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Tanzania: Ole Nasha is buried, as PM praises his legacy

PREMIER Kassim Majaliwa yesterday led mourners to the funeral of former Ngorongoro MP and Deputy Prime Minister-Investment Cabinet Minister William Ole Nasha, who died on Monday evening last week after succumbing to the blood pressure.

Mr. Majaliwa, who represented President Samia Suluhu Hassan, called on the residents of Ngorongoro to honor the legacy left by the deceased deputy minister.

He said that Mr. Ole Nasha’s death resulted in great loss for the government, his party – the CCM, the Parliament, the family and the whole community of Ngorongoro constituency.

“During his life, the late Ole Nasha made an important and positive contribution to the government and to national development in general,” said the prime minister during the funeral held in Osinoni village, Kakesyo neighborhood in the district. from Ngorongoro, Arusha region.

In a message from President Samia, Mr. Majaliwa said the Head of State urges Tanzanians to honor the contributions left by the late Ole Nasha as he has contributed to national development.

“We must continue to pray that his soul may rest in eternal peace. And to the bride, to the children, to the relatives of the deceased and to all the deputies, I pray for your strength during this difficult time that you are going through”, a said Mr. Majaliwa said on behalf of President Samia.

For his part, the Minister of State, Office of the Prime Minister-Investment, Mr. Geofrey Mwambe, said that his role had suffered a great loss following the death of the Deputy Minister, Mr. Ole Nasha.

He described the late Ole Nasha as a hardworking leader, who put the national interest in while fulfilling his responsibilities and that his contributions to the role will be forever remembered.

Speaker of Parliament Job Ndugai, Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Martin Ngoga, Heads of Government, Members of Parliament and the general public from different regions of the Arusha region were present at the funeral.

The late Ole Nasha was born on May 27, 1972. He completed his primary education in 1984 at Kakessio Primary School, before joining secondary education at Arusha Catholic Seminary Secondary School, where he obtained his diploma in 1989.

He also took the Advanced Secondary Education Certificate (ACSEE) examination at the Arusha Catholic Seminary High School, where he graduated in 1992.

In 1996, he joined the University of Dar es Salaam, where he studied a Bachelor of Laws and graduated in 1999. Between 2000 and 2001, the late Ole Nasha studied a Masters of Law at the University of Pretoria in Republic of South Africa.

He was first elected MP for Ngorongoro in 2015, when then President John Magufuli appointed him Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

In 2017, he was transferred to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology as Deputy Minister, a position he held until October 2020.

In the 2020 general elections, the late Ole Nasha was re-elected to the Ngorongoro legislature and was subsequently appointed Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, before being transferred to the role of investments under the office of the Prime Minister.


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Carlos Alvarado describes him as “rogue and dirty” innuendo from lawmakers and Claudia Dobles

QCOSTARICA – President Carlos Alvarado has called “rogue and dirty” the fact that some lawmakers are suggesting that he or the first lady, Claudia Dobles, has “an affair” with the electric train project.

President Carlos Alvarado and First Lady Claudia Dobles in Puntarenas on Thursday morning September 30. Photo: Michelle Campos.

“Enough of throwing innuendo without evidence or lies. I have heard lawmakers insinuate, without any evidence, that I or the first lady have a business or something related to it. First, if they are going to make an accusation like this, let them show evidence, because to launch an accusation like this without having any evidence is a “canallada” (say or do an unworthy or nasty act), that’s what it is, to stain my wife’s name and mine, ”Alvarado said after a cabinet meeting Thursday in Puntarenas.

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He added that lawmakers are asking how urgent the electric train is. In my opinion, the urgency is in traffic congestion in the greater metropolitan area, especially in areas such as Heredia, San José and Cartago, “making us incur more expenses and less competitiveness”.

The president referred to the auditor general’s (CGR) audit on the railway project, which determined that the Instituto Costarricense de Ferrocarriles (Incofer) was at significant risk by skipping steps to speed up the electric trains concession plan .

The document concludes that the Incofer started to outsource the feasibility studies without completing all the analysis that supported the pre-feasibility of the project, which led to not having all the results of a step as data d input for the next decision making.

“There is no part of the report which says that the project is not viable, on the contrary, what the Office of the Controller makes are recommendations which, as Incofer said, are the subject of studies. and even inclusions. I think this is the first time that an audit has been carried out at such an early stage; It is to improve the project and that is what we are going to do, take the recommendations and improve the project, but nowhere in this report does it say that it is not moving forward; this is what opponents of the project say. We take the observations and move on, ”Alvarado said.

