As 2014 Special Senatorial Election Results Finally Emerge Ellen Loses ‘Majority’ in Senate

first_imgThe final results of the just ended Special Senatorial Election seem to foreshadow a steep journey ahead for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as many of her fellow partisans who fought unsuccessfully to maintain their incumbency in the Senate will no longer be around.Among the 12 senators that stood for reelection, only two return, causing the Executive Mansion to lose about seven strong confidants from the team which was considered “the engine of Madam Sirleaf’s legislative success story” on Capitol Hill.Even though senators Isaac W. Nyenabo, Frederick D.Cherue and Cletus S. Wortoson of Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Grand Kru counties, respectively, did not seek reelection, their absence from the Senate clearly indicates the difficult circumstances the President has to struggle with while trying to make new friends in an effort to replace them.Particularly for Senator Isaac Nyenabo, who now leads Liberia’s agenda at the level of Ambassador to the European Union (EU) and Brussels, Madam Sirleaf will certainly miss his skillfull navigation of the Legislature and ability to lobby to manipulate and achieve the interest of the President.Losing the three influential personalities may not pain the presidency so much as losing a stalwart and “diehard” supporter like Gbehzohngar M. Findley of Grand Bassa County.  Senator Findley, who served for the past several years as President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, collected 10,306 votes amounting to 36.3% from behind leader, Jonathan L. Kaipay who got 16,296 or 57.4%.  This could spell real “danger” for President Sirleaf’s legislative agenda, something which is greatly needed in order to revive an already staggering legacy before the end of her second and final term in 2017.Kaipay comes from the Liberty Party, an organization believed to share a ‘mutual window’ with the Unity Party regime; and with that, many believe that winning him to the President’s side may just be a matter of time.With the arrival of pretty ‘unfamiliar’ but critical faces in the Liberian Senate for the third sitting of the 53rd Legislature, Madam Sirleaf is struggling to establish herself amongst the new senators-elect before they take seats in January 2015. According to reliable sources, the President’s Office has been engaged with placing calls to  few senators-elect and having lengthy discussions, while the National Elections Commission (NEC) has been chased for contact details of other senators-elect with whom the President does not have close interaction.Lofa County Senator Sumo G. Kupee, formerly of Unity Party, was reportedly ill-treated by UP, forcing him to seek refuge in the People’s Unification Party (PUP).  He lost to Stephen J. H. Zargo, 6,288 to 12,797.As for Maryland County John A. Ballout, one of the President’s closest confidants, who could not retain his seat, went down to former Superintendent Gbleh-bo Brown 877 to 5,192 votes. Even though UP could not give him their support, but the former UP Senator Jonathan J. Banney, a friend of Madam Sirleaf, could not stop Representative Francis Paye of National Democratic Congress (NDC) from clinching victory with 1,959 votes of the 9,176 votes cast.Margibi Senator Clarice Jah couldn’t do much to showcase her dominance as the Liberty Party seat was surrendered to new comer, Womba J. Tornonlah 7,893 to 1,967. Senator Jah chaired the Senate Executive Committee, a position she used to get closer to Madam Sirleaf.However, the Executive Committee position might likely return to presidential control with the arrival of Daniel Naatehn, who beat incumbent Theodore Momo 3,962 to 1,431 of votes cast.Interestingly, UP chairman Varney G. Sherman secured victory in Grand Cape Mount County with 13,651 votes, thereby placing him in a comfortable position to lead the Senate as President Pro-Tempore.The charisma is there, but old senators are skeptical of his alignment with Madam Sirleaf and believe offering him the job might be a replica of Findley, who was many times threatened with removal based on his ties with the Chief Executive.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


first_imgDonegal’s Christy Toye tries to hold on to the ball as he is knocked to the group at the O Donnell Park. Photo Brian McDaid/CristephDonegal 2-11 Monaghan 0-10 Donegal gained revenge for their Ulster final defeat with a comfortable win over Monaghan in their National Football League Division 2 clash  in Letterkenny.Jim McGuinness’s side got off to a great start in front of a large crowd as they seek revenge for their Ulster final defeat by today’s visitors to O’Donnell Park. A wonder goal from Odhran Mac Niallias and a fisted effort to the net by Colm McFadden after he was brilliantly set up by Dermot Molly have put the Donegal men in a comfortable position at half time.McGuinness introduced Neil Gallagher, Darach O’Connor and Patrick McBrearty for Kavanagh, Molloy and Toye at the start of the second half and the move paid dividends straight away as MacNiallais fired over to make make the scoreline 2-05 to 0-04.Both sides exchanged scores with Murphy and McBrearty among the point scorers before Donegal ran out comfortable winners on a scoreline of 2-11 to 0-10.NFL DIV 2: DONEGAL DELIGHT LARGE CROWD TO SEE OFF MONAGHAN was last modified: March 2nd, 2014 by johngerardShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:2DefeatdivisiondonegalFootballLeagueletterkennyMonaghanNationallast_img read more

