Category Archives: Politics

EU expects Guinea Bissau to recover “democratic normality”

“Mediation efforts by the Economic Community of Western African States have been essential in the intense negotiations between political stakeholders to contribute to a way out of the long-lasting political crisis” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS), commenting the appointment of an inclusive government, chaired by consensual Prime Minister Aristide Gomes,  which has reopened the National Assembly, and made an announcement of legislative elections for November 2018.  Both movements are considered by the EEAS are the major steps towards the resumption of a “normal functioning” of the State institutions in Guinea Bissau and the preparation of the new electoral cycle.

“Now is the time to consolidate political and institutional progress, have a programme and budget for the government presented and discussed in the reopened National Parliamentary Assembly, and start preparations for the legislative elections.”

“We encourage all stakeholders to engage in this new opportunity for the recovery of democratic normality, Rule of Law and institutional stability. With that purpose, we stand ready to collaborate with the authorities of Guinea Bissau for transparent and inclusive legislative elections on 18 November 2018.”

“The EU will maintain its engagement and coordinated action with international partners, especially within the P5 group – the United Nations, the African Union,  ECOWAS, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries – to promote stability, democracy and development for the people of Guinea Bissau.”

Haftar returned to Benghazi

Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar return to his headquarters in Ar Rajma, after completing the treatment he received at Paris hospital, according to different sources.

The arrival at Benghazi ended the flow of speculations about Haftar’s declining health and problems of succession of power, at least on short term. Surrounded by his generals, Commander appeared on TV energetic and decisive, while delivering his speech to nation shortly after arrival to Benghazi.  However the incident with an abrupt departure for Paris hospital, due to health crisis left unanswered questions of his capabilities to operate as a statesman. The flow of rumors and speculations in aftermath Haftar’s health crisis also indicated the fragility of the political situation in East Libya (Cyrenaica), dependent on physical condition of a single person.

Zimbabwe invites observers for elections

Zimbabwe will invite observers from the West to monitor its national elections for the first time in more than 15 years, official papers showed, ending a ban imposed by veteran former leader Robert Mugabe.

The vote, scheduled for July, is seen is a major test for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s democratic credentials since he came to power in November after a de facto army coup ousted Mugabe (94).

Zimbabwe will invite the United States, the EU, Australia and the Commonwealth among 46 countries and 15 organisations, a list released by the foreign affairs ministry showed.

The countries and groups on the list were all previously banned from watching elections in 2002 after Mugabe accused them of favouring his opponents.

The West slapped sanctions on Mugabe and members of his inner circle, accusing them of rigging a series of votes – charges they denied.

Joey Bimha, permanent secretary at the foreign ministry, said the invitations would be sent out soon but declined to give more details.

Cyril Ramaphosa presidency inspires hopes

Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected as South Africa’s President in a parliamentary vote on Thursday (15.02.2018) after scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma resigned on orders from the ruling African National Congress.

South Africa’s main stock market index jumped nearly 4% putting it on track for its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors welcomed Zuma’s resignation after nine years in office plagued by corruption allegations.

South Africa’s main stock market index jumped nearly 4 percent, putting it on track for its biggest one-day gain in more than two years as investors welcomed Zuma’s resignation after nine years in office plagued by corruption allegations, Reuters agency reports.

However the question remains how Cyril Ramaphosa – the closest ally of plagued with corruption accusations Jacob Zuma, – will change the existing practices and put and “drain the swamp” if he has been for a part of the system.

President Zuma tries to win time

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has formally asked President Jacob Zuma to resign, according to senior party officials.

The decision to “recall” him “urgently” followed ANC marathon talks on the issue.

Mr Zuma, 75, agreed to step down, but only in the next three to six months, the official added, fueling a suspicion he is maneuvering in attempt to win time, postponing his departure.

Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, has been dogged by corruption allegations. Current crisis is not the first one in his long political career, until present Mr.Zuma has been able to overcome all of them, and stayed as the head of state. Life at brink became his modus vivendi, further degrading the situation in the country lacking genuine political leadership and vision of future.

EU diplomats focus on Libya

The Council of Foreign Affairs ministers will review the situation in Libya, following the meeting of the joint migration task force with the African Union and the UN on 14 December 2017.

The discussion will feed into the preparations of the 4th Quartet meeting at the end of January. The Quartet supports the UN-facilitated political process in Libya. It brings together the EU, the UN, the African Union, and the League of Arab States.

 

Kenyan elections: from hopes to confrontations

European Union observers of Kenya’s 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections said on that a lack of government cooperation meant they were unable to travel to the East African nation to present their final report on the vote.

“Kenyans went from high hopes for these elections to many disappointments and confrontations. Kenya remains deeply divided. Our final report and recommendations are intended to contribute to a better democratic process and a restoration of trust. But with every recommendation, leadership from those in power, support from the population, and cooperation between different fractions are needed in order to initiate reforms” – Chief Observer, Marietje Schaake (pictured) Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Netherlands explained.

Chief observer said the EU mission was scheduled to present its final report to the government and other groups in Kenya this week. The report to be published imperatively within three months of the vote, per the mission’s agreement with the government.

“We hope the recommendations in our final report will contribute to more resilient
democracy from which all Kenyans benefit”, – MEP Schaake concluded.

“This takes time to build up, which is why it is important that steps
are taken promptly to improve the legal framework, institutions and practices.”

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