Alvarado believes some lawmakers used the comptroller’s report to reject the project and insisted that it was up to Congress to approve or reject the $ 550 million funding loan that would cover the state’s contribution. to work.

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A total of US $ 250 million would be provided by the United Nations Green Climate Fund, with an interest rate of 0% over 40 years and a decade of grace to start paying. The remaining $ 300 million would be provided by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) at the rate of 3.8% per year.

The deadline to discuss this funding in the Legislature is November 1.

“I believe that those who oppose the project what they have done is take it (auditor’s report) like a story to bury the project, but you have to see what the Office of the Controller says in its true dimension. It’s in the hands of lawmakers, ”said the president, who insisted that work on the project would begin in 2025.

In defense of the plan, Alvarado said the state’s contribution would be funded by a “virtually free loan and a donation of over $ 20 million,” in addition to helping with economic recovery.

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“The mood is perfecting it,” he said of the rapid passenger rail plan.

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MPs Should Vote To Require Vaccinations Inside The Legislative Assembly Chamber: Speaker

Questions about the immunization status of members of the legislature come as the NDP pushes for vaccine rules in the building, calls on Prime Minister Jason Kenney to kick unvaccinated MPs from his caucus

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The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta said he did not have the power to unilaterally impose a vaccination mandate on Members of the Legislative Assembly, but elected officials could vote to create one. he would be responsible for enforcing.

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Questions over the immunization status of members of the Legislative Assembly come as the NDP pushes for vaccine rules in the building and calls on Premier Jason Kenney to exclude unvaccinated MPs from his caucus.

In an interview with Postmedia on Friday, President Nathan Cooper said he does not create rules such as how MPs dress or behave when seated in the chamber, but that he is responsible for make sure people follow the rules in place.

“Is it possible for the assembly, which is master of its domain, to pass a motion or a temporary standing order or a standing standing order that would say, require a vaccination or a rapid test to enter the chamber?” Yes they can, ”he said.

“Right now there is nothing in our rules that would require it, and the President cannot set rules unilaterally. “

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Earlier this week, the NDP called for a meeting of the membership services committee to implement a requirement that all MPs and staff be vaccinated.

The opposition says that anyone who is not vaccinated should not be allowed in, and that MPs and employees who refuse to provide proof of vaccination would be subject to unpaid leave.

The committee can only make recommendations, Cooper said, but the assembly itself should vote to create the formal rule.

NDP Edmonton South MP Thomas Dang calls for mandatory vaccination of MPs during a press conference at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on Friday, October 1, 2021.
NDP Edmonton South MP Thomas Dang calls for mandatory vaccination of MPs during a press conference at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on Friday, October 1, 2021. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

The NDP is also pushing Kenney to follow Ontario and Saskatchewan, where unvaccinated MPs were told they had to leave the government caucus to sit as independents.

“It’s time to send a very clear message that if you refuse to get the vaccine, there is no room for you in the government caucus,” NDP Deputy House Leader Thomas Dang said on Friday. , adding that all 24 NDP MPs and 30 staff members had been vaccinated. .

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In a statement Friday, Kenney’s Acting Press Secretary Harrison Fleming said “the government House leader is working with the Legislature to ensure this fall session can go smoothly. security, ”but did not respond to questions about whether Kenney would be ready to kick unvaccinated. Deputies out of caucus or how many UCP deputies are currently vaccinated.

On Thursday, Kenney said the government was studying mandatory vaccinations or proof of negative tests for all MPs and staff, but added that there were constitutional issues that needed to be addressed.

“It’s a long-standing legal principle that you can’t bar an elected member from entering the chamber,” Kenney said.

Eric Adams, associate dean of the University of Alberta Law School, said the legislature is subject to parliamentary privilege which gives it the ability to define its own rules and procedures with which the courts cannot interfere .

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“I do not believe that the rules and procedures designed to ensure the security of the legislative space and in accordance with broader public health rules can be seen as undermining democracy in a way which would have any constitutional weight or merit.” , did he declare. noted.

Robert Hawkes, partner at Calgary law firm JSS Barristers, said human rights law protects an MP with a legitimate reason not to be able to get the vaccine and MPs also cannot be prevented to represent their constituents.

Either way, he said, any warrant could still go ahead if it included some form of reasonable accommodation, like appearing through Zoom or agreeing to separate those who are not vaccinated from others.

“You can raise these human rights and Charter issues and questions of parliamentary privilege while believing that society would be better off if we all got vaccinated,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Cooper says discussions are underway as to whether the legislature and the federal building will be subject to the province’s vaccine passport program requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test for members of the general public. .

