LNP, Political Parties Promise Peaceful Elections

first_imgRepresentatives of 22 political parties have pledged their commitment to work with officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) for the smooth conduct of the October presidential and legislative elections.The parties made the commitment over the weekend at a stakeholders’ dialogue sponsored by the LNP ahead of the pending elections.The LNP, according to a statement, is currently touring the country with its “Yes to Peace, No violence” campaign as a means of reducing possible tensions during the electioneering period.A statement from the LNP said representatives of political parties also lauded the police for undertaking such an initiative, especially when the country is set to make a historic transition.Participants therefore called on the police authorities to create an environment that will be feasible for all political actors during the election period. The parties’ representatives said to access the police will further reaffirm the confidence which the opposition political parties and other elections stakeholders have built in the security sector to hold violence-free elections.The dialogue, which was characterized by frank exchanges, focused on how the October elections can be conducted void of violence.Coalition for Democratic Change representative Mulbah Morlu described the event as ‘unprecedented’ and as such, his party will remain engaged with the police to see that the upcoming election is violence free.Also, ruling Unity Party’s chairman for governmental affairs, Isaac Manner, embraced the move by the LNP and described it as “a good step for the country’s democracy.”Mr. Manner called on his colleagues at the forum to remain engaged with the police and avoid acts that will hinder the transition process.Other participants meanwhile reminded the police of their constitutional obligation to the country and its people, beginning with the protection of all, irrespective of party affiliation.They argued that Liberia’s political crisis has been the result of state institutions being used at the disadvantage of others.Police Inspector General Gregory Coleman underscored the importance of police-political parties’ relationship, especially during the crucial electioneering period.Coleman said as part of LNP’s commitment to prevent potential crises during the elections, the LNP will assign three police officers to each of the certified political parties.He said the assigned officers will serve as liaisons between the LNP and the party officials.He told the gathering that the LNP was a state property, and as such, it will be accessible to all regardless of their status.He informed leaders of political parties that the LNP as a security institution will do all it can to guard the process without fear or favor.“As Chief of Police, my primary focus is to preside over an election that will be free of violence and intimidation,” IG Coleman assured.He called on the parties to operate within the framework of the law by adhering to the election law.Representatives from the embassies of Sweden, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Lebanon and the UNDP were in attendance. In separate remarks, they described the dialogue as “fruitful and healthy” for Liberia’s democracy, the statement reported.Peace Ambassador William Tolbert lauded participants for committing themselves to hold peaceful elections.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Forced to resign as top Montreal cop Pichet hired in subarctic mining

first_imgMontreal’s former police chief, who was forced out of the job following allegations officers fabricated evidence and targeted rivals with internal investigations during his tenure, is becoming the top manager of the subarctic mining town of Fermont, Que.Philippe Pichet was suspended with pay as the city’s top cop in December 2017 after an external investigation uncovered a climate of warring clans, mistrust and vengeance within the police force.He tried to sue to get his job back but relented, and renounced his claim to the post in June 2018. Pichet remains under contract with the city, however. And Mayor Valerie Plante kept him on the force as chief inspector.Martin St-Laurent, mayor of Fermont, said Pichet’s knowledge about handling complex files impressed the hiring committee. Pichet was chosen among 18 candidates who applied for the job, the mayor said in an interview Friday.“I think he wanted to have the possibility to live something new,” St-Laurent said, regarding Pichet’s motivations for moving to the one of the coldest and northernmost towns in the province.Attempts to reach Pichet for an interview were unsuccessful.Fermont’s climate is so harsh and unfriendly its downtown core is essentially a giant wall. The 1.3-kilometre structure, known as the “screen wall,” extends around the urban centre and protects it from the winds of the north. The wall is unique in North America and was modelled after a similar design from the Swedish mining town, Svappavaara.“There are plenty of outdoor activities here,” St-Laurent said. “We have all the services. Fermont is pretty developed. Pretty modern.”But it’s cold. “Last year the first snowfall came in late September and didn’t melt until the spring,” he said.One of Pichet’s major files in his new role as director general will be to manage the expansion of one of Fermont’s two mining companies, which provide the main economic base to the town of roughly 3,000 people.Pichet had a rough go as Montreal’s police chief. Appointed to the role by former mayor Denis Coderre in 2015, Pichet inherited a police force with warring clans and a highly dysfunctional culture.The scandal that led to his ouster began when two ex-police officers went public claiming they were forced out of their jobs after trying to blow the whistle on corruption inside the force.Ex-officers Jimmy Cacchione and Giovanni Di Feo alleged members of the police’s internal affairs department embellished or fabricated evidence against lower-ranking officers who tried to report wrongdoing or who fell out of favour.In response, Quebec’s public security department took the city’s police service under administrative supervision — a kind of tutelage — and assigned ex-deputy justice minister Michel Bouchard to investigate.His November 2017 report concluded the internal investigations unit — tasked with probing complaints against police from the public and from within the force — protected certain officers while targeting others.Some cases were hidden from prosecutors to avoid criminal investigations, other cases were opened against officers, seemingly without any reason, he said. Investigations were alleged to have been launched “on suspicions that were not justified, or worse, for oblique reasons or biases tied to vengeance,” Bouchard wrote.Youssef Amane, city spokesman, did not return several requests for comment regarding Pichet’s new position.Pichet is being loaned to Fermont by the city of Montreal, who will continue paying his salary, said Mayor St-Laurent. Fermont will send Montreal the equivalent of what the town would pay its top manager — $132,000 plus an extra 12 per cent, as Pichet is not participating in Fermont’s pension fund.Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Issa challenger Colonel Doug Applegate comments on retirement

first_img KUSI Newsroom, January 11, 2018 KUSI Newsroom Posted: January 11, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Darrell Issa, Doug Applegate FacebookTwittercenter_img Updated: 4:03 PM Issa challenger Colonel Doug Applegate comments on retirement With Congressman Darrell Issa announcing his retirement, changes will be coming to the 49th district seat in San Diego’s North County. Retired Colonel Doug Applegate is one candidate running for the seat and at this point would have to be considered the front runner. Applegate lost to Issa by less than two thousand votes in 2016. last_img read more