Tag Archives: Parliament

DRC: clashes in Parliament

Brussels 08.12.2020 Congo’s parliament descended into chaos on December 8 as rival political groups threw chairs and buckets in a brawl that laid bare the tensions caused by the incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi’s to terminate his alliance with his predecessor, Joseph Kabila.

Tshisekedi announced on December 6 scheduled to cancel his governing coalition with allies of Kabila, while Kabila’s supporters claimed the move was illegal.

The standoff has raised fears of instability in the Republic whose economy has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and whose recent history has been touched by repeated civil wars and political upheaval.

The parliament fight broke out in the main hall of the building between lawmakers and supporters from the two parties, one of whom appeared to be wielding a machete.

Tshisekedi’s supporters, some with sartorial look, hurled chairs, wooden batons and plastic buckets up a staircase toward Kabila partisans who bounced back.

One man was carried away bleeding injury on the head. The police had to disperse the belligerent groups with tear gas.

The two camps have a long history of bad blood. Tshisekedi and his late father were longtime opponents of Kabila, who governed from 2001 to January 2019.

Tshisekedi agreed to the coalition after his victory in the disputed 2018 election, in which he defeated Kabila’s chosen successor but Kabila allies won majorities in parliament, entitling them to most cabinet posts.

Frustrated by his inability to move on with his agenda, Tshisekedi said that he would try to form a new majority in parliament and, if unsuccessful, would call for new parliamentary elections.

Kabila, who stepped down last year under domestic and international pressure not to seek a third mandate, is eligible to run again in 2023.

Libya: abduction of Mrs.Shiham Sergewa

“Today marks one year since the abduction of Mrs. Siham Sergewa, an elected member of the House of Representatives from Benghazi and one of the prominent female voices in Libya. Her fate remains unknown, increasing the concerns about her safety and well-being’ reads the text of the statement by the spokesperson of the European External Action Service on the anniversary of the abduction of member of parliament Siham Sergewa.

“Since the beginning, the European Union has been calling for the immediate release of Mrs. Sergiwa and requesting those who hold responsibilities to investigate her abduction and ensure accountability. These calls have remained unheeded and we are yet to hear that an investigation is ongoing.

“The abduction of Mrs. Sergewa is an unacceptable attack as well as an attempt to intimidate other women, journalists and human rights activists participating in the country’s political life.

“We will continue to follow closely the cases of enforced disappearances and other systematic attacks directed against the civilian population in Libya.

COVID19: SA faces Lesotho unrest

South Africa will engage in talks to restore calm in Lesotho on April 20 after Prime Minister Thomas Thabane sent soldiers and armoured vehicles onto the streets of Maresu on April 18 to restore order against “rogue national elements”.

The latest upheaval follows Thabane’s decision to suspend parliament without consultation over the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month’s move was challenged in the constitutional court by coalition partners and couple of dozens of rivals within his own party.

The judges ruled against Thabane’s decision on April 17, calling it “irrational”, paving the way for a vote of no-confidence against Thabane once parliament reconvenes.

A parliamentary caucus meeting scheduled on April 19 by the ruling All Basotho Convention (ABC) was postponed because of the visit by South African envoys, a senior Member of the Parliament said.

Internal divisions persist between Thabane loyalists and opponents. While no date has been set, Lesotho’s assembly is expected to meet as soon as this week.

“ABC is divided and we can no longer pretend,” said Lepota Sekola, adding that some members refused to honour Thabane’s call for the meeting as a show of dissatisfaction.

Lesotho supplies residents and farmers in South Africa’s Gauteng region with vital water supplies and Africa’s most developed country has helped broker peace talks in its smaller neighbour during previous bouts of political instability.

The South African envoys, who were urgently dispatched to help defuse weeks of political tension in the mountain kingdom of 2 million people, would continue talks for a second day on April 20, Thabane’s spokesman said.

Thabane, who is fighting for his political survival as he faces calls to quit and a possible criminal trial, said he had deployed the army in the capital to deal with forces he said wanted to destabilise Lesotho.

The Kingdom of Lesotho has lived thourgh a several coups since gaining independence from Britain in 1966. In 1998 more than 50 people and eight South African soldiers died and parts of Maseru were damaged during a political stand-off and following fighting.

Thabane, 80, had been scheduled to address the people of Lesotho at 1530 GMT on April 19 Sunday, but this was postponed until Monday, his spokesman Relebohile Moyeye said.

“We are not sure when the statement will be tomorrow because the PM is meeting the (South African) envoy again tomorrow at 8am,” Moyeye added.

COVID19: Botswana Parliament in quarantine

All Botswana’s Members of parliament including President Mokgweetsi Masisi will be quarantined for a fortnight and tested for the coronavirus, after a health worker screening lawmakers became infected.

The health worker had checked the temperatures of some of the lawmakers on April 8 during a special sitting of parliament, which was called to debate a proposal by Masisi to extend a state of emergency to six months.

Health Minister Lemogang Kwape told parliamentarians on April 9 that the infected employee is one of seven new confirmed cases that brought the total of established cases to 13.

The health employée had not shown any symptoms but had just taken a routine test. Unfortunately, the result came late on April 8 after she was on duty at yesterday’s parliament session, Kwape explained to the Assembly, before lawmakers endorsed Masisi’s proposal to extend the state of emergency.

Director of Public Health Malaki Tshipayagae instructed all the lawmakers to quarantine themselves for 14 days.

Masisi is himself a member of parliament and already had to self-isolate in March after a visit to Namibia.

The Members of the parliament have been given a possibility to self-isolate at home or be taken to facilities designated by the government.

Separately, regulations published in the government gazette on April 9 banned businesses to fire staff during the state of emergency.

Trade unions estimate that more than 20,000 workers have been laid off or placed on unpaid leave over the global coronavirus pandemic.

Sudan Al-Bashir presidency unlimited

Sudan parliamentary committee mandated with amending the Constitution to allow President Omar al-Bashir to run for another mandate informed it would indefinitely postpone a meeting to draft these changes, state news agency SUNA reports.

The decision comes amid almost daily street protests since mid-December, initially sparked by rising food prices and cash shortages, against Al-Bashir’s three decades rule.