The justice and infrastructure departments, the sheriff’s office and the president’s office all control the different components of the buildings.

Cooper said discussions revolve around whether the ability to visit the buildings is considered “essential,” thereby exempting them from the passport program.

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Twitter.com / ashleyjoannou

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Supreme Court upholds Ontario law that downsized Toronto council during election

Municipal governments have no constitutional status, and the majority have concluded that unwritten constitutional principles cannot be used as a basis for invalidating a law.

“Subject to charter , the province has “absolute and unfettered legal power” to legislate with respect to municipalities, “wrote Chief Justice Richard Wagner and Justice Russell Brown on behalf of the majority, which included Justices Michael Moldaver, Suzanne Côté and Malcolm Rowe. “And this Court cannot grant constitutional status to a third order of government” when the words of the Constitution read in context do not. (Baier, para. 39).

” Contrary to Reference to Provincial Court Judges, therefore, there is no textual basis for an underlying constitutional principle that would confer constitutional status on municipalities or municipal elections. “

The dissenting judges concluded that the timing of the legislation – within two months of election day in Toronto – infringed free speech rights, and that unwritten constitutional principles may in fact serve to invalidate the legislation.

“The complete overhaul of the electoral process in the midst of an election was unprecedented in Canadian history,” Judge Rosalie Abella wrote on behalf of the minority, including Justices Andromache Karakatsanis, Sheilah Martin and Nicholas Kasirer.


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Women who participate in direct polls face restrictions

ISLAMABAD: Limited political exposure, gender biases in male-dominated political parties, and discrimination in providing development funds were among the main reasons that prevented women from constituting their geographic constituencies to participate in direct elections.

This was noted here during a workshop, during which leaders of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Assembly (PAKP) and Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) called for political and electoral reforms to ensure a equitable representation of women. Speaking at the experience sharing workshop for women legislators of the two assemblies, GBLA President Syed Amjad Ali Zaidi and PAKP Vice President Mahmood Jan pledged to make the assembly environment conducive to women legislators .

Organized by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability and Free and Fair Election Network (TDEA-FAFEN), the workshop was part of the Women Leadership Development program to help women legislators with reserved seats run for upcoming general seat elections. GBLA President Syed Amjad Ali Zaidi recalled the difficulties faced by women politicians during election campaigns.

He called on them to gain influence with their political parties, civil society, local communities and the media in order to improve their chances of running for general seats. GBLA Vice-President Nazeer Ahmad Advocate assured his support for the creation of a women’s parliamentary group within the GBLA. Praising their efforts, he stressed the need for sustained interaction between sister legislatures to strengthen parliamentary standards in the region of Great Britain.

KP Assembly Deputy Speaker Mahmood Jan acknowledged the struggle that women legislators with reserved seats face in carrying out their legislative duties. Reaffirming his support, he said structural reforms were needed to improve the representation of women in general seats.

Discussing the struggle of women in the election campaign, lawmakers said that limited political exposure, gender biases in male-dominated political parties and discrimination in the provision of development funds were among the main reasons preventing women to build their geographic constituencies to participate in direct elections. They urged political and parliamentary leaders to play a role in creating an enabling environment where women can realize constitutional guarantees of non-discrimination on the basis of gender in all spheres of life.

TDEA Managing Director Shahid Fiaz underscored the adoption of a holistic approach to mainstreaming women’s policy to address structural, behavioral, institutional and personal issues that hinder women’s path to political power. . Recognizing the role of women in reserved seats in the development of pro-women legislation, he reminded participants that the drafters of the Constitution intended to reserve seats as a measure to bring women into the mainstream. dominant policy. workshop. In addition, six women legislators i represented the GBLA.


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Salvadoran judges ousted seek redress in international tribunal

In El Salvador, the populist president, Nayib Bukele, is dismissing judges by the dozen, including the five members of the Constitutional Court. He says he’s trying to root out corruption. Critics fear he seeks to remove democratic constraints from his autocratic regime.

But now that the highest courts are in the hands of President Bukele’s allies, there is nothing the ousted judges can do but seek international justice. They did so, appealing to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its associated tribunal.

Why we wrote this

When an authoritarian ruler flouts the law, who can judges turn to? The judges of the Constitutional Court of El Salvador, unlawfully dismissed en masse, turn to international law.

This tribunal has reinstated Latin American judges before, but not often, and only after years of investigation. As he rules on the case of El Salvador, the country’s democracy could be fatally injured, worry activists in San Salvador.

