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UN Elections Scams from DRC, Pension to UNCA, Banning Democracy

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 15 -- What is it about election scams and the UN? On December 14, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky about today's Egyptian constitutional referendum.

  Closer to home, Inner City Press asked Nesirky about the UN Correspondents Association violating their own constitution and purporting to remain in office after January 1, having ignored the December 15 deadline to hold an election.

   Nesirky was dismissive -- see transcript here -- and hadn't even been asked yet about the UN's questionable role during the last two elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  Today there UN beneficiary Joseph Kabila gave a speech entirely taking for granted more UN collaboration with his army, which committed mass rapes in Minova which the UN's Herve Ladsous refuses to answer questions about.

   Meanwhile it emerged on Friday that even the UN's own election for its Pension board has been extended, mis-run according to staff by previous vote player Bibi Khan.

  So the UN can't correctly hold its own elections, and enables scam elections in the Congo.

   Even on an absolutely clear violation in not holding an election by the deadline by its Media Access Guidelines partner, UNCA, the UN refuses to take action or comment, calling a blatant legal violation a personal matter.

  Here's from UNCA's Constitution, Article 3, Section 3:

"The members of the Executive Committee shall assume their duties on the first day of January following the election and shall hold office until the last day of December of the year. Elections of the Executive committee shall be held between November 15 and December 15."

  This is simple, and is one of the only acts this Executive Committee is required to do (the $250 a plate reception for Arnold Schwarzenegger they've set for December 19 is entirely voluntary.)

  But on December 14, the day before the election had to be held, this UNCA Executive Committee simply announced that it would not hold the election before the end of the year.

  There is an obvious legal problem: they have no powers after January 1, they have no power to run an election after January 1. They are, in essence, trying to stay in power unconstitutionally. And their partner the UN refuses to comment.

  UNCA's president or figurehead, when asked directly to about violating the terms of UNCA's constitution, had no response.

   It has been suggested to Inner City Press that what brings these together is an implicit claim of powerlessness: the UN can do nothing, and UNCA does little.

   But UNCA could and should do things, like make sure that UN officials like Herve Ladsous cannot openly refuse to answer questions about how to avoid bringing cholera to new countries, and to not work with units of the Congolese army guilty of mass rape.

   Instead, top UNCA officials follow Ladsous into the hallway for private briefings, video here.

  These three -- Voice of America, supported by Reuters and Agence France-Presse -- urged the UN to dis-accredit and expel Inner City Press, and met with still un-named UN officials in furtherance of their plan.

   Since their UNCA attacks rather than defends investigative journalism, the beta Free UN Coalition for Access, FUNCA, has been launched, online and in action, Friday here then here.

   The UNCA executive committee announced a purported general meeting for Friday, December 21 at 4 pm, but didn't even say what the agenda is, nor what they propose to be voted on.

   This microcosm of lawlessness takes place right in the UN, with an entity Ban Ki-moon spoke before on December 12 (more on this anon), and will party with on December 19 along with, yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

   Other such events celebrate actually investigative journalists not affiliated with or buying advertisements from the prize-giver. For example the CPJ event recently at the Waldorff, which Inner City Press covered as a journalist.

   This UNCA is quite different: prizes to Schwarzenegger and its own Executive Committee members, no provision for press coverage. Is it any wonder? Watch this site.

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