The Supreme Court Finally Gives the Green Light

first_imgThe Supreme Court of Liberia has finally given its verdict on whether or not the nation should hold the special senatorial election.  The Court agreed, in a vote of three to two, that the elections should proceed.The petitioners, who asked the Court to postpone the special elections, argued that holding this election could lead to further Ebola viral transmission and threaten the people’s lives.  But in its ruling last Friday, the Court said the Ebola issue is a political one, to be decided by the first two branches of government—the Legislative and Executive.  The High Court has said exactly what the Daily Observer argued in its Editorial last Monday, December 8: “We pray that the court will find a way to mitigate (ease) the tension, by first realizing that the elections have been approved by the two other branches of government [Legislative and Executive]; and by suggesting ways in which the threat of viral transmission can be minimized.”In its ruling, the Supreme Court reminded the petitioners that the Liberian Constitution allows for the “separation of powers” between the three branches of government,” with each having its separate and distinct functions.  It is purely judicial matters that have been reserved for the Judiciary, and these are matters upon which the two other branches dare not encroach.  By the same token, matters political are the exclusive preserve of the Legislative and Executive branches of government. Chief Justice Korkpor and his colleagues on the bench agreed that Ebola and all the constraints and restraints that go with it are purely political, and belong to the two political branches of the Liberian government—not the Judiciary.We think it is commendable that the eminent citizens and their fellow petitioners had the courage and commitment to the safety of their fellow Liberians to try the strength of their conviction at the highest judicial level, the full bench of the Supreme Court.  This was perfectly within their constitutional rights to do.Now that the High Court has ruled that the elections may go ahead, the ball is back in the court of the Legislature and the Executive, and most particularly its electoral arm, the National Elections Commission (NEC).It is the nation’s good fortune that the President has requested, and the Legislature has consented, that they remain in session for at least another week to handle matters relating to oil blocks which have been recently negotiated.  Once the Legislators return to the Capitol today (Monday), the  President, through her  emissaries, NEC Chair Jerome  Korkoyah included, should approach the Legislature and together come up with and agree on some guidelines on how the risk of viral transmission can be MINIMIZED as Liberians participate in the electoral process.We believe that massive campaigns are definitely out of the question.  NEC should in no uncertain terms tell the political parties and senatorial candidates that massive street demonstrations, parades and    rallies and threaten the health of the nation.  Two primary considerations must be   stressed here: first, Ebola is real, it kills and is very easy to   spread, especially through close personal contact. Second, the international community has so far spent billions of dollars helping us to contain and eradicate the virus from our shores.  This massive effort and expenditure of human and financial resources to fight the deadly Ebola virus must not be jeopardized for any non-life threatening reason, politics included.As we proceed with these elections on December 20, it is imperative that we help ourselves by doing everything possible to restrain the virus, especially preventing bodily contact which is highly unavoidable during mass rallies such as we witnessed recently. The Legislature and Executive can and must show the way forward.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Italian police officer under investigation for manslaughter in death of soccer fan

first_imgAccording to a police statement Sunday, an officer fired two warning shots in the air. But the unidentified officer was quoted as saying by Corriere della Sera on Monday that the second shot went off accidentally. Sandri’s death forced the postponement of two Serie A matches and the suspension of another as clashes erupted in cities including Milan and Bergamo. Enraged by the shooting, rioters smashed windows and hurled stones at police cars. In the Italian capital, violent fans rioted into the night, setting trash bins and police vans on fire. About 40 police officers were injured, ANSA reported. A monitoring body set up by the Interior Ministry as a watchdog for soccer violence announced Monday that large groups of violent fans would be blocked from traveling to certain games and, by March 1, all stadiums with a capacity of more than 7,500 will have to provide match stewards. Last season, a policeman was killed in riots following a game between Palermo and Catania in Sicily. The killing prompted authorities to stiffen security measures in and around soccer stadiums, such as barring some fans from traveling to games seen as posing a security threat. “If I were certain that stopping soccer would eliminate the violence problem, I would sign up right away,” Italy coach Roberto Donadoni said. “I don’t think it’s the time to stop, but to act. And most of all, to avoid making judgments the day after.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “We’ll uncover the truth,” said police chief Antonio Manganelli. The policeman who fired the shot was put under investigation by magistrates in Arezzo, a Tuscan town about 125 miles north of Rome where Sandri died. “For now he is under investigation for manslaughter,” Arezzo police chief Vincenzo Giacobbe said, adding that the charges could become more severe. Initial reports said police intervened to stop a scuffle between Sandri’s group of Lazio fans and a group of Juventus fans. Giacobbe indicated Monday that the officer who shot Sandri may have not realized it was a fight between soccer fans. “(The officer) intervened to calm down what appeared to be a fight,” Giacobbe said. “He didn’t know if they were fans. Another thing to clarify is why it was called a fight between fans. We think so, but (the officers on the scene) didn’t know it. They saw with their own eyes that a fight was starting, and banging on a car.” ROME – A police officer was placed under investigation Monday for possible manslaughter in the shooting death of a soccer fan that provoked riots across Italy. Authorities detained four people Monday for taking part in the violence in Rome, where angry fans attacked a police barracks near the stadium and the building housing the Italian Olympic Committee. Gabriele Sandri, a 26-year-old disc jockey from Rome, died after getting hit in the neck by a bullet while sitting in a car. Police said an officer fired shots to disperse a scuffle at a highway rest stop in Tuscany. Police have called the man’s death a “tragic error” and the exact circumstances surrounding it remain unclear. last_img read more