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Amid allegations of looting E’Guinea, President’s son handed powers to curtail lawmakers movement

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Equatorial Guinea’s lawmakers have been banned from foreign travel unless authorised by Vice President Teodorin Nguema Obiang, the president’s son.

“On the grounds of national interest,” lawmakers must submit a request to travel abroad to the head of the National Assembly or the Senate “with the agreement of the vice president,” said sources familiar with the development.

In June, the country’s civil servants were hit with a similar ban.

Teodorin Obiang, aged 49, was handed a three-year suspended prison term by a French court last year and fined $35m for money laundering, corruption and abuse of public assets.

He was found to have embezzled $173m to fund his lavish lifestyle, which included a six-storey mansion on the upscale Avenue Foch in Paris.

According to sources, the ban on lawmakers is linked to an attempted coup that took place in December, the details of which were announced by the Equatorial Guinean government in January.

Read Also: Bobi Wine charged with treason. Will this be Museveni’s joker against a rising opponent?

The authorities say the operation involved a group of men from Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR) and Sudan, but some of the ringleaders were civil servants who had travelled to Europe in late 2017.

Several foreign nationals have also been accused of fomenting the thwarted coup.

It was followed by the arrests of scores of opposition activists and the banning of their party, the Citizens for Innovation (CI), purportedly over scuffles that took place before legislative elections last November.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has ruled the small, oil-rich state with an iron fist since August 1979.

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Politics

Tunisian labour union, UGTT threatens political disruption as elections draws near

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As the North African country, Tunisia braces up for elections, labour union, UGTT has threatened not to disrupt proceedings under the current political arrangement.

UGTT attacked president Saied political and economic agenda on Saturday, including the elections scheduled for this month. The union said that it will no longer accept what it called a threat to democracy in its clearest challenge to him yet.

UGTT’s leader Noureddine Taboubi said in a speech to thousands of supporters, the union will ” no longer accept the current path because of its ambiguity and individual rule, and the unpleasant surprises it hides for the fate of the country and democracy.”

“We will not hesitate to defend rights and freedoms whatever the cost,” he added, in his strongest criticism yet of the president.

“We will not abide by secret agreements the government has with the International Monetary Fund and the workers will stand up to it,” Taboubi said.

Taboubi said the December election would “have no colour and taste” as a result of Saied’s constitution and that the vote lacked national unanimity.

President Kais Saied hinted that the country will not accept foreign observers for the planned elections for later this year.

There have been protests for and against president Saied’s approach to governance of the Tunisian public.

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South Africa: President Ramaphosa’s party, ANC meets as impeachment heat intensifies over ‘Farmgate’

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As the heat keeps piling on the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, leaders of his party, the African National Congress (ANC) met on Friday to take a position on the current crisis bedeviling the country’s top man.

The ANC leaders are meeting after an inquiry found evidence President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed misconduct, but they delayed a decision over whether he should stay in his post.

The party’s Treasurer General, Paul Mashatile after the meeting said the group would reconvene before Dec. 6 to discuss the report, which will be debated in parliament on that day.

“We want to deal with it properly, we don’t want to miss any step,” Mashatile told reporters, adding that party officials needed to scrutinise the report further.

“The mood was that there is a sense of urgency, that we should resolve these issues so that we can go on with the responsibilities of running the country.”

In reaction to the panel’s report, President Ramaphosa through a statement asked for space to “carefully consider the contents of the report and the next course of action to be taken”, and the National Council of Provinces chairperson acceded to the request for a delay.

The ANC is the dominant party in the country’s parliament, with 230 seats, or nearly 60% of the total, which makes the possibility of an impeachment low as most votes would be towards votes along party lines.

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