In the digital age consumers increasingly expect

first_imgIn the digital age, consumers increasingly expect new services that meet their needs and enhance their experiences. As banking becomes more commoditized, innovation is key to remaining competitive, and banks are beginning to realize that collaboration is the fastest way to innovate. Innovating internally is a slow process, but the rise of low-code development tools in conjunction with a Platform-as-a-Service approach is giving banks a new way to create more immediate value for customers by utilizing the skills of a new type of developer: the mashup coder.Traditional developers are the architects of the core infrastructure in place at most banks today. They are typically from computer science backgrounds and the coding they do is complex in nature. As maintenance of legacy systems consumes 80 percent of banks’ IT budgets, the demands on these developers leaves them little time to innovate. If they are expected to create new applications on top of legacy, progress will inevitably be slow.Mashup coders, on the other hand, who rely on open APIs, web apps and open data sets, are the agile, thriving inhabitants of low-code platforms. The skills needed to create applications in these environments are less traditional in a development sense. Mashup coders don’t need to be from heavy science backgrounds, nor do they need the technical knowledge necessary to build out core infrastructure. The key attribute they possess, which allows them to innovate at pace, is the ability to see the potential of combining data sets and functionality to create new applications. Data directing developmentLegacy systems are full of valuable transactional data, but for many years banks have not been able to use this data in a way that services their customers. With a platform-based approach, banks can open up their systems to trusted mashup coders via open APIs, allowing them to combine proprietary data sets with external data. An example of this might see a mashup coder combine transactional pattern data with weather pattern data, creating new insights about customer behavior. This might then be used to feed a new app that provides data-driven recommendations to customers.  Mashup coders can use any ready-made smart elements incorporated in low-code platforms to create new, customer-orientated apps. The use of standardized core components means less source code needs to be written. Mashup coders can readily combine components just by dragging and dropping them, helping them create new applications more quickly. Just as services such as LinkedIn provide endpoints from which mashup coders can pull data and embed it into their applications, low-code platforms allow banks’ data endpoints to be used in a similar way. Freedom to innovateKey concerns for full stack developers when building applications from scratch is that they must be security and regulation compliant. But with a platform-based approach, these concerns are no longer a block to innovation. A mashup coder creating applications in a low-code ecosystem does not need to be regulated by the relevant financial authorities – it is the banks who bear the regulatory burden. As mashup coders work with the components created for them by their full stack counterparts, their applications should be fully compliant by default. Just as Zoopla can be confident that Google Maps is secure and compliant with relevant regulations when using Google Maps on its website, mashup coders can work in a similar way with the available components in a low-code environment. In turn, banks can deliver more immediate value for customers – without compromising mission-critical systems, which will continue to evolve at a slower pace.Aligning development strategiesBank legacy systems are often decades old and have been gradually built upon and upgraded over the years using new file formats, programming languages, and standards. The consequence of this approach has left banks with a complex framework of isolated solutions which they must contend with when they want to create new applications. Starting with an application infrastructure that is both dynamic and modular is one way challenger banks can avoid the problems of legacy. But while they may have the upper hand when it comes to innovation, as they are able to take advantage of advances in computing power and the availability of more mature, off-the-shelf components, they will start to face the same legacy challenges as they scale out – unless they think in a more agile way.Banks realize this and are now defaulting to a two-speed innovation model. While in-house development focuses on making core systems more dynamic, future-proofing them so they are able to adapt to new advances in technology, innovation from the outside takes the form of collaboration with smaller, more agile entities. As collaboration becomes the standard for innovation in banking, banks should be looking to create environments that facilitate this. Low-code platforms support this collaboration by giving third parties access to data which has previously been locked within legacy systems. If banks are serious about delivering more immediate value to customers, they need to think about how they can attract this new breed of mashup developers and incentivize them to deliver the innovation and service digital customers crave in the digital age.last_img read more