International pressure is mounting: the US government this month imposed sanctions on new judges who replaced illegally dismissed Constitutional Court judges. But the IACHR “must work quickly”, declares a human rights defender, because Mr. Bukele “is on the way to a dictatorship”.

San Salvador, Salvador

The five legitimate judges of the Constitutional Court of El Salvador, among the last bastions of democracy in their country, were in embarrassment.

The judges were unlawfully sacked last May by a legislature loyal to populist President Nayib Bukele, so their normal remedy for redress would be… the Constitutional Court. But now that the Legislature had filled the bench with pro-government judges, they could hardly expect a fair hearing.

Thus, in an unusual gesture, the ousted judges appeal to international justice, in the form of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). It’s a long way, but a lot is hanging on to their movement, says Katya Salazar, executive director of the Latin America-focused Due Process of Law Foundation, based in Washington, DC.

Why we wrote this

When an authoritarian ruler flouts the law, who can judges turn to? The judges of the Constitutional Court of El Salvador, unlawfully dismissed en masse, turn to international law.

President Bukele is “on the road to dictatorship. He has already broken democratic rules, ”warns Ms. Salazar. The IACHR “must work quickly”.

Judicial independence is under attack by authoritarian rulers across Latin America. In recent months, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has attempted (but failed) to extend the tenure of a Supreme Court judge in defiance of the country’s constitution, Guatemala’s attorney general has most dismissed The country’s top anti-corruption prosecutor and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has threatened to stop complying with Supreme Court rulings if one of its judges does not resign.

In El Salvador, the new judges of the Constitutional Court are already transforming the political landscape. Hours after their predecessors filed their petition with the IACHR, the new tribunal ruled that President Bukele – Latin America’s first millennial president – could run for two consecutive terms, ignoring the explicit prohibition of such maneuver in the constitution.

Last weekend, the Supreme Court appointed nearly 100 new justices in a controversial judicial reform that forces magistrates to retire at age 60 or after 30 years of service and allows the Supreme Court of 15 judges to arbitrarily transfer judges to new jurisdictions.

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele delivers his annual address to the nation before Congress on June 1, 2021. He has alarmed pro-democracy activists with his aggression against the judiciary and hints that he could stand for re-election despite a ban constitutional.

“We hope that the inter-American system will respond quickly … because of the gravity that this represents, not only for the judges, but for the country and our democracy,” said Salvadoran judge Juan Antonio Durán, one of the few judges in attendance. exercise in having publicly criticized the Bukele government.

He was transferred from the capital, San Salvador, to a provincial court on September 26, in what he sees as reprisals against him.

The IACHR and its associated tribunal have succeeded in restoring judges in the past, such as in Honduras in 2015. But the judgment was not handed down until six years after the judges were unlawfully removed from their posts following a military coup.

“By the time the case is decided, the political, institutional and democratic situation may be completely different,” acknowledges Ariel Dulitzky, former deputy executive secretary of the IACHR who is now director of the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas. .

Thus, Mr. Durán and his fellow judges are looking for other ways to put pressure on the Bukele administration, including appeals to the American embassy.

Earlier this month, the US State Department added illegally appointed Salvadoran Constitutional Court judges to Engel’s list of corrupt and undemocratic Central American officials. The list is named after Eliot Engel, the former congressman who drafted legislation providing for travel bans and other sanctions, such as an asset freeze, for those listed.

“All efforts are important,” says Durán. “We took the legal route, both international and national, the diplomatic route, the political route and on the streets.”

José Cabezas / Reuters / File

People hold up a banner that reads “Bukele’s coup plotter” as they protest against the impeachment of Constitutional Court judges and the Attorney General by the Salvadoran Congress, in San Salvador, El Salvador, on May 2, 2021.

As judges and civil society activists in El Salvador pressure the Salvadoran government to restore democratic institutions, the case of the IACHR can bolster their efforts, says Dulitzky. Each step – hearings, country visits and reports – requires sensitization from judges and attracts renewed media attention, which can help garner support. Requiring the state to justify its position can sometimes lead to settlements and negotiations. An international court case can also reveal loopholes in governments and encourage dissidents to come forward.

“The process of the inter-American system is as important as the outcome,” says Dulitzky.

Meanwhile, President Bukele and his New Ideas Party continue to adopt new reforms. They argue that their changes to the justice system will rid the country of corruption, a burning issue for Salvadorans who have lost faith in the country’s two traditional parties after high-profile corruption scandals.

According to a May 2021 poll, nearly 80% of Salvadorans said they believe Mr Bukele is doing a good job after two years in office.

