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Burkina Faso, Guinea ask for more time for civil transition at risk of ECOWAS sanctions

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Having missed the April 25 deadline for transition into civil government by the regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Burkina Faso, and Guinea have asked for more time to come up with a timetable for the transition.

“Burkina Faso wished to have more time than the 25 April deadline” set by West African heads of state a month earlier, “in order to continue consultations on various issues,” an ECOWAS statement said.

For its part, “Guinea presented the recent developments in the transition process and also wished to have more time in relation to the 25 April deadline”, in order to “allow for further consultations”, the organisation added.

Burkina Faso’s junta spokesman Lionel Bilgo said on Sunday evening that restoring peace and security remained a prerequisite for constitutional rule.

“If we manage to do this in less than three years, we will organize these elections,” Bilgo told state television, calling on ECOWAS to be more sensitive to on-the-ground realities.

The story is similar in Guinea as the government spokesman, Ousmane Gaoual Diallo argued that “Guinea’s reality will prevail over all other imperatives.”

“We are going to evolve, taking into account the context… and the specific situation of our country, towards exiting the transition,” Diallo told a radio station.

West Africa has been rocked by two coups in Mali, one in Guinea and one in Burkina Faso since August 2020.

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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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