Category Archives: Politics

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.”

Zuma avoided empeachment

South Africa’s top court ruled that parliament failed to hold President Jacob Zuma to account in a scandal over multi-million-dollar upgrades to his private home, in a decision that intensified opposition calls for the president to be impeached.

The Constitutional Court’s ruling followed its conclusion last year that Zuma violated the constitution when he benefited inappropriately from state funding for his Nkandla home. It was one of a series of scandals that have damaged the reputation of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the main anti-apartheid movement leading  South Africa since the first all-race elections in 1994.

 Zuma has survived opposition efforts to oust him in votes of no confidence in parliament, where the ANC party has a majority. Frustrated by setbacks in the National Assembly, the opposition went to court as part of their campaign to impeach Zuma, who has lost support even among ruling party loyalists.

Earlier this month Zuma has been replaced as party leader by deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, known one of the richest people in South Africa, with an estimated net worth of more than $450 million. Cyril Ramaphosa is also known as a critic of the corruption that has undermined South Africa’s economy.

“We conclude that the Assembly did not hold the president to account,” said Chris Jafta, a Constitutional Court judge who read out the ruling.

He called for parliament to institute rules that would provide for a president’s removal. Parliament said in a statement that it would comply with the instruction.

The Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s main opposition party, said its motion to impeach Zuma should be debated in parliament “as soon as reasonably possible.”

The court ruling cited a constitutional provision says parliament “may remove” a president from office by a two-thirds majority for a “serious violation” of the law, as well as a separate requirement that constitutional obligations must be “performed diligently and without delay.”

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng disagreed with the majority ruling, describing it as judicial overreach.

The ANC ruling party said it will study the ruling and discuss it at a high-level meeting on January 10 after holiday.

Mnangagwa promised democracy

New President Emmerson Mnangagwa shared his grand vision to resurrect  Zimbabwe’s ravaged economy and vowed to rule on behalf of all the country’s citizens.

Sworn in days after the overthrow of Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa (75) a former security chief promised to guarantee the rights of foreign investors and to re-engage with the West, and said elections would go ahead next year as scheduled.

In a 30-minute speech to tens of thousands of supporters in Harare’s national stadium, Mnangagwa extended an olive branch to opponents, apparently aiming to bridge the ethnic and political divides exploited by his predecessor during his 37 years in charge.

Mnangagwa promised to serve our country as the president of all citizens, regardless of “colour, creed, religion, tribe or political affiliation,” he said, in a speech that also hailed the voice of the people as the “voice of God”.

Behind the rhetoric, some Zimbabweans wonder whether a man who loyally served Mugabe for decades can bring change to a ruling establishment accused of systematic human rights abuses and disastrous economic policies.

Kenya’s elections annulled

Kenya’s Supreme Court has annulled the result of last month’s presidential election, citing irregularities, and ordered a new one within 60 days.

The election commission had declared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes.

Raila Odinga, Mr Kenyatta’s opponent, said the commission was “rotten” and demanded resignations and prosecutions.

President Kenyatta said he would respect the court’s decision but also branded the judges “crooks”.

Other elections in Africa have been annulled or cancelled but this appears to be the first time on the continent that an opposition court challenge against a presidential poll result has been successful.

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