“Whoever has no money to pay a judge pays with a prison sentence,” complains Amadeo Lopez, a rural teacher and Bukele supporter. “What this president does is better than what others have done. “

Mr Bukele has become increasingly defensive to criticism since taking office in June 2019, and often uses his Twitter account to voice his grievances.

When US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Vice President Kamala Harris condemned the dismissal of the five Constitutional Court justices, he tweeted a message to “the international community” saying that “we are cleaning our house … and what no it’s none of your business ”.

This attitude does not bode well for respect for any decision of the IACHR, which is largely based on a government’s willingness to adhere to its international human rights commitments.

“The panorama is bleak,” says Astrid Valencia, Central America researcher at Amnesty International. “But that shouldn’t prevent the work from exposing, documenting and attracting the attention of key international players.”


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Exactly how SA politicians protected themselves from the ICAC

South Australia’s parliamentarians have opened a yawning legal loophole that could prevent the ICAC from investigating them for corruption and kill some investigations already underway. David Washington explains how.

Complex legislation aimed at transforming the way South Australia’s integrity agencies work was passed by Parliament last week at lightning speed, with the unanimous support of state politicians.

Some of the clauses have the potential to shield politicians from the operations of the ICAC Act and, as we will show, from the lesser but still significant stigma of a finding of misconduct.

While the author of the law, SA-Best MLC Frank Pangallo, says he was motivated by the desire to offer greater protection to those people who he believes have been over-outreached. ICAC, its legislation opened a new legal avenue for politicians to avoid corruption investigation.

These measures could also apply retrospectively in some cases, allowing politicians who may be under investigation at the moment to avoid further action.

Protection code

The Ombudsman made history this year, with the first-ever professional misconduct conviction against a Minister of State – the former Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Stephan Knoll.

However, this may never happen again because Parliament has added important caveats to the definition of misconduct.

Adding to the degree of difficulty for any agency to prove fault – which must relate to a violation of a code of conduct, of which there is none for MPs, only for ministers – the clause now emphasizes that the fault must be “intentional” and “serious”.

It is now perfectly normal to break the ministerial code of conduct – as long as you didn’t want to and, your honor, that was just a small misstep.

Signal the lawyers.

Special privileges

More importantly, the new ICAC law opened a new avenue of legal protection against corruption investigations for Members of Parliament that did not exist in previous legislation.

The relevant clause concerns parliamentary privilege and is so broad that it opens up almost comical legal defense possibilities for politicians and public officials.

The clause says this (new material is in italics):

Nothing in this Act affects the privileges, immunities or powers of the Legislative Council or the House of Assembly or of their committees or members. and the powers under this Act are not exercisable in relation to any matter to which parliamentary privilege applies.

Note the extraordinary breadth of the language.

The privilege covers debates in parliament and its committees, including statements made, documents tabled, evidence presented – the whole show – and means these matters cannot be used in court. The definition of privilege is also malleable – parliament itself is the final arbiter on questions of privilege.

The ICAC amendments take the concept to a whole new level.

A lawyer could drive a truck thanks to this clause. A whole fleet of trucks.

At best, this gives even a moderately qualified lawyer a whole new arsenal for waging legal skirmishes over any ICAC investigation of a politician.

At worst, it could be used to kill ICAC investigations on a wide range of issues.

For politicians and their lawyers, the sky is the limit.

As Deputy Parliamentary Counsel in South Africa, Carren Walker, puts it in this article: “The privileges of the House flow from the House and are ultimately bestowed by it. The Parliament of South Australia has not attempted to limit or define these privileges since the creation of Parliament in 1856. “

Let’s take a hypothetical example: if a member of Parliament fears in the future that he will be the subject of an ICAC investigation, he could file documents relating to the case. These documents would then become subject to parliamentary privilege. In view of the changes adopted by our politicians last week, then a lawyer could reasonably argue that the matter is beyond the scope of the ICAC because it concerns “a matter to which parliamentary privilege applies”.

Parliament could vote to limit the privilege if it knew what was going on – but given that the ICAC’s ability to comment publicly has been further restricted by this law, that is not guaranteed. Parliament has also not expressed a desire to do so on matters of privilege in the past.

Even if you reject this particular hypothetical scenario, given the wide range of parliamentary activities, a wide range of issues could be inadvertently brushed aside and beyond the reach of the ICAC.

This is an extraordinarily open legislative drafting text that obviously arms defense lawyers in a new way to attempt to move their political clients out of the reach of the ICAC.

Retrospective protection

This is the sharp end of legislative changes that could have immediate and concrete consequences.

The law potentially offers retrospective protection to politicians who are the subject of prosecution or potential prosecution as a result of an ICAC investigation.

