Ellen Suspends Senatorial Election

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has issued a Proclamation suspending the holding of the October 14, 2014 Senatorial Election, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.According to the Foreign Ministry, the President acted under authority of the Constitution and “pursuant to powers vested in her by both the Constitution of Liberia and the Declaration of the State of Emergency.”The Ministry stated that the President has also suspended all voting rights associated and connected with the Senatorial Election.“The President has directed the National Elections Commission, the agency of Government authorized to hold general and special elections, to immediately commence consultations and discussions with all recognized and accredited political parties, independent candidates, and civil society organizations and other stakeholders, as well as national and international health authorities on a new date for holding the Special Senatorial Election,” the Ministry said in a statement issued by Mr. Horatio Bobby Willie, Assistant Minister for Public Affairs At least 15 of the 30 senators should have headed for election on October 14 but with suspension, they still have their jobs until a new date can be set to conduct the election.Citing reasons that necessitated the suspension of the October 14 Senatorial Election, the President’s Proclamation states that, “As a consequence of the measures taken by the Government under the State of Emergency to contain the spread and eradicate the virus, the continued prevalence of the Virus, and other self-surviving measures taken by the people in restricting their travel and contacts, necessary for a free, open and transparent political atmosphere, the National Elections Commission, the Institution clothed with the authority to conduct elections in Liberia, has informed the Government that it has been unable to undertake several of the processes that are prerequisites to conducting the pending 2014 Senatorial Election, including the deployment of staff in the field to conduct civil/voter education, the recruitment and deployment of the required polling staff at polling centers, the importation of basic, essential and sensitive electoral materials due to the suspension of flights to Liberia, the requisite campaigning by senatorial candidates and the monitoring of the process and activities by the NEC to ensure that there are no violations of the Elections Law and that violations are adequately addressed.”It can be recalled that the President on August 6, 2014 declared a State of Emergency throughout the nation, which action was subsequently approved by the National Legislature as stipulated under Article 86 of the Constitution with the aim to combat the deadly virus affecting Liberia and its people and eradicate the virus from the nation.“Under the Constitution and the mentioned Declaration of the State of Emergency, the President is vested with the power and clothed with the authority to suspend, during the period of the State of Emergency, any and all [some] rights ordinarily exercised, enjoyed and guaranteed to citizens and residents of the Republic in normal periods, limited only by specific exceptions stipulated by the Constitution”, the Proclamation adds.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Taxi drivers ask crackdown on ‘bandits’

first_imgLANCASTER – United Taxi drivers went to City Hall on Wednesday to ask city leaders for a crackdown on cab drivers working without city permits. The drivers say competitors operating without permits are a growing problem, and estimate that more than half of the roughly 50 cab drivers operating in Lancaster lack city permits. “They are not complying with the rules. They are just putting drivers behind the wheel,” said Martin Shatakhyan, president of United Independent Taxi Drivers Inc., which operates United Taxi in Lancaster. “They are putting the public at risk.” Shatakhyan said their criticism is directed at their permit-less competitors, not at city staff. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2United is asking the city to create a monthly updated public record of legal drivers listed by company. The drivers also want public service announcements encouraging residents to report unpermitted cab drivers. Drivers also want the city to come up with a plan for catching “bandit” cabs – unmarked cars operating as taxis. Drivers would also like to see random checks done at places frequented by cabs, such as the city’s Metrolink station. “The drivers are frustrated,” said Alfredo Pico, United’s manager. “The competition is flooding the market with unpermitted drivers.” The city’s permitting process requires drivers to take a drug test and to go through a criminal background check. The drivers’ estimates of the number of unpermitted competitors is based on their observations of cabs without permits on the dashboards and general conversation among drivers. “They see someone apply for a job on a Tuesday and see them in a cab on Wednesday. They know there was no background check,” Pico said. “They want to draw attention to who the legal drivers are.” Elizabeth Brubaker, the city’s director of Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, which includes code enforcement, said the taxi drivers had not approached city staff members with their concerns before making their appearance Wednesday at City Hall. Brubaker said staff could have addressed their concerns. On the idea of a monthly listing of permitted drivers, Brubaker said that information is available to the public and cab companies can request that anytime. In terms of helping make that information public, that is something the city could assist with. “The city is working on getting everything out there to the public,” Brubaker said. The Sheriff’s Department does make checks of areas such as the Metrolink station, Brubaker said. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more