Thursday, April 28, 2016

Equatorial Guinea: Nguema wins polls by over 99% of votes to extend 37 year rule

[Dibie Ike Michael with AGENCY] Equatorial Guinea’s president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema is set for another seven years in office, extending his over three decades rule of the country.

Partial results released so far from the presidential election boycotted by most of the opposition, indicates that Nguema got 99.2 percent of the vote to enter his sixth term in office.

The world’s longest serving president triumphed over six other candidates, winning all but 326 of the 40,926 votes counted, according to a government-run website.

I am the candidate of the people. Whoever does not vote for me is rejecting peace and opting for disorder.

“I am the candidate of the people. Whoever does not vote for me is rejecting peace and opting for disorder,” Obiang said at a rally in the capital, Malabo, according to Bloomberg News.

“Many say that they are tired of seeing me, it’s been 36 years already. True, but I’ve dedicated my life to this country,” he said

The country’s opposition leaders and international civil society groups have already dismissed Sunday’s vote as “not credible.”

Obiang who has been accused of embezzling much of his country’s oil wealth during his years in office has never received less than 97 percent of the vote in an election, Independent news reports.

Some key countries have chosen to remain quiet about the vote.

Obiang, who has ruled Equatorial Guinea for nearly 37 years after overthrowing his uncle in a coup, is accused of presiding over one of the world’s most corrupt and repressive governments.

Ajazera reports that critics have accused him of failing to distribute the country’s oil wealth to the population of about 700,000.

According to the poor living in the slums, the country’s resources go only to a few people.

They allege it is going to Obiang’s family and the inner circle of the government.

According to the United Nations 2014 Human Development Report, the country has the highest per capita gross domestic product of any African country – about $37,000.

Ghana: EC starts limited registration today ahead of Nov. polls

The limited voter registration exercise to register eligible Ghanaians 18 years and above whose names are not on the electoral roll begins today April 28 nationwide.

The Electoral Commission (EC) has said materials for the process have been sent to all regional and district offices across the country. “They have been distributed and they have been tested,” EC Chair Charlotte Osei said in a press conference.

The EC is expecting to register about 1.2 million new voters.

“On the average, if we get a good turnout, we should be looking at about 38 people per registration centre a day. So, we are pretty well prepared and we are confident that we will be successful,” Mrs Osei told journalists.

The EC has stressed that the exercise is not a replacement exercise for people who have lost their cards but for those who are 18 years and above and have never registered.

Qualified persons who do not register will be unable to vote in the November 7 presidential and parliamentary election.

The exercise ends on May 8.

Source: Ghana/

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ghana: Former president says 2016 election “a little complex”

Ghana’s former president, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, is optimistic the 2016 election will be “peaceful” but has served notice it will be “a little complex”.

According to him, it will require a lot of vigilance on the part of the electorate and the determination of the security agencies to remain neutral as part of moves to ensure a peaceful election.

“We will play our part to ask our people to make it as peaceful as possible but I guess what will ensure the peace is to make sure that we all remain vigilant and let’s hope the law enforcement agencies will also be impartial.

“We are not unknown for ensuring peaceful elections but this year’s might prove to be a little complex; that is why we are all praying,” Rawlings said when his Namibian counterpart Hifikepunye Pohamba paid a courtesy call on him.

President Pohamba, immediate past President of Namibia who is in Ghana to deliver a series of lectures at the University of Development Studies, Tamale, said it was his prayer also that the elections are conducted in a peaceful atmosphere and the eventual winner accepted by all Ghanaians.

The former Namibian leader, who called on President Rawlings at his office in Accra on Monday, described the former Ghanaian President as a comrade who had paid his dues to Ghana.

“I am informed you initiated the establishment of the University of Development Studies and I feel greatly honoured to be selected to deliver lectures at such an important university.”

President Pohamba conveyed the best wishes of Namibia’s founding President, Sam Nujoma and current President Hage Geingob to Flt Lt Rawlings. Namibians, he indicated do not forget the special relationship they have with President Rawlings and Ghana.

The former Namibian leader will deliver the fourth in the Africa Leadership Lecture series of the UDS under the theme ‘Genesis and Trajectory of Contemporary Africa Leadership’, on April 27, 28, and 29. He will be decorated with an Honorary Doctorate Degree on Friday, November 29, 2016.