The new ICAC will only be able to investigate corruption, not misconduct or maladministration. And the definition of corruption has been reduced, mainly, to bribery or corruption of public officials, threats or reprisals against public officials, abuse of public office, exigency or punishment. the requirement of benefits on the basis of public office and offenses related to appointment to public office.

All other offenses under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act, such as those relating to dishonesty, can no longer be investigated by the ICAC.

The means, the types of investigations which led to the indictment of a deputy and to two referrals to the Director of Public Prosecutions, for alleged abuse of travel allowances, would no longer be possible by the ICAC with all the powers and the status he once had. Other investigative bodies may do so, depending on how their powers are enshrined in the Act.

Additionally, it looks like existing investigations could be under a legal cloud when the new law takes effect in the coming weeks.

In the section relating to transitional provisions, the provisions of the old law remain in force for “any complaint or report” or any investigation opened before 25 August.

However, there is a caveat: the following article says that the new, broader definition of parliamentary privilege applies to this provision.

The blanket lien exemption discussed above has been made retrospective.

The documents relating to the travel allowances of the country’s deputies have been tabled in parliament, which means that they are now covered by the privilege.

We’re about to sink into a legal rabbit hole.

Fees paid

To top it off, if a Member of Parliament or Minister successfully uses their expensive QC to prevent any action by the ICAC through these new clauses, then you, the taxpayer, are guaranteed to pay for it.

Under the new law, any government employee or member of a board of directors, minister or deputy who has not been convicted of a criminal act constituting corruption in public administration now has a right enshrined in law to obtain reimbursement of “reasonable” legal costs. . They can even get a guaranteed interim payment before an investigation is finalized if it looks like they’re going to spend more than $ 100,000.

It’s easy to be sympathetic to public servants and others who have suffered financial hardship as a result of successfully fighting lawsuits, but for politicians this clause conveniently closes the loop of protecting their reputation and their interests. bank balances.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, it’s hard to find a local lawyer who is willing to speak publicly about the loopholes that were opened by Parliament’s swift rulings last week.

Conversely, the political, media and legal establishment of Adelaide is very comfortable with the limitation of the powers of the ICAC. Some politicians and lawyers are positively cheerful.

Director and professor of public policy at the Stretton Institute at the University of Adelaide, Adam Graycar, who has a particular interest in corruption, is ready to provide an independent perspective.

And he’s scathing.

“At the end of the day, what I think we have is a great protective screen for MPs,” he said. Daily.

“We already have the weakest ICAC in the country.

“We now have a liability deficit. “

By trying to move the pendulum away from the power of the ICAC, to slow down what it considers to be an overrun of the previous commissioner, the parliament took the opportunity to grant itself protections that are not open to any other member. from the community.

When it comes to liability protection, they are now – literally and figuratively – the most privileged class of people in South Australia.

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Awaiting a firm and strong verdict from the high court to preserve the sanctity of our democracy

On September 27, 2021, the last day of election propaganda, the BJP alleged that TMC workers heckled its national vice president, Dilip Ghosh, who had campaigned for BJP candidate in Bhabanipur, Priyanka Tibrewal. Also earlier, the party alleged that its employees were prevented by police personnel from campaigning near the residence of Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal and a TMC candidate from Bhavanipur. TMC workers also reportedly attacked a BJP street-corner meeting in Jadubabu market, in which South Calcutta Yuva Morcha party chairman Mukund Jha was injured and had to be admitted to hospital . In fact, it is reported that Mamata Banerjee herself used the words “Kutre” meaning Dogs for the BJP when attacking the Party.

These allegations having mostly been reported in the press cannot be dismissed as fictitious, as similar allegations were made by the BJP during the March-April elections to the West Bengal Assembly. Moreover, not only the BJP, but even the Indian National Congress and left-wing parties had also complained about being targeted and attacked by TMC workers. It should be noted that to investigate charges of murder, rape and looting of property, etc. after the March-April poll, the Kolkata High Court has now ordered an investigation by the CBI ASSEOIR.

In view of the prevailing situation, the Election Commission declared the three constituencies where exemption polls are underway as the sensitive and educated deployment of security forces in the three constituencies. In Bhabanipur, it is also alleged by the new president of the BJP of West Bengal, Sukanta Majumdar, that, seeing the ex-president of the BJP of West Bengal campaigning for Priyanka Tibrewal, the TMC, feeling pissed off, threatened him. electorate not to vote at the bye -election.

