is investigating an agent for “over-reaction,” after the officer allegedly battered a reporter. The letter under the signature of EPS Director Trokon Roberts expressed regret for the situation and promised to take appropriate action against the agent of the elite presidential guard. “The EPS sincerely regrets the situation and will carry out the…

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The ICC does not solicit cases despite what many may believe. It is actually the court of last resort. Cases are referred through State parties (that are member states who have signed on to the treaty) in accordance with Article 14 of the Rome Statute or through referral by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the UN. The Office of the Prosecutor can also initiate an investigation upon complaints brought to it by individuals and organizations. The Office of the Prosecutor has conducted or is currently conducting an investigation in Honduras, Georgia, Republic of Korea, Palestine, and Afghanistan in addition to several African countries. To date, Uganda, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic have referred situations occurring or have occurred in their countries to the ICC. Public Policy 

Africa and the International Criminal Court: Uneasy Lies the Head

  The Editor, The International Criminal Court  (ICC) is a “permanent tribunal created to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crimes of aggression.”  Its jurisdiction covers “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole (Preamble 2) and in cases where national trials would not occur or would be ineffective (Preamble 3).”   The nations of the world found it necessary to create the ICC as they were “conscious that all peoples are united by common bonds, their cultures pieced together in a shared heritage, and concerned that this delicate…

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The release further said, the government sees the media as a key player in the democratization of the post-conflict nation, and is, therefore, calling on journalists to carry on their duty in conformity with the best ethical practice. Journalists have a sacred obligation of ensuring that the public receives factual, balanced and accurate information at all times; falling short of this could erode public confidence and undermine the essence of the free press, the release said. Public Policy 

War Crimes Court advocate accuses EPS officer Sewer Briggs of brutalizing him

Staff Report Liberian War Crimes Court advocate, Emmanuel Savice has accused “Seward Briggs [as] one of the rebels assigned with President Weah that tried killing me on the day of the rally. He was the one that stole my money and my cellphone. This guy kicked me in my ears several times.” Mr. Savice said on his Facebook page. “Another name is the Kadaffi guy who is also a former rebel. As we do our investigation, we will bring you their names and pictures. This was forwarded to me by…

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Rwanda lawmakers approve swahili as the official Language of the country, dropping french completely and sidelining english People said: "This is good,really good but such a move leavez the Belgian (the former coloniser) and French authorities furious. I will not be surprised if a few months from France imposes sanctions on Rwanda or increases its funding to opposition parties or releases a report on Kagame's government poor service delivery and human rights violations. Rwanda is setting an example for the rest of the African countries. Its about time we drop the colonial legacy and go back to our roots. After all there is no European with an African name or African language as their official language.....Good job Rwanda, wake the rest of the sleeping countries up. This is great development, if Rwanda still hold on that colonial tight with France, they would not have gone this far, France is evil blood suckered, they keep developing and building their country, But most Country they colonize are living in objective poverty, they dominated their entire existence. The African Union should rise and liberate the African from France and western imperialism. Public Policy 

Rwanda lawmakers approve Swahili as the Official Language

Members of the Lower House in 2017 passed the organic law establishing Swahili as an official language. Swahili joins Kinyarwanda, English and French as the country’s fourth official language. For now, the language will primarily be used for administrative purposes, appearing as one of the official languages in some official documents. Appearing before the lawmakers to provide insight into why the law is necessary, the Minister for Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu, explained that the decision was motivated by both obligation and a variety of many other benefits. “Rwanda joined…

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For a little over a month since being elected and installed Senator of Montserrado County, critics of Dillon have chastised him for failing to live up to a campaign promise he made to make his salary and benefits public. Until Tuesday, September 24, Sen. Dillon had always claimed of not being informed about his entitlements as Senator. Public Policy 

Liberian Assembly say it will honor Sen. Dillon call to audit National Legislature,

    Senators on Thursday, February 13, voted unanimously to welcome submission by Montserrado County Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, for the audit of the National Legislature, but that it be limited to the Liberian Senate as of the 53rd Legislature to the present. A motion proffered by Grand Cape Mount County ranking Senator Cllr H. Varney Sharman, however, suggested that the Senate’s Public Accounts Committee “be the entity to Investigate and prescribe the process for that auditing, and that report be made to us next Thursday.” The Senate’s decision was…

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By filing a defense brief, the government has undermined settlement talks —having in the past informed the plaintiffs and ECOWAS Court, orally and in writing, that it wishes to settle this matter out of court.  Survivors and persons affected by Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, still deal with lots of post-Ebola related health complications, and that they are being ignored/abandoned. By: Peter Quaqua Public Policy 

Sierra Leone Ebola Survivors Run to the ECOWAS COURT

  On 6 February 2020, the ECOWAS Court seating in Abuja, Nigeria, heard the matter of two Ebola survivor healthcare workers and the Center for Accountability and Rule of Law-Sierra Leone (CARL-SL) who sued the Government of Sierra Leone for violating Sierra Leoneans’ Rights to Life and Health due to the “MISMANAGEMENT of Emergency and Relief funds” which greatly undermined the response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014. In 2015, the Sierra Leone Audit Service reported significant mismanagement and possible loss of funds meant for Sierra Leone’s Ebola response. According…

