ECONEC delegation with ECOWAS Spec Rep in Guinea Amb Alapini & development partnersIn continuation of its electoral mid-term follow-up Mission to Guinea, the ECONEC delegation led by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu met on Monday, 11 June, with the ECOWAS Special Representative in the country Ambassador Liliane Alapini, representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and development partners, according to a press release.At the talks with the interlocutors including representatives of the EU, USAID (United States Agency for International Development), US, German and Japanese embassies, the American National Democratic Institute (NDI), Guinea’s Independent Electoral Commission, CENI, and three CSOs, Cellule Balai Citoyen, PCUD and CNOSCG, Prof. Yakubu, ECONEC governing board President and Chair of Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), called for sustained political dialogue, effective communication and structured engagements between CENI and Guinea’s other political stakeholders including development partners.Ambassador Alapini commended ECONEC for working hand in hand with the ECOWAS Commission towards deepening democracy in the region by supporting credible and peaceful polls.On the agenda of the consultations were issues from the disputed results of Guinea’s last February’s municipal elections and areas of further support by ECOWAS, ECONEC, and development partners.Also discussed was the implementation of recommendations of ECOWAS Observation Mission (EOM) to Guinea’s 2015 presidential poll and those in the October 2016 Political Accord, including the restructuring of CENI and other legal and political reforms ahead of the country’s 2019 parliamentary vote and the 2020 presidential election.Prof. Yakubu said that structured engagements would enable the articulation of needs, political inclusive and focus support on the entrenchment of best practices in the electoral process that will contribute to sustained credible elections and consolidation of democracy in the country.The development partners and CSOs’ representatives had harped on the need for the implementation of the recommendations of the ECOWAS EOM’s in the aftermath of the 2015 presidential vote and those contained in the 2016 Political Accord signed by the ruling and opposition parties with ECOWAS, UN, EU, Francophonie organization, and the US and French envoys as observers, the release concluded.Some of the recommendations include reform of CENI to make it more technical and professional, as well as legal and political reforms for a level playing field and sociopolitical climate.Prof. Yakubu pledged that the Mission will reflect in its report to the relevant authorities, areas of support to address the identified needs and strengthen the capacity of CENI Guinea in line with ECONEC’s mandate to empower its members to deliver credible and peaceful elections and contribute to the consolidation of democracy in the ECOWAS region.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The tournament, among the best in Southern California, draws 32 teams and hosts games at three sites. The tournament concludes Monday with games at South Gate Park and Downey High School. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Saturday’s games: At South Gate Park, (4 fields), 9520 Hildreath Ave., South Gate: 9 a.m., Winners bracket championship round: Kennedy vs. Santa Fe; Katella vs. Downey; Torrance vs. Garden Grove; Gahr vs. San Pedro. 1 p.m., Winners bracket consolation round: S. Torrance vs. Bishop Montgomery; N. Torrance vs. St. Matthias; Santa Monica vs. Sylmar; JSerra vs. Villa Park. At Downey High School (2 fields), 11040 Brookshire, Downey: 9 a.m., Consolation championship bracket: Norwalk vs. Downey Calvary Chapel; Carson vs. Huntington Beach. 1 p.m., Consolation bracket: Glenn vs. Fremont, Cerritos vs. Artesia. At Rio San Gabriel Park (2 fields), 9612 Ardine St., Downey: 9 a.m., Consolation championship bracket: Palos Verdes vs. Westchester; Paramount vs. Chino. 1 p.m., Consolation bracket: St. Joseph vs. St. Bernard; W. Torrance vs. Redondo Union. L.A. City power San Pedro High, tournament host Downey and the San Gabriel Valley League’s Gahr are among the eight teams still undefeated as the Downey Classic high school softball tournament resumes Saturday morning. The tournament, which began last weekend, continues with games Saturday and concludes with winners bracket and consolation bracket championships on Monday.
0Shares0000Lionel Messi and Barcelona begin their European adventure at home to PSV © AFP/File / GABRIEL BOUYSMADRID, Spain, Sep 17 – Almost exactly an hour after the final whistle, Barcelona posted a tweet: “Congratulations to @realmadrid for winning the 2017/18 Champions League title.”Underneath some fans demanded the message be deleted immediately while others claimed it as a classy touch. “We are rivals, not enemies”, one wrote. Meanwhile, Barcelona’s key players – Lionel Messi, Gerard Pique, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta – stayed quiet. Some had recently posted pictures of themselves surrounded by their families, with the World Cup just around the corner.But from the words that have been spoken since, and despite the club’s stately message, it is clear Madrid’s triumph hit home. Barcelona had failed and this made it even harder to bear.“Obviously it’s infuriating (for us),” Suarez said in an interview with RAC1 earlier this month. “Madrid have won the Champions League in each of the last three years. They have made history and it’s a thorn in our side.”Chiefly, perhaps, because Barca will feel they were better than Madrid last season.They blew them away in a 3-0 flurry at the Santiago Bernabeu and then played with 10 men for the second half at the Camp Nou and still drew 2-2. They even led with a man fewer until Gareth Bale’s late equaliser.They also finished an enormous 17 points clear of them to win La Liga, a gap that admittedly swelled when Zinedine Zidane began prioritising games in Europe, but even by February, before the Champions League knock-outs kicked into gear, Barcelona were 16 ahead.A pattern has emerged in recent years that both clubs are keen to break. Barcelona dominate domestically, while Real Madrid reign in Europe.Barca have won seven out of the last 10 league titles, Madrid only two. Real have claimed four of the last five Champions League crowns, Barcelona the other one.But while Madrid’s victory over Liverpool was a final blow, it was the defeat to Roma, and the manner of it, that was the moment of realisation.– ‘Time to win’ –Throwing away a 4-1 lead by losing 3-0 in Italy was not perceived as just careless, it was unforgivable.“Without personality, without Messi and without any fight, Barca were shipwrecked at the Olimpico against an immensely superior team that lowered the Barca players from their artificial pedestal,” read Madrid’s daily newspaper AS the following morning.“We have to endure the pain,” said coach Ernesto Valverde. “There will be some tough days.”His team were stinging for the rest of the season, even as they completed the double by thrashing Sevilla to win the Copa del Rey.Before the match, reports had surfaced that Valverde could be sacked regardless of the result. After, the players were asked if victory made up for their Champions League exit. The prevailing answer was no.“It is an important trophy,” Suarez said. “But this does not hide what happened in Rome.”Motivation is one thing but shifting weight onto the Champions League will demand practical adjustments too.Valverde was accused last season of over-exerting his players in the league, particularly when it was clear it was won.Three days before the capitulation to Roma, the likes of Messi and Suarez were playing 90 minutes to beat 14th-placed Leganes.Valverde has indicated he will adapt. Ahead of their Group B opener at home to PSV on Tuesday, Sergio Busquets and Philippe Coutinho started as substitutes in Saturday’s win over Real Sociedad, even if both were needed before the end.Messi, who turned 31 in June, may also need to be preserved if he is to add a fifth Champions League success to his collection. Now captain, he appears hungrier than ever.“It’s time to win the Champions League,” Messi told Catalunya Radio earlier this month. “We’ve been knocked out in the quarter-finals three seasons in a row and maybe the last one was the worst of all because of the result and how the match was played.“I think we have to aim for that, as a club, as a team and as a collective. We have a spectacular squad and we can do it.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)