NEC’s Lapses Worry INCHR

first_imgSince the voter registration (VR) was launched on February 1, the process has been marred by a barrage of irregularities ranging from misspelling of potential voters’ names to malfunctioning equipment and the “trucking” of eligible voters.The VR problems have now caught the attention of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) which said in a statement, that it is deeply concerned and worried about the waves of irregularities and other irregularities surrounding the VR process at various registration centers.Specifically, the INCHR said it has observed with grave concern the lack of logistics, abandonment of centers due to untimely payment of stipend to VR registration workers, insufficient registration centers and lack of security personnel in electoral districts #11, #15, #17, #5 and several other centers inMontserrado County as well as Grand Kru, Lofa, Nimba, Maryland, Bong and Grand Gedeh counties.“We have also observed that cameras, scanners and other equipment assigned to these centers to identify and prevent electoral fraud are malfunctioning, thereby either slowing down the registration or completely halting the process,” Commissioner James D. Torh said in a release.“The magnitude of these limitations,” the INCHR release said, “seriously challenges the resolve of Liberians and this government to ensure free, fair and transparent elections is held where every Liberian is afforded equal access, opportunity and space to exercise their political rights.”Another organization that raised similar concerns recently was the Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC), which spoke of similar irregularities the VR process has encountered.The ECC spoke on the issues at a news conference in Monrovia where it also made mention of late arrival of staff at registration centers, miss-location of registration centers, misspelling of the names of registrants, defective cameras, and lack of security officers at registration centers.“Overall reports from the ECC observers across all 15 sub-political divisions (say) there have been challenges such as some centers not opening or issues with the cameras, but these have not been widespread,” said head of ECC’s Steering Committee, Oscar Bloh.Meanwhile, the INCHR strongly reaffirmed its commitment to promote human rights during the electoral processes and called on the government to expeditiously provide the necessary support to NEC to avert undue derailment of public trust in the upcoming elections.The INCHR is also calling on all eligible Liberians to register and report all and any behaviors inconsistent with the VR guidelines.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

President suspends Carvil Duncan

first_imgAfter announcing hehas challenged the legality of the tribunal established to determine his fate, Trade Unionist Carvil Duncan was suspended from his post as Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC) with immediate effect.President David Granger, in a letter dated October 10, 2016, informed Duncan that in addition to his role as PSC Chairman, he is also suspended from performing the Constitutional functions as ex-officio member of the Judicial Service Commission, the Police Service Commission and other functions as ex-officio member of the Commissions of the Board of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).A statement from the Ministry of the Presidency on Wednesday said the Head of State acted in accordance with the Constitution of Guyana in suspending Duncan.It outlined that Article 225 (6) states that, “If the question of removing the officer from office has been referred to a tribunal under this article, the President, acting in accordance with the advice of the prescribed authority, may suspend the officer from performing the functions of his office, and any such suspension may at any time be revoked by the President, acting in accordance with such advice as aforesaid, and shall in any case cease to have effect if the tribunal recommends to the President that the officer should not be removed from office.”In light of his court charges, the tribunal was established by the President to investigate and recommend whether Duncan should beCarvil Duncanremoved from his offices for his inability to discharge his function and/or misbehaviour.Duncan is on trial for allegedly stealing $984,900 and conspiring to steal $27,757,500 from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL).Reports indicate that Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo had written to Duncan, asking him to give reasons why a tribunal should not be established but he never did.But Duncan claims no letter was ever sent to him.Duncan also alleged that he was offered money from both the President and Minister of State Joseph Harmon to vacate his offices, a claim which the Government has since denied.The Office of the Minister of State, in response to the allegations, explained that both the President and Minister Harmon had met with the trade unionist in an effort to have him “gracefully” vacate the constitutional positions he holds since it is undesirable for someone facing criminal charges to hold those offices.Following the first hearing of the tribunal on Monday, Duncan took a decision to withdraw his participation from the proceedings after his Attorney’s objections were overruled by the Chairman, Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire.His Attorney, former Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall, questioned the legality of the tribunal on several grounds.Nandlall explained that there are criminal proceedings pending in the Magistrates’ Courts and therefore, the principle “innocent until proven guilty” should be applied.“To establish a tribunal to investigate his removal from office on the mere institution of a charge before the determination of any guilt is (an) infraction of that constitutional protection which guarantees him innocent until proven guilty,” Nandlall contended.As a result, Duncan through his lawyer, indicated his intention to move to the High Court to challenge the authority of a tribunal.The members of the tribunal – Justice George-Wiltshire, Justice (ret’d) Winston Patterson and Attorney Robert Ramcharran – are expected to present their report to the President on or before October 31.last_img read more