Present at the meeting were Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, UDS Vice Chancellor Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye and the Namibian Ambassador to Ghana, Charles Josob.

Source: Ghana/ additional files from Mediaexcelghana

Ghana: EC to cut rejected ballots by 50%

The Electoral Commission is hoping to reduce spoilt and rejected ballots, at least, by 50 percent under its five-year strategic plan.

The plan is aimed at creating a world class, trusted and independent electoral body well positioned to better deliver on its constitutional mandate.

Out of 275 constituencies that voting took place in the 2012 general elections, only two - Kpandai in the North Region and Prestea Huni Valley in the Western Region – are said not to have registered any invalid votes.

Figures published by the Electoral Commission for the 2012 presidential election indicated that a total of 251,720 ballots cast were rejected outright, out of 11,246,982 votes put into the ballot boxes.

The rejected ballots were more than combined votes obtained by six presidential aspirants.

A breakdown of total votes gained by the presidential candidates is as follows: John Dramani Mahama (NDC), 5,574,76 votes; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (NPP), 5,248,898 votes; Henry Herbert Lartey (GCPP), 38,223 votes; Papa Kwesi Nduom (PPP), 54,362 votes; Kwesi Adai Odike (UFP), 8,877 votes; Hassan Ayariga (PNC), 24,617 votes; Abu Sakara Foster (CPP), 20,323 votes; and Jacob Osei Yeboah (IND), 15,201 votes.

Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei admitted to the media Tuesday that her outfit has for years focused exclusively with political parties, which she suspected might have accounted for the high spoilt ballots.

She said the commission will therefore broaden its engagement to include public service institutions, civil society organizations, religious bodies and other recognized institutions.

“We also need to broaden voter education so that we can drive active participation, we can reduce rejected ballots by at least 50 percent and also ensure that the people understand and have confidence in the work that we are doing; and this we can only do through engaging better with our internal and external stakeholders,” she noted.

 Story by Isaac Essel | | Ghan

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kenya: Anti-riot police disperse opposition protest against electoral body

Opposition leaders in Kenya were dispersed by anti-riot police on Monday after they attempted to enter the country’s electoral commission offices.

Led by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga, the opposition planned to perform an indefinite occupation of the commission’s offices.

The Commission regrets today’s confrontation between police and CORD leaders and their supporters at IEBC Headquarters. This was utterly unnecessary.
This was to force the chair and other commissioners to resign as the opposition say they lack confidence in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)

“Our main agenda was to have the IEBC team meet with our party leaders and come to an agreement over the issues arising, if this is not possible, we have no faith in the electoral body,” CORD official Catherine Okoth said.

Over the weekend, the opposition renewed its ultimatum to have the electoral commission disbanded or ejected from their premises.

The Coalition accuse IEBC of rigging the last elections in which the presidential results were contested at the country’s highest court.

IEBC on the other hand has said they are willing to address any concerns with all political players and update on the progress they have made for the upcoming elections in 2017.

“The Commission regrets today’s confrontation between police and CORD leaders and their supporters at IEBC Headquarters. This was utterly unnecessary. CORD has disputed the Commission’ verdict on its Okoa Kenya referendum initiative and raised concerns with the conduct and management of the last elections. These are matters that are all governed by law, which the commission has pronounced itself on,” IEBC said in a statement.

Reuters, Agencies

Ghana: Vote for competent candidates – Christian Council

General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, has urged Ghanaians to shift their attention from fear of eruption of violence during elections to the fear of electing non-performing people to power.

Dr Opuni-Frimpong said this during the launch of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) elections project dubbed ‘Ghana Wins Election 2016’, held at the Forest Hotel, Dodowa in the Shai-Osudoku District of the Greater Accra Region last Thursday.

The brief event was attended by a number of organised groups, including representatives of political parties, traditional authorities, the Electoral Commission, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and Star Ghana.

Dr Opuni-Frimpong disclosed that “we have done so much public education and investments in ensuring peaceful electoral process over the years. It is now time to invest similar or more energy and resources in addressing the emerging fear of whether the right candidates will be elected or not.”

Continuing, he added, “The future and growth of our nation is hinged on our decision on November 7, 2016. The people we will vote for will determine whether our country will make tangible progress or retrogresses. Most of our people are seeking to have a Ghana where their livelihoods can be secured and enhanced.”

