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Tunisian President enacts new decree taking control of electoral commission

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The President of Tunisia, Kais Saied, has enacted a decree giving him control of the country’s electoral commission, promising to replace most of its members in a move that will entrench his rule, casting doubt on the integrity of the body.

In the decree signed on Friday, Saied said he would only allow three of the existing nine members of the electoral commission to stay on, while he will appoint a new seven-member panel with three judges and an information technology specialist.

The judges, according to new decree, would be selected by the supreme judicial council, a body Saied unilaterally replaced earlier in the year, naming himself as the head of the commission in a move which was seen at the time as undermining the independence of the judiciary.

Head of the Tunisian electoral commission, Nabil Baffoun, while reacting to Saied’s decree, said it was a blow to the democratic gains of the country’s 2011 revolution and meant the body was no longer independent.

“It has become the president’s commission,” Baffoun said.

Also criticising the decree, Tunisia’s biggest political party, the Ennahda which has opposed Saied’s moves since last summer, said future elections will lose credibility.

“Any elections will lose all credibility with a body appointed by the president,” said Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi, speaker of the parliament said.

The Tunisian leader had already dismissed the parliament and taken control of the judiciary after assuming executive authority last summer. He had also said he could rule by decree in moves his opponents denounced as a coup.

The president, who says his actions were both legal and needed to save Tunisia from political crisis, is rewriting the democratic constitution introduced after the 2011 revolution and says he will put it to a referendum in July.

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Tanzanian president, Samia Hassan, positions to become party, CCM’s chairperson. Will she get it?

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Tanzania’s president, Samia Suluhu Hassan is in a firm position to grab the heart of her political party, Tanzania’s Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) as she appears the sole candidate for the party’s top position.

New party executives will be chosen at the ruling party’s general meeting.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan is the only candidate for the post of chairperson, while the post of the party’s vice chairperson for Tanzania mainland is reserved for Abdulrahman Kinana who currently holds the post.

According to the party’s publicity and ideology secretary, Mr. Shaka Hamdu Shaka, the meeting will also elect members of the CCM National Executive Committee (NEC), in which 2,703 names were approved to contest for 30 seats.

By party structure, the secretary-general is the party’s top executive who oversees its operations while the chairperson and vice chairperson hold office for five years, the appointment of the party executives is normally done depending on the performance of the respective post holders and fits the existing circumstances.

The development of political parties and their administration is a key factor in strengthening democratic reign all over the world, the control of ruling parties to a large extent usually influence governance and policy. It is hoped that President Samia Hassan’s vantage position in her party, CCM will count for the level of stability that would aid governance in the East African country.

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South Sudan’s ruling party endorses President Salva Kiir for next election

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The ruling party in South Sudan has endorsed President Salva Kiir as its candidate in the country’s delayed election scheduled for the end of 2024.

President Kiir while speaking at the end of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s leadership session, accepted the ruling party endorsement for the 2024 election.

“We passed through a difficult situation, but we came out and stood together,” the president said to cheers. He added: “I have never failed you before; I believe that we will fight together whatever battles that are coming.”

South Sudan is in a dire situation with approximately two-thirds of the population, in danger of famine as they face acute food insecurity during the next lean season as climate shocks and conflict deepen the already vulnerable situation for many.

South Sudan is in a fragile state between war and peace. In February 2020, after a two-year process, the conflict parties of President Salva Kiir Mayardit and former First Vice President Riek Machar.

President Kiir has been the country’s only president since it gained independence from Sudan in 2011.

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