Daily Media Summary 2017-11-07

The Bureau of Public Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monrovia, Liberia

DAILY NEWS SUMMARY FOR TUESDAY NOVEMBER 7, 2017

 

News of the Supreme Court of Liberia’s condemnation on the attack on the home of Associate Justice Sie-A-NyeneYuoh is the lone story highlighted in today’s edition of our summary of the local dailies.

 

The summary also includes news of the Supreme Court ordering the National Elections Commission to investigate the allegations of elections irregularities as a matter of urgency.

 

 

DOMINANT STORY

Justice Yuoh’s Home ‘Attacked’…Supreme Court Alarms

According to the INSIGHT newspaper, the Supreme Court of Liberia condemns in the strongest terms, the attack on the home of Associate Justice Sie-A-NyeneYuoh. In a press release issued here, the high court narrates that on the evening of Sunday, November 5, 2017, at about 9:00pm, some unknown persons began throwing large stones into the compound of the Associate Justice intending to cause harm to persons living within the compound as well as cause damage to properties. The Court re-emphasizes that, as provided by law, no Justice of the Supreme Court Bench, nor Judge of subordinate courts, to include courts of records and those not of record, are to engage in political activities; as they are to remain neutral at all times so as to dispense fair and impartial justice should the case arise out of such activities. It continues that as Liberia begins its transformation from one democratically elected government to another, after 12 years of peace and stability, the Honorable Supreme Court, through the Chief Justice, His Honor Francis S. Korkpor, Sr., has expressed its commitment to performing its constitutional responsibility in this regard by foregoing its normal “TERM BREAK” and remaining opened throughout the electioneering process until a President is duly elected and inaugurated.

 

Related Captions: Supreme Court Condemns Attack On Associate Justice (In Profile Daily), Supreme Court Condemns Attack On Associate Justice (Daily Observer)  

 

 

OTHER STORIES

Uncertainty Hangs Over Conduct of Liberia’s Presidential Runoff Elections

The FrontPage Africa newspaper reports that the Supreme Court has ordered the National Elections Commission (NEC) to refrain from conducting the runoff election between soccer legend George Weah and current Vice President Joseph Boakai. A petition filed with the Supreme Court by opposition leader Cllr. Charles Brumskine of the Liberty Party necessitated the prohibition. Cllr. Brumskine claimed the October 10 elections in which he came third was flawed with fraud and irregularities, but the NEC was being delinquent in investigating his claims, but rather announced the runoff election. Cllr. Brumskine’s complaint to the NEC requested the body to rerun the election. As was argued by Cllr. Brumskine, Chief Justice Korkpor slammed the Elections Commission for not following the due process of law. Delivering the ruling on behalf of the Bench on Monday, Chief Justice Korkpor said - “The NEC though having jurisdiction must proceed properly and legally but by setting a date and proceeding to conduct a runoff election without first hearing and deciding the complaint by the petitioners, which alleged gross irregularities and fraud. The NEC was proceeding contrary to the rules, which ought to be observed at all times.” The Supreme Court ordered the NEC to investigate the allegations as a matter of urgency based on the implications it has on the governance of the country.

 

Related Caption: Indefinite Runoff – As S/Court Sustains ‘Alternative Stay Order’ On NEC (In Profile Daily)

 

Brumskine Demands Recusal Of NEC Chairman, Commissioners

Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, the standard bearer of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) is demanding that the chairman and fellow commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) recuse themselves from presiding over his party’s claim of irregularities and fraud against the electoral body. The Daily Observer says the NEC is expected to hear the case in line with the mandate of the Supreme Court, beginning today, Nov. 7. Speaking Monday at a press conference held at the LP headquarters in Congo Town, Cllr. Brumskine added that his party does not feel comfortable about the NEC Commissioners presiding over the case because the commissioners have already rendered a judgment. He said the law gives him the right to ask the NEC commissioners presiding over the case to recuse themselves from hearing the case.

 

NEC Absorbs UP In Liberty Party’s Case

The Board of Commissioners (BOC) of the National Elections Commission (NEC) late Monday granted the Unity Party (UP) an opportunity to serve as an intervening party of the alleged electoral fraud as claimed by the opposition Liberty Party (LP) before its hearing office. According to the Daily Observer, Cllr. Muana S. Ville, NEC Chief Hearing Officer on October 31, ruled against UP’s motion to intervene. Cllr. Ville cited the late arrival of UP’s legal team to plead on behalf of their client in the case as a shortcoming, which warranted the dismissal of the party’s request. After the ruling, UP took an exception with the hearing officer and appealed to the BOC requesting for a re-look into its case. The NEC BOC, therefore, Monday looked into the case and handed down its ruling, after listening to arguments from lawyers representing the Commission and the Unity Party.