In a final move, the Election Commission knew it had asked the government of West Bengal to submit a report on the alleged incidents. It was also reported in the press that TMC workers had gheraoaded Dilip Ghosh and to disperse the crowd and to protect Dilip Ghosh, Dilip Ghosh’s security guards had to draw their pistols.

It is reported that the Election Commission asked the government of West Bengal to submit its report by 4:00 p.m. on September 27, 2021. Meanwhile, Dilip Ghosh, the national vice chairman of the BJP alleged that as of the day of the election A notification has been issued that workers in his party are attacked by workers in TMC. He said he himself was attacked. In view of these violent incidents, the BJP asked the electoral commission to cancel the exemption vote in Bhavanipur and to keep it in the future, when the situation normalizes. He also called for Article 144 to be promulgated until the end of the electoral process. He also called for central forces to be deployed and for CCTV cameras to be installed, linking them to the offices of the electoral commission. West Bengal BJP chief Shishir Bajoria alleged that 8 infidels who attacked Dilip Ghosh were the head of TMC, Madan Mitra’s men.

Besides Priyanka Tibrewal of BJP, other candidates for the Bhabanipur election include, among others, Srijib Biswas of CPI (M). Congress did not put forward any candidates, but Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary, Congress leader in West Bengal and also Congress leader in Lok Sabha, attacked the TMC and called the attacks on opposition leaders shameful. He also said that such attacks on opposition leaders are not good for a “healthy democracy”.

In the meantime, the high court in Kolkata did not accept Bhabanipur’s request to postpone Bhabanipur’s exemption vote and said the exemption vote would proceed according to schedule. However, at the same time, the High Court passed and registered strong restrictions against the chief secretary of the government of West Bengal for using the words “Constitutional requirement” in his written letter to the Election Commission. The Court also held that a Chief Secretary is an “official” and that his job is to perform his duties in accordance with the provisions set out in the law. It is not his responsibility to ensure that a particular person comes to power and that it is not necessary for him to say that there will be a “constitutional crisis” if a particular person does not. do not come to power.

The Court also held that a person who is not elected does not lead to a constitutional crisis. In such circumstances, another elected member may be appointed leader of the party and, later, be sworn in as chief minister.

In the March-April assembly elections, Mamata Banerjee, the current chief minister, was defeated by BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari. However, when she was elected leader of the party, she received the oath of chief minister. According to the Constitution, from the day she takes the oath of chief minister, she must be elected within six months to the assembly. As West Bengal does not have a legislative council, this is the only way for it to enter the assembly and become chief minister. A member of her party elected in Bhabanipur left her seat for Mamata Banerjee, the seat from which she intends to enter the Assembly. As his chances of occupying the post of chief minister depend on his election, the by-election of Bhabanipur has grown in importance. She naturally made every effort to get herself elected from Bhabanipur.

To secure the defeat of Mamata Banerjee, the BJP fielded a team of 80 leaders on the last day of the campaign. TMC has also involved dozens of its leaders for this purpose. clashes between supporters and workers of the two parties were therefore inevitable. Although the BJP is fighting for defeat, as such it is not for prestige. However, for Mamata Banerjee, it is a struggle to safeguard her prestige. A loud spectacle therefore pissed off TMC workers, leading to clashes with BJP leaders and workers. Most of these clashes are said to have been started by Congressional workers from Trinamul. It should be noted that the Election Commission also took note of these clashes and asked the government of West Bengal to submit a report by September 27, 2021 at 4 p.m.

To understand the bigger picture in Bhabanipur, the sequence of events that led the court to adopt strong restrictions against the chief secretary of the government of West Bengal must be examined:

  1. Mamata Banerjee loses the election to BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari,
  2. Mamata Banerjee was sworn in as chief minister as head of the Trinamul Congress,
  3. A member of his party who was elected from Bhabanipur leaving him the seat,
  4. Mamata Banerjee urging the Election Commission to hold an exemption vote in Bhabanipur,
  5. Sending a delegation to the Election Commission to urge it to declare an exemption vote for the siege of Bhabanipur,
  6. Sending a letter through the Chief Secretary to the Election Commission suggesting that an exemption vote be held in Bhabanipur and expressing concern that, if not held, it could lead to a constitutional crisis,
  7. Election Commission announcing September 30, 2021 as the date for the elections in Bhabanipur to take place, taking note of the letter received from the Chief Secretary of the Government of West Bengal.

