[JURIST] French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Saturday that he will introduce a bill in October to the National Assembly and Senate [official websites, in French] that would allow same-sex couples to get married and adopt children. Ayrault made this statement in a speech at an annual gathering of the French Socialist Party (PS) [official website, in French] in La Rochelle. His announcement echoes and expands on statements made by Ayrault in June to a French television channel promising that laws legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption would be introduced [JURIST report]. Proposal of this bill would also fulfill campaign promises made by President Francois Hollande earlier this year.
Last month, Junior Minister for Families Dominique Bertinotti [official profile, in French] also announced [JURIST report] that same-sex marriage would be legalized by the end of next year, despite controversy over the issue in France over the past few years. Bertinotti's statement came a year after the National Assembly rejected a bill [JURIST report] that would have legalized same-sex marriage. France's Constitutional Council [official website, in French] also dealt a blow to same-sex marriage supporters last year, ruling [JURIST report] that a ban on same-sex marriage did not violate the constitution.
[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Friday announced it received credible reports [press release] that nine prisoners in Gambia [JURIST news archive], which has gone more than 25 years without an execution, were executed on Thursday. The reported executions come less than a week after Gambian President Yahya Jammeh [official website] vowed to execute all death row inmates. Jammeh claims it is Gambia's prerogative to execute the prisoners who have exhausted all other legal options and says their sentences will be "carried out to the letter." AI called on Jammeh to issue a moratorium on the use of the death penalty [JURIST news archive] and join the majority of countries in the African Union (AU) [official website] who do not impose the death penalty.
[JURIST] The UN envoy to Somalia [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] on Saturday expressed growing concern [press release] over the continuing delays in selecting the new parliamentarians who are scheduled to elect a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker on Tuesday as part of the "Roadmap for the End of Transition." The members of the new parliament will be selected by a group of 135 traditional Somali Elders with the help of a Technical Selection Committee. The envoy said that outstanding issues must be resolved by Sunday in order to avoid further delays and ensure enough time for preparation before the election on Tuesday. Augustine Mahiga, head of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) [official website], said of the delays:
Last Monday, 20 August, the most qualified Parliament in the recent history of Somalia was inaugurated ... We are just a few critical steps away from fully ending the transitional period. We must all support this effort to ensure that the complete number of the new Somali lawmakers begin their vital work immediately.
The candidates for Speaker are scheduled to give speeches and presentations on Sunday for the parliament's consideration.
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