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President Paul Kagame has talked about the possibility of not running for a fourth term, noting that his wish is for a woman to replace him when he retires from office. “My wish is that one day, a woman takes up this position that you gave me,” Kagame told delegates during the Nation Address at the 17th National Annual Dialogue last Thursday. He has previously made similar claims, notably in 2017 when he said he “can only accept” to run for a third term after being persuaded by the Rwandan population. While it would be difficult to dislodge a president who is credited with the nation’s economic transformation, no woman has made it to the ballot for the presidency in Rwanda’s history despite the president’s wish. Only two women have attempted to run for the top seat—Victoire Ingabire in 2010 and Diane Rwigara in 2017. Their attempts were, however, short-lived and unsuccessful as both were arrested shortly after announcing their bids to run against Kagame. Related Stories KAGAME: Less talk, more action will bring the change we need in EA KAGAME: Less talk, more action will bring the change we need in EA Rwanda as a City State, and Africa’s World Cup win Rwanda as a City State, and Africa’s World Cup win Advertisement Potential successors The ruling party, RPF, has notable women who have previously risen through the ranks and are seen as potential successors once Kagame decides to pass on the button. Experts say Rwanda has a pool of women leaders who can match the challenge. The Cabinet is 52 per cent female while they make up 68 per cent of parliament. “There are many young and experienced women in political offices now. One name that comes up to me easily is Louise Mushikiwabo, who has vast experience in leadership and can take the challenge,” Ismail Buchanan, a professor of politics told The EastAfrican. “But most importantly, I think it is not about a particular individual but the need for continuation of Rwanda’s (upward) trajectory.” Still energetic Ms Mushikiwabo is the secretary-general of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and previously served as Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of Rwanda from 2009 to 2018. A week ago, President Kagame had again talked up his retirement, this time in a more subtle manner. While attending the 2019 Doha Forum, he answered “most likely not” to a question on whether he will seek for a fourth term in 2024. “I don’t know yet, but most likely no. When I say most likely, I mean I don’t want to lock myself into anything. I want to have some breathing space,” Kagame said. “But I think that given the way things are or have been in the past, it depends on two things. But I think I have made up my mind where am concerned personally that it is not going to happen next time.” President Kagame won a resounding third term in 2017 by 99 per cent of the vote, following a referendum in 2015 that suspended term limits. Before that, Kagame had made several suggestions that he might not seek a third term, but changed his mind after the constitution was amended in 2015 with 98 per cent voting to amend article 101 on presidential term limits. Now having served as president since 2000, he is alongside President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda as the longest-serving leader in the East African Community. The constitution allows him to run for another two five-year terms until 2034, and Mr Kagame says he still has a “lot of energy left to keep going” despite the economic transformation that he has overseen since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. “I can go on for several more years; I am not tired of doing what I am doing. I am working with my people and my country, and moving from the past of tremendous challenges but also making progress and creating hope for the people of Rwanda,” he said in Doha. He added: “It is never mission accomplished. As far as we are concerned, it is work-in-progress.” Public Policy 

AU Elects Pres. Paul Kagame to Drive Africa’s 2063 Agenda

    The African Union (AU) has unanimously elected President Paul Kagame as the new chairperson of one of its new agencies that will drive the continent towards vision 2063. Kagame was yesterday, elected chairperson of African Union Development Agency- New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC). The AUDA-NEPAD is an integral component of the AU which brings both institutions together to work effectively, and Kagame said it’s everyone’s duty to make it happen. The election that was held at the 37th HSGOC…

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The Constitutional Court in Malawi today nullified the results of last year’s presidential election, citing “widespread, systematic and grave” irregularities including significant use of correction fluid to alter the outcome. The court ordered a new vote within 150 days, saying at the end that it hoped the ruling would not destroy the nation. The two opposition candidates who became second and third in the poll had contested the slim win of President Peter Mutharika, alleging that irregularities affected more than 1.4 million of the total 5.1 million votes cast. Months of sometimes deadly unrest followed the announcement of the election results. The president and electoral commission acknowledged some irregularities but argued they were insufficient to affect the election’s outcome. Public Policy 

Malawi President Peter Mutharika stole the election, High Court order new one

    The Constitutional Court in Malawi today nullified the results of last year’s presidential election, citing “widespread, systematic and grave” irregularities including significant use of correction fluid to alter the outcome. The court ordered a new vote within 150 days, saying at the end that it hoped the ruling would not destroy the nation. The two opposition candidates who became second and third in the poll had contested the slim win of President Peter Mutharika, alleging that irregularities affected more than 1.4 million of the total 5.1 million votes…

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However, a somersaulting move, the Labor Congress on April 30, again wrote Atty. Woods: “We are constrained to inform you that the Liberia Labour Congress has decided to withdraw the invitation extended to you to serve as Keynote Speaker on the 2019 International Labour Day Program due to some circumstances.” The letter which was signed the Chairman of the Labour Congress, Hannah M. Karbo, did not give reasons for the reconsideration of their decision. Public Policy 

Law Society Recalls Tragic Lessons, Cautions Weah’s Government

Press Release Monrovia – The Liberia Law Society declares as unwarranted, wrong, unacceptable and unnecessary the use of force against peaceful protesters on January 6, 2020 and declares that this signals a reversal in the minimum gains made in consolidating our democratic culture and peace. The Liberia Law Society also supports the position of the Independent Human Rights Commission, The Human Rights Platform and the Inter-religious Council. No government must believe that economic progress and infrastructural development are substitutes for the full enjoyment and happiness of its citizens’ desire to…

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