Under Pressure to Deliver, 53rd Legislature May Take Extension

Under Pressure to Deliver, 53rd Legislature May Take Extension

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first_img(L-R) House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay, Senate Pro Temp Armah Z. Jallah and President of the Senate, Joseph N. BoakaiAlthough it has a huge to-do list, the Legislature – the House of Representatives and the Senate – has less than a week of working time left until its end.The 53rd Legislature, which started in January 2012, will end on January 8, 2018. The House’s upcoming recess this election year is the final break for lawmakers who will not be reelected. The legislative break is in the House’s rules and regulations, with reliance on Article 38 of the Constitution, which states: “Each House shall adopt its own rules of procedure, enforce order… All rules adopted by the Legislature shall conform to the requirements of due process of law laid down in this Constitution.”This week, which is the final business week for the August bodies, both Houses are under pressure to offload several legislation, known as landmark bills, including the Lands Right Act (LRA), Bill of Referendum and the Presidential Transition. The other bills include the Whistleblower and Witness Protection, the New Elections Law, the Amendment and Restatement of the Public Management Act (to manage and control public resources), and the Domestic Violence Act among others. Additionally, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf may come under increased pressure to win major legislative victories before the Legislature’s farewell break, which will formally be on Thursday, August 31.Speculation in the corridors of the Legislature says both Houses are considering a possible extension for at least three weeks as a result of a request from President Sirleaf. It has not been established whether it would be formal.Article 32(b) of the Constitution states “The President shall, on his own initiative or upon receipt of a certificate signed by at least one-fourth of the total membership of each House, and by proclamation, extend a regular session of the Legislature beyond the date for adjournment or call a special extraordinary session of that body to discuss or act upon matters of national emergency and concern. When the extension or call is at the request of the Legislature, the proclamation shall be issued not later than forty-eight hours after receipt of the certificate by the President.”The Daily Observer has reliably learned that both Houses also face an increasing number of legislative distractions because of the elections campaign, especially in the House of Representatives, where most committee chairs and co-chairs are busy with district projects and campaign activities for their hopeful re-election. There is a big divide among members of some committees over certain provisions in several acts, resulting in the lack of the required signatures to recommend to plenary for passage.Meanwhile, with House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay being vice standard bearer on the ticket of the ruling Unity Party (UP) and Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, President of the Senate and UP standard bearer, there are signs that there would either be extra sessions besides the regular Tuesday and Thursday sessions, or an official extension.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

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Lae to savour big grand final day

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NRL steps up its Voice Against Violence

first_imgOn the eve of Representative Round, representative players from Australia, New Zealand, City, Country and Pacific teams gathered at Rugby League Central in a combined show of support and to reaffirm efforts to end domestic violence.Representative players included Corey Parker (Kangaroos), Ruan Sims (Jillaroos), Sarina Fiso (Ferns), James Maloney (Country), Wade Graham (City), Peni Terepo (Tonga), Stanton Albert (PNG) and Eloni Vunakece (Fiji).The NRL has worked alongside domestic violence partners Our Watch, White Ribbon and Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia to develop additional resources and education tools in the fight against domestic violence, with a new commercial, website and education sessions announced today.Ambassador Alan Tongue will lead a group of NRL ambassadors in visiting communities throughout regional and rural Australia, helping to educate young men in particular on the importance of standing up, speaking out and taking action against domestic violence.”Our strong stance against this terrible issue is one of the most important messages that we can impart on communities and as a game, we will continue to do everything we can to prevent domestic violence,” Mr Tongue said.”We have a responsibility to our Rugby League players, their families and our communities at large to ensure they receive the education, support and resources available to make informed decisions and ultimately, make positive and consistent behaviour choices.”Kangaroos player Matt Scott will join Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga in a new commercial that highlights the need to communicate and speak out against domestic violence before it is too late.And a new website has been created, providing testimonials and interviews with former and current rugby league players, together with support options and advice from the NRL’s domestic violence partners.The NRL has received funding from ‘Our Watch’ (an independent, not for profit organisation aimed at eradicating domestic violence) to continue to reach existing and new communities and educate communities that violence of any kind is not okay.CEO Mary Barry congratulated the NRL on its continued stand against domestic violence and additional resources announced.”This isn’t a sporting issue or a rugby league issue, however sport has the opportunity to play an important role in preventing violence against women and their children,” said Ms Barry.”Sporting clubs and organisations bring together large numbers of people and are a ready-made environment to promote women’s participation and opportunities to eliminate gender-based discrimination, disrespect for women and violence-supportive attitudes.”It is pleasing that this is what the NRL is doing and the code should be commended for providing ongoing awareness towards ending discrimination and violence against women.”The NRLs domestic violence commercial will air for the first time during the upcoming Downer Test Match on Friday 6 May and education resources can be viewed online. Key messages:• One in three women in Australia have experienced physical violence.  This is unacceptable.• The NRL, together with players, Clubs, States, Pacific neighbours and communities, wants to continue to be a catalyst for change and contribute directly to the long-term prevention of domestic violence.• The game is strengthening its ongoing work and resolve to stand up, speak out and take action against domestic violence – forming a coalition alongside domestic violence experts, to change the behaviours, attitudes and actions of those in our communities that think domestic violence is ok.• The NRL has received funding from ‘Our Watch’ (a Federal Government department aimed at eradicating domestic violence) to continue to reach existing and new communities and educate young males in particular, that violence of any kind is not ok.• Voice Against Violence includes a Grassroots program for 16 – 18 year olds, a new commercial and website, aimed at decreasing and ultimately, ending domestic violence.last_img

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