The Supreme Court of Liberia through Justice-in-Chambers Philip A.Z. Banks III has prohibited from taking office three more Senators-elect whom the National Elections Commission (NEC) declared winners.The Court’s Writs Of Prohibition were issued to Maryland, Grand Kru and River Gee Counties’ Senators-elect, J. Gbleh-bo Brown, Albert Tugbe Chie, and Commany B. Wesseh, respectively, citing alleged elections irregularities. The Congress of Democratic Change (CDC) Representative Dr. Bhofal Chambers complained of massive wrongdoings during the election in Maryland County. Former Superintendent Rosalind S.T. Sneh of the ruling Unity Party (UP), who ran for Senator from Grand Kru County, complained to the High Court of huge election irregularities; while ex-Lone Star striker, Jonathan Boye Charles Sogbai protested that there was voter fraud in River Gee County.Earlier the Supreme Court prevented the certification of Senators-elect Cllr. Varney G. Sherman of Grand Cape Mount, Dr. Jim W. Tornonlah of Margibi County and Atty. Morris G. Saytumah of Bomi County.The CDC candidates Dr. Foday Kromah and Prof. Ansu Sonii and incumbent Senator Lahia G. Lansanna of the National Patroitic Party (NPP) are the petitioners.Up to press time yesterday, the three latest stalled Senators-elect and their lawyers separately held conference hearings with the Justice-in-Chambers.The investigation of election irregularities by the Supreme Court meant the six (6) Senators-elect may not be inducted as Senators on Monday, January 12, 2015, if they have not been cleared by the opinion of the Supreme Court.It may be recalled that last Saturday, the National Elections Commission (NEC) certified 12 of the 15 Senators elected during the December 20, 2014 Special Senatorial Election.The certification ceremony took place at the headquarters of the National Elections Commission in Monrovia.In his remarks during the ceremony, the Chairman of the Commission, Cllr. Jerome G. Korkoya, said the certificates issued to the Senators-elect are testimony of the Power that was transferred to them by the people of Liberia when they went to the polls on December 20, 2014.Chairman Korkoya said the NEC acknowledges the low turnout during the election and will take the necessary measures to encourage higher voter participation in future elections.Also speaking during the ceremony, the Vice President of Liberia, Joseph N. Boakai, expressed regret over the deaths of some registered voters as a result of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease in the country.“I kindly ask you to remain on your feet and observe a moment of silence in memory of those registered voters who did not have the opportunity to vote; Ebola took their lives. So we just want to remember them with silent prayer,” VP Boakai stated. Vice President Boakai then cautioned the newly elected Senators to become useful leaders in the new Legislature.He also lauded Liberians, including both winners and losers, for ensuring a peaceful election, adding that it was remarkable to see the losers respectfully conceding defeat and remaining peaceful. VP Boakai has at the same time expressed thanks and appreciation to the international community and other partners, on behalf of the Government of Liberia, for standing by the country and its citizens during the Ebola epidemic in the country. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) has announced the signing of an agreement with Grand Bay Hotel Co., Ltd., wholly owned by Apex Development Public Co., Ltd, to unveil the Sheraton Phuket Grand Bay Resort.Slated to open in January 2019 on Thailand’s largest island, the hotel will support the brand’s Sheraton 2020 goal of adding 150 hotels in the next five years.“We look forward to partnering with Grand Bay Hotel Co., Ltd. to expand Starwood’s robust footprint in Thailand,” said Rajit Sukumaran, Senior Vice President for Acquisitions and Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.“With its idyllic beaches and lush rainforests, Phuket draws an unwavering number of inbound and domestic travelers, making it a strategic market for Sheraton and further driving formidable growth for Starwood in Asia Pacific.”Boasting a private beachfront and hillside location with unobstructed views of the sparkling Andaman Sea, the 200-room resort will feature all of the Sheraton brand’s signature offerings, ranging from a premium sleep experience and rejuvenating bath amenities to a grandiose lobby area and bar serving the brand’s new bar menu PairedSM, comprised of small plates served alongside local craft beer and premium wine.On-site facilities will include three distinctive dining venues, 1,326 square meters of meeting and event space, a luxurious spa, fully-equipped fitness center and picturesque outdoor swimming pool.“We are delighted to partner with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and we are confident that our respective strengths will steer this project toward success, elevating the hospitality offerings in Phuket with the iconic and globally renowned Sheraton brand,” said Pongphan Sampawakoop, CEO of Grand Bay Hotel Co., Ltd.Sheraton Phuket Grand Bay Resort is located in northeast Phuket in the Grand Bay area, home to the Ao Po Grand Marina. The hotel is an approximate 25-minute drive from Phuket International Airport and an hour’s drive to Patong, the hub of entertainment on the island.Sheraton Phuket Grand Bay Resort will join Starwood’s dynamic Thai portfolio, which includes 22 properties operating under eight of the company’s distinct global brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W® Hotels, Sheraton, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Aloft® and Four Points® by Sheraton.Starwood currently operates five Sheraton hotels in Thailand, including Sheraton Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers; Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa; Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas; Sheraton Samui Resort; and Sheraton Pattaya Resort. The brand’s development pipeline also includes Sheraton Phuket Kalim Beach Resort, which is slated to open in 2018. Sheraton Hotels & ResortsSource = Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.