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International brief ~ Legality of Kenyan government dismissal questioned

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, Kenyan legal experts have raised concerns that Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] acted illegally and unconstitutionally when he sacked all 29 ministers and their deputies within 24 hours of his draft constitution being rejected by Kenyan voters [JURIST report]. Kenyan Attorney General Amos Wako defended Kibaki's actions as valid under the current Kenyan constitution, but others have argued that the Constitution requires that there always be a Cabinet of ministers and that a wholesale replacement of all ministers is outside the power of the president. Critics are also calling on Kibaki to dissolve the parliament and hold snap elections, as the majority of the parliament ignored the initial reports of public dissatisfaction with the draft constitution and insisted on a referendum. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kenya [JURIST news archive]. The East African Standard has local coverage. The South African Mail and Guardian Online has more.

In other international legal news ...

  • Wawan Purwanto, a senior lecturer at the Indonesian Intelligence School, has urged Indonesian law-makers to speed up the process of creating and passing an Indonesian intelligence law comparable to laws already in place in the US, Australia, and Britain. Purwanto said taht under the current timetable Indonesia would not have a functioning intelligence law until 2009 at the earliest and warned that terrorist events are on the rise in Indonesia [government website in Bahasa Indonesian], hightling the need for a stronger, tougher intelligence service. Purwanto said that under other anti-terrorism laws, police forces could detain suspects for significant lengths of time, but the Indonesian State Intelligence Agency (BIN) does not even have the power to arrest a supsect under current Indonesian law. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Indonesia [JURIST news archive]. The Jakarta Post has local coverage.

  • Nepalese government spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communications Tanka Dhakal issued a statement Thursday saying that calls by the seven-party alliance and the Maoist rebels for a democratic system of government were possible under the current constitutional structure of Nepal with King Gyanendra [official profile] as head of the goverment. Gyanendra has ordered the Nepal Election Commission to hold primary elections in February of 2006 and national parliamentary elections by April 2007. In a joint statement, the seven-party alliance and Maoist leaders announced earlier this week that they had reached an understanding that would end the violence in the country and would lead to both groups focussing on "restor[ing] democracy in the country by ending autocratic monarchy." Both parties have called Gyanendra's rule unconstitutional and have argued that the elections he proposes are merely being used to divert international pressure away from his declaration of a state of emergency [JURIST report] in February. JURIST's Paper Chase has continiung coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. Kantipur Online has local coverage.

  • Eritrean officials have rejected the UN Security Council resolution demanding that they withdraw restrictions [JURIST report] placed upon UN peacekeepers from the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea [official website]. A spokesman for Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki said that Eritrea was not concerned by the threat of UN sanctions and was more worried about the Security Council's failure to require Ethiopia to abide by the 2002 UN Border Demarcation finding that the Addis Ababa government has so far refused to accept. Both sides of the conflict have threatened to renew military action unless the other side concedes the disputed territory. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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