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Congo sets date for next legislative elections. Will Congolese Labour Party dominance finally end?

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The government of Congo has revealed that the Central African country will be having its next legislative elections on July 10.

The announcement was made on Friday by a government spokesman, Thierry Moungalla, on state television Télé-Congo in a report on the Council of Ministers.

“The Council of Ministers has decided to convene the electorate for the first round of legislative elections and for local elections on July 4 for the vote of members of the public force, and on July 10 for the general vote,” said Moungalla,

Moungalla revealed that the dates were chosen “in view of the complexity and heaviness of the preparatory operations (…) to allow for their optimal execution”,

The date of the second legislative elections, which aim to renew the National Assembly, has not been set.

Congo’s veteran president, Denis Sassou Nguesso, was re-elected with 88.57 percent of the vote, in 2021. Sassou Nguesso, 77, has been in power for an accumulated 36 years, first taking the helm of the central African state in 1979.

Nguesso’s Congolese Labour Party (PCT) will be 79 years old in 2022 and almost 38 years old at the head of the country, is the leading party of the majority and has already invested its candidates. It has 92 deputies out of 151 in the outgoing Assembly.

The only opposition party with a parliamentary group in the lower house of parliament, the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy (UPADS), intends to take part in the elections.

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South Africa: Parliament reelects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Julius Malema, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighter, was also put forward for the nation’s presidency, necessitating a vote in parliament to determine the winner.

With a majority of votes in the National Assembly, Chief Justice Ramaphosa was proclaimed president. Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, received 44 votes, while Ramaphosa received 283.

The Democratic Alliance party said earlier in the day that it would support Ramaphosa in the election as part of a deal to establish a unity government with the African National Congress.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Out of the 400 seats in the recently elected National Assembly, 246 are held by the ANC and DA.

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Niamey court revokes immunity of overthrown Nigerien president

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The State Court of Niamey has revoked the immunity of Niger’s deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum, signalling the start of criminal proceedings against him by the junta, according to a statement from his attorneys on Friday.

In July of last year, a military coup overthrew Bazoum. Since then, he and his spouse have remained in custody despite numerous requests for his release from Western nations and the ECOWAS regional political and economic grouping.

 

Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the junta’s spokesperson, stated on state television in August that the military government had “gathered the necessary evidence to prosecute the ousted president and his local and foreign accomplices for high treason and for undermining the internal and external security of Niger before competent national and international authorities.”

In a statement, one of his attorneys, Moussa Coulibaly, claimed that the court’s ruling cleared the path for Bazoum to face charges of treason and conspiracy to compromise state security.

The court proceedings “violated (ed) the absolute rights of the defence: we were not authorised to meet our client and the court refused to hear our arguments,” he added.

It was not immediately able to get in contact with the Niger government for a response. Because of Bazoum’s interactions with foreign heads of state and international organizations, the junta declared last year that it would bring high treason charges against him.

Following 2020, there have been eight coups in West and Central Africa that have brought the military government to power. Calls for Bazoum’s reinstatement have gone unanswered, including by the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which declared last year that his arrest was unjustified.

According to Bazoum’s attorneys, he and his spouse had never appeared before a magistrate. Lawyers said that since October, when their phone line at the White House was taken away, they have been cut off from the outside world and are only permitted to have visitors from their doctor.

Mohamed Bazoum Salem, the 23-year-old son of the deposed president, was given provisional parole from house imprisonment by the Niger military tribunal in January.

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