Taking into account various factors, including:

–Strong restrictions adopted by the High Court against the Chief Secretary of the Government of West Bengal,

–Complaints filed by parties like the Indian National Congress and leftist parties in addition to the BJP against the Trinamul Congress,

–Instructions to the government of West Bengal by the electoral commission to submit a report, taking cognizance of complaints from the BJP, Congress and left-wing parties,

The High Court will not be expected too much to take a firm and strong position on this matter and to take the necessary measures in the interest of preserving the sanctity of our democracy.



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Legislative assembly

By-elections in two Assembly constituencies in Karnataka to be held on October 30

In a press release issued on September 28, the Election Commission of India (ECI) provided the by-election schedule to three parliamentary constituencies and 30 Legislative Assembly constituencies across the country. Among these, by-elections for two Assembly constituencies in Karnataka, Sindgi and Hangal, will take place on October 30 and the count will take place on November 2. The by-elections were made necessary by the death of MC Managuli, the Janata Dal (secular) (JD-S) who represented the constituency of Sindgi in the district of Vijayapura, and CM Udasi, the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who represented the constituency of Hangal in the district of Haveri.

The by-elections are gaining in importance as they will be the first electoral test for Basavaraj Bommai of the BJP who was appointed chief minister of Karnataka in August. Bommai expressed confidence that the party will win. “The people are with us. The organization of the party is active even at the stand level. We will win in both ridings, ”he said.

The leaders of the two main opposition parties in Karnataka, the Indian National Congress and the JD (S), have also expressed confidence in their victory. Former JD (S) Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said: “We will run in both constituencies. Our party has a good base in both places and we will do everything to win. “

DK Shivakumar, Chairman of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC), said: “We have already finalized the candidate for a constituency. Once we have finalized the second candidate, we will pass the name on to the “high command”. Ashok Managuli was selected by Congress for the constituency of Sindgi. He is the son of MC Managuli and moved from JD (S) to Congress in February of this year.


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Second UCP MP publicly denounces Jason Kenney’s leadership

A second UCP caucus member publicly questions the leadership of Prime Minister Jason Kenney.

Angela Pitt, MP for Airdrie-East, was questioned by a reporter at an independent press conference on Tuesday whether she had confidence in Kenney’s leadership of the United Conservative Party.

“The answer to that question is no, I don’t. And I don’t think my constituents do either,” she said.

“However, I think there is a place for the grassroots to take charge of this type of decision. And that’s where it will be for now.”

Pitt’s statement came a week after Chestermere-Strathmore MP Leela Aheer said Kenney would have to step down.

Kenney was successful in delaying a vote of no confidence in a closed-door caucus meeting on Wednesday. The beleaguered UCP leader agreed to hold a leadership review in the spring, months earlier than the promised fall 2022 review.

Although the UCP caucus voted to remove Central Peace-Notley MP Todd Loewen and Cypress-Medicine Hat MP Drew Barnes over allegations of disloyalty last spring, Pitt and Aheer are still in the caucus. of the UCP.

Question hijacked by other deputies

Pitt was one of five MPs who joined a press conference with Free Alberta, an organization that advocates for a sovereign Alberta within the Canadian federation.

The initiative is led by former Wildrose MP Rob Anderson. Pitt, Aheer, Barnes, Loewen and Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MPs Nathan Cooper were all MPs for Wildrose before the party merged with the Progressive Conservatives in 2017 to form the UCP.

Free Alberta has released a strategy outlining how Alberta can achieve what it calls “provincial legislative sovereignty within Alberta”. He also advocates an end to equalization and an end to Albertans paying taxes to the federal government.

Pitt was joined at the virtual press conference by Barnes, Loewen, Cooper and Red Deer-South MPP Jason Stephan. Cooper is also the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

Cooper did not respond to questions as Anderson said he was only there as an observer. Stephan deflected questions about his take on Kenney’s suitability as a leader.

“I admire and respect the Prime Minister and the things he has accomplished. I do not agree with everything the Prime Minister has said or done,” said Stephan.

“My particular opinion of the Prime Minister doesn’t really matter. There will be a leadership review and I will have a voice like everyone else in the party.”

Free Alberta Strategy

A key element of its strategy is the passage of an Alberta Sovereignty Act that would allow the province to “refuse to apply any federal law or court order that infringes upon the provincial rights of Alberta, or which unfairly attacks the interests of the people of Alberta ”.

Free Alberta said the province should have its own banking system, EI system and Alberta revenue agency, which would claw back “equalization and net transfers confiscated by the federal government by collecting a portion of all federal tax revenues at source “.

The group also wants Alberta to appoint its own superior court judges.

Several elements of the strategy were pointed out by the Fair Deal Panel, which reported to the Government of Alberta last year.

They include the creation of a provincial police force to replace the RCMP and an Alberta pension plan.


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