Category Archives: Politics

Madagascar elections marked by disparities

“…The campaign was marked by the non inclusion of the capping of campaign funds in the new laws that led to disparities in means between candidates, this one and the day of the poll, proceeded in calm”, – preliminary statement by the EU Election Observation Mission assessing the Madagascar presidential elections. “The National Independent Electoral Commission has demonstrated commitment and professionalism. The identification of electors on the revised lists of electors in the voter card distribution exercise has created observable dysfunctions until polling day

This preliminary statement by the EU Election Observation Mission in Madagascar is made public before the end of the electoral process. The observers underline that the critical steps remain, including announcement of results and electoral litigation.

The observers expressed opinion that this presidential election “should consolidate the democratic gains”, reminding that  in April 2018, a pre-electoral crisis leading to mediation by the international community and a position of the High Constitutional Court (HCC) led to the formation of a government of national unity and the closure of the calendar.

Among a number of observations the report points out that despite the recommendations of the 2013 EU EOM, “the role of women in politics remains limited and the existing law does not sufficiently guarantee parity. Although five women are among the 36 candidates, they remain underrepresented in politics, political parties and electoral administration especially in rural areas.”

The other crucial criticism was aimed at use of privately owned media, covering the campaign: EU EOM media monitoring revealed that the public media respected the provisions of the CENI, while “the private media showed partiality towards the candidates, and that the paid spaces took precedence over their editorial treatment.

The EU EOM is only able to comment on the phases of the electoral process that took place until the date of publication of this declaration. Later, the mission will issue a final report including a complete analysis of the process as well as recommendations to improve it. The mission reserves the right to publish supplementary reports on specific aspects of the electoral process if it considers them useful.

 

Cameroon Court rejects demands for elections rerun

Cameroon’s Constitutional Council rejected the last of 18 petitions demanding  for a re-run of an October 7 election that the opposition said was marred by fraud, leading to the expected result to extend President Paul Biya (85) uninterrupted rule to four decades.

President Biya is currently the longest ruling elected leader of Africa, and the oldest ruler in Sub-Saharan Africa, ascending power 36 years ago.

Under Biya rule Cameroon became an absolute ‘champion’ of Human rights violations:

Already this year hundreds of civilians have been killed in a violent conflict between the Cameroonian military and in separatists. Ongoing clashes between insurgents fighting for a breakaway republic in Cameroon’s English-speaking region and troops took away lives of many,  but also caused  a displacement tens of thousands more since the conflict intensified late last year. In return for military violence insurgents have abducted and killed soldiers and policemen in guerrilla raids.

 

 

No renewal of Nigerian political landscape

Nigeria’s former vice-president Atiku Abubakar repeated bids for the presidency have excluded a renewal of political landscape in upcoming presidential elections in 2019.

Having failed four times for the top job claims, the 71-year-old political veteran again has been given chance by the main opposition PDP party to challenge  President Muhammadu Buhari in February’s election.PDP

Abubakar is credited with having a solid network of support which is considered to be matching the level of the challenge, as well some progressive trends due to his backing of education initiatives, including the creation of the high profile American University of Nigeria in Adamawa State.

However Abubakar reputation has been plagued by chronic allegations of corruption, and arguments around conflict of interests between his business and political activities, repelling young electorate from his candidacy as a meaningful alternative to incumbent president.

Abubakar defected and switched back to the PDP in December 2017, alleging the 75-year-old president Buhari of “letting the Nigerian people, and especially our young people, down”.

In September Abubakar called Buhariuncompromising” and “power drunk” attempting to establish himself as a right man to lead Africa’s biggest economy.

Trump declines talks with Ramaphosa amid farm murders

At margins of the United Nations General Assembly President Donald Trump declined bilateral talks with South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa.

Reportedly US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will have a meeting with International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu to clarify the  situation in South Africa upon request of the US President, who expressed concerns with ongoing brutal murders of farmers.

In a tweet a month ago President Trump asked Secretary Pompeo to clarify the situation at “land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large-scale killing of farmers”. Sisulu admitted at the time to being “taken aback” by Trump‘s tweet, which followed a report on Fox News claiming that the South African government had started with “racist” farm seizures against white farmers.

The concerns are aggravated by repeated calls for violence articulated by Marxist politician Julius Maleman, who calls his followers to expropriate land from white farmers. At public gatherings Malema repeatedly sings  “kill the farmer” song, which is the “hate speech” in form and in essence.

The issue has become chronic problem, but in denial of obvious ANC ruling party did not adopt a strategy to stop farm murders, proposed by Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota.

Mandela statue inauguration in UN premises in New York

“We trust that this statue will remain a constant reminder to the international community of the dedication of Nelson Mandela to the mission of the United Nations and a constant affirmation of South Africa’s commitment to contribute to a better world for all,”said South Africa President  Cyril Ramaphosa at the ceremony of unveiling of the Mandela statue in the UN premises in New York.

South Africans have been humbled by the the enthusiasm with which the international community has embraced the celebration of the centenary of the birth of Mandela, Ramaphosa continued.

The people of our country, united in their diversity, revere Nelson Mandela as the founding father of our democratic nation – whose life, sacrifices and extraordinary contribution to freedom continues to inspire successive generations,” South Africa President underlined.

Mandela Peace Summit at UN General Assembly

Paving the way to the debate at the UN General Assembly, Nelson Mandela Peace Summit marked the centenary of the birth of South Africa’s first democratically-elected President and global civil rights icon. Member States are expected to adopt a historic Political Declaration declaring 2019-2028 the “Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace,” and calling on all world leaders to “redouble efforts to pursue international peace and security, development and human rights”.

“Mandela embodied the United Nations values. His ideal was a world in which all people live together in equality and harmony. He was global citizen whose legacy must continue to guide us” – said Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General.

“Meanwhile much has been done to ensure that the world would never go to war with itself again, the organisation faces more intricate challenges. Over the past seven decades, millions of people worldwide have been killed. Of these, women and children continue to bear a disproportionate burden of these troubles”, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

 

 

Mugabe accepts Mnangagwa election victory

Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe said that he accepted the election victory of his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, IOL news site reports.

Mnangagwa won. It’s now constitutional… It was an election and his victory cannot be disputed. We now leave behind us the transgressions of yesterday.Mugabe told mourners on September 6 at his mother in-law’s funeral ceremony in the capital, Harare.

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