 

Police Chief Sounds Warning Against Impersonation

The INSIGHT newspaper reports that the Inspector General of Liberia National Police (LNP), Gregory Coleman, has given strong warning to individuals who he said are impersonating as state security personnel to desist from such unlawful act. Col. Coleman who is also Chairman of the National Elections Security Task Force, described such action as “counterproductive to national security.” The LNP Inspector General sounded the warning over the weekend at the headquarters of LNP on Capitol Hill in Monrovia when he was honored as “Father of modern policing” by graduating students of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University on Benson Street.

 

Journalists Urged To Be Ethical

The president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has advised journalists to be guided by the ethics of journalism in the course of their professional duties. Speaking recently at a regional Watch for Human Rights one-day media workshop in Monrovia, PUL President Charles Coffey said journalists should respond promptly to concerns from the public especially in cases where the disseminated information was proven to be inaccurate which, he said, calls for an appropriate public apology. He said that negative information can lead to destruction, adding that journalists should promote Liberia positively in this election period to maintain the country’s 12 years of peace. Coffey called on journalists to avoid discriminatory and derogatory utterances and stereotyping of certain individuals because of their race, creed, gender, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, mental or physical challenges and sexual orientation, asserts the Daily Observer.

 

Fighting SGBV Through Education, Support

The Daily Observer reads that the Gender Coordinator of Nimba County, Yaah Belleh Suah, has said that special court is needed in Nimba to deal with only cases related to sexual and gender-based violence. Madam Suah explained that tradition and family involvement is one of the impediments hampering the fight against sexual and gender-based violence. “Most of these cases are discussed at the community level and they are not reported. But we continue to educate the people on the importance of reporting these cases. We have people who are married and leaving their wives and taking new homes, which is also a serious problem,” she said. Madam Suah, who is the focal point for the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), in Nimba county, said the Government of Liberia and its partners are not just campaigning to end rape, but are also caring for victims. “Today, rape has become one of the most challenging menaces in the Liberian society, and many healthcare professionals and others are helping to deal with the adverse effects on victims.”

 

‘Chemical Spills Now Under Control’Says EPA, Stresses That Sayewheh Town Now Safe For Normal Activities

According to the Daily Observer, after several weeks of investigation into the recent chemical spills in Korkoya District in Bong County leading to 34 persons being injured and the contamination of creeks and other wetlands, the government says the situation has finally been put under control. The Daily Observer recalled that there was a chemical spill when a section of the geo- membrane of the TSF ruptured at the MNG Gold facility on September 27 affecting the victims, who were taken to Phebe Hospital in Suakoko for immediate medical attention. The rupture resulted from an uncontrolled discharge of ‘slurry’ containing a high concentration of cyanide into the Sein Creek and the surrounding environment at MNG Goldmine in Korkoya. An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) release revealed that much has been done to restore the livelihood of the people of Sayewheh Town.

 

AEL Appeals For Calm Amidst Electoral Tension

According to the In Profile Daily, the Association of Evangelicals of Liberia (AEL) has appealed for calm in the growing electoral tension for the sake of national peace and progress in the country. AEL which is Liberia’s largest network of churches and para-church organizations of evangelical persuasion observes that the ongoing electoral tension in and out of the courtroom threatens national peace and development, thereby causing the citizens to live in fear. AEL has therefore appealed to all parties involved for calm and called also on all political parties and independent candidates to caution their supporters and sympathizers to be civil, peaceful and refrain from making inciting statements and trading of tenuous allegations in the public.

 

BFF/YBB Certificates 350 Youth Peer Mediators

Better Future Foundation (BFF), in collaboration with Youth Beyond Barriers (YBB), has successfully completed a three-month civic and voter education for 350 community peer mediators in Monrovia. The National Youth dialogue which began early August this year on the Capitol Hill campus of the University of Liberia (UL) was also characterized by series of community based training and empowerment programs which had as its Theme: “Power of Your Vote 2017”. The YBB Peer Mediation training and empowerment, according to its organizers, focused on promotion of peace, democracy, development, human rights and respect for rule of law at community level, reports the INSIGHT newspaper.

 

Prez Sirleaf Urges Youth To Be Focus, Innovative

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has urged Liberian youths to be more innovative and prepared for leadership roles for the future. President Sirleaf said young people play a critical part in the national discourse, therefore, their capacities should be enhanced to enable them deliver when given the opportunity to serve in leadership roles. The Daily Observer says the President made the call when the leadership of the Coalition of Youth and Students against Poverty and Discrimination (CYSPD) paid her a courtesy visit at her farm in Bomi County, last Thursday to honor her for sustaining the peace under her regime. Madam Sirleaf noted that national development was a collective effort and that government was grateful for its contributions, especially offering the youth the opportunity to develop their capabilities.