Windies embrace fans in fun day MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC): West Indies players brought smiles to the faces of thousands of fans as they participated in the annual Family Day at the G event at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday. The day of fun was geared toward young fans and over 4,000 turned up at the iconic venue to be part of the festivities. The Australian team also participated as players signed autographs and took photographs. “It was a fantastic event for the players and the fans,” West Indies team spokesman Philip Spooner said. “The players were all delighted to see so many cricket lovers, young and old, from all walks of life and from several parts of the world, who came out to see the training session, and then participate in the day’s activities. “It was a great day with excellent weather at the MCG, as we build up to the Test match this weekend.” Father blocks player’s transfer to Liverpool BELGRADE, Serbia (AP): Marko Grujic may not be signing a seven million euros ($7.6 million) contract with Liverpool after all. The reason: His father keeps his passport. Red Star Belgrade, the 19-year-old Serbian midfielder’s club, has reportedly agreed on a five-year deal and he was to travel to Liverpool for medical check-ups. Grujic’s father, however, says he should remain at Red Star until the end of the season when his price will be bigger. “His passport is with me and he is not going anywhere,” Goran Grujic told Belgrade media. He accused Red Star management of forcing his son to leave because of the club’s deep financial problems. Red Star says in a statement yesterday that if it doesn’t get the funds from Grujic’s transfer, the club will collapse financially. Smith lifts Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy SYDNEY, Australia (CMC): Australia Test captain, Steve Smith, has captured the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy after being honoured as the ICC Cricketer of the Year for 2015. Smith, 26, was the leading run-scorer in Tests during the period under consideration, compiling 1,734 runs from 13 Tests at an average of 82.57, with seven centuries and six half-centuries. He also gathered 1,249 runs at an average of just under 60, with four centuries and eight half-centuries from 26 one-day internationals. “Given that there are so many great players around the world, I’m incredibly honoured to receive these awards,” Smith said. “While team success is always my number-one motivation, awards like this are very special. I’m thrilled and very proud to receive them.” Meanwhile, South African AB de Villiers was voted ICC ODI Player of the Year, while fellow countryman Faf du Plessis won the Twenty20 International Performance of the Year for his 119 off 56 balls against West Indies in the second Twenty20 in Johannesburg last January.
This newspaper, the Daily Observer, has often complained of the seeming lack of coordination within the Liberian government.The erudite counselor and human rights activist, Tiawan Gongloe, acknowledged as much when, in an article that appeared on the back page of yesterday’s Daily Observer, he said that the absence of both President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai, from the country at the same time “demonstrates a lack of coordination and makes the country vulnerable and insecure.”Those were strong words. But Cllr. Gongloe would have leveled a far stronger criticism at the government had he realized that there were two more alarming absences. Both the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, constitutionally the second in the line of succession after the Vice President, and the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, Armah Jallah, are also out of the country!And who was left in charge? Well, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, whom the President left in charge this time—an assignment to which she has appointed him on numerous occasions.But! If anything happened in Liberia, Defense Minister Samukai would not be constitutionally eligible to accede to the Presidency because after the Speaker, the next in line to the succession is the Dean of the Cabinet, who is the Foreign Minister. ButLiberia has no Foreign Minister at this time, since the resignation a few weeks ago of Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan in order to seek political office in the 2017 presidential and general elections. Yes, there is an Acting Foreign Minister in the person of Mr. B. Elias Shoniyin, whose Nigerian-born father, according to unconfirmed reports, is a naturalized Liberian.It may be recalled that in December 1930, when in the midst of the Fernando Po Crisis, President Charles D.B. King and his Vice President, Allen Yancy, resigned, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Johnnie N. Lewis, was away in Sinoe County.With no airplane available to transport him immediately to Monrovia, the Joint Session of Legislature decided to install Secretary of State Edwin J. Barclay as President of Liberia.In the absence of the President, Vice President, Speaker and Senate Pro-Tempore, would the Legislature feel comfortable naming the Acting Secretary of State as President of Liberia?We give this analysis to underscore the critical importance of coordination in any government. In the Executive Branch of the Liberian government, there is one particular office that is responsible for coordination, and that is the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs (MOS). This office should definitely know of the travel schedules of both the President and the Vice President, and all the key players in the Executive Branch—the Cabinet and heads and deputy heads of all state enterprises. Did the MOS know that the Vice President was traveling to the United States and how long he would be away?The MOS surely must maintain the yearly travel schedule of the President of Liberia. This schedule should be regularly updated and coordinated with that of the Vice President so as to ensure that at no time will these two top officials of government be away from the country at the same time. The reason is the matter of constitutional succession. That is what vice presidents are for—to stand by in case something happens to the President. When President E.J. Roye was assassinated in 1871, his Vice President, James Shivring Smith, succeeded him. On July 23, 1971, when President W.V.S. Tubman died in the London Clinic following prostate surgery, Vice President William R. Tolbert was sworn in as President of Liberia. V.P Tolbert had been advised not to leave the capital until it was conclusively confirmed that President Tubman’s surgery was successful. But as soon as the Vice President learned that the surgery was successfully done, he left Monrovia for his Bellefanai farm in Bong County, about 140 miles into the interior. But when later that morning things turned for the worse and President Tubman bled to death, the Vice President was immediately sent for. He arrived in Monrovia later that evening and was escorted to the Cabinet Room of the State Department (now Foreign Ministry). There, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Richard A. Henries, swore Tolbert in as President of Liberia.We think it is a dangerous thing for the President and the Vice President to be away from the country at the same time. Serious constitutional issues are involved here. This should not have happened and should never happen again. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)