The general secretary further mentioned that this year’s elections “as we focus on enriching the political discourse by addressing the underlining fears as to whether the right candidate will be elected or not, we must proactively use our media platforms to promote issue based elections.”

He further pointed out that the elections must be a contest of ideas and not exchange of insults and display of physical power.

“For this to happen, the mass media which has an enormous role to play by educating the public must also demand issue-based campaigns and subsequently glean towards electing candidates who have sound and realistic developmental agenda for Ghana,” Dr Opuni-Frimpong indicated.

Acting Director General of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Francisca Ashietey-Odunton, disclosed that the state broadcaster had received US$75, 000 worth of support from Star Ghana for its 2016 elections project.

She disclosed that the support from Star Ghana would go a long way to help the station carry out a number of programmes it had outlined to engage the public before and after the upcoming general elections.

Giving an overview of the project, Ebenezer Ampaabeng, ‘Ghana Wins Election 2016’ project manager, described the project as a good mix of programmes tailored to inform and educate Ghanaians on the rights and responsibilities in an election.

He added that the state broadcaster would collaborate with key partners to come out with the best, adding that “the project is so dear to our heart so that we do not get it wrong.”

By Solomon Ofori/Daily Guide Africa

Ghana: Election 2016 “a little complex” – Ex-president

Ghana’s former president, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, is optimistic the 2016 election will be “peaceful” but has served notice it will be “a little complex”.

According to him, it will require a lot of vigilance on the part of the electorate and the determination of the security agencies to remain neutral as part of moves to ensure a peaceful election.

“We will play our part to ask our people to make it as peaceful as possible but I guess what will ensure the peace is to make sure that we all remain vigilant and let’s hope the law enforcement agencies will also be impartial.

“We are not unknown for ensuring peaceful elections but this year’s might prove to be a little complex; that is why we are all praying,” Rawlings said when his Namibian counterpart Hifikepunye Pohamba paid a courtesy call on him.

President Pohamba, immediate past President of Namibia who is in Ghana to deliver a series of lectures at the University of Development Studies, Tamale, said it was his prayer also that the elections are conducted in a peaceful atmosphere and the eventual winner accepted by all Ghanaians.

The former Namibian leader, who called on President Rawlings at his office in Accra on Monday, described the former Ghanaian President as a comrade who had paid his dues to Ghana.

“I am informed you initiated the establishment of the University of Development Studies and I feel greatly honoured to be selected to deliver lectures at such an important university.”

President Pohamba conveyed the best wishes of Namibia’s founding President, Sam Nujoma and current President Hage Geingob to Flt Lt Rawlings. Namibians, he indicated do not forget the special relationship they have with President Rawlings and Ghana.

The former Namibian leader will deliver the fourth in the Africa Leadership Lecture series of the UDS under the theme ‘Genesis and Trajectory of Contemporary Africa Leadership’, on April 27, 28, and 29. He will be decorated with an Honorary Doctorate Degree on Friday, November 29, 2016.

Present at the meeting were Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, UDS Vice Chancellor Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye and the Namibian Ambassador to Ghana, Charles Josob.

Source: Ghana/ additional files from Mediaexcelghana

Ghana: EC has no regrets over new logo despite controversy

The chairperson of the electoral commission Charlotte Osei has stated emphatically that the commission will stick to its new logo in spite of the huge public concerns over its appropriateness.

According to her, the new logo represents the true independence of the commission.

Speaking at the launch of a five-year development plan for the commission in Accra, the former NCCE chair explained that the circles in the logo represents “unity, singular and unified in purpose” while the blue in the circle also represents the stability and independence of the Commission. She added that the inward moving arrows in the logo “reflect all the people of Ghana and equally coming together for the common purpose- the right to select their political leadership” while the "red, gold and green colours in it represent Ghana".

Old logo of the EC (left) with the new one (in a circle shape)
The new logo has been heavily criticised by Ghanaians. Many have said the design of the logo is alien to the mandate of the commission and must be changed.

However, Mrs Osei said the commission is in love with the new symbol.

“We like it, we picked it, it makes us happy”.

Source: Ghana/

Ghana: Ex-prez and Namibian compatriot pray for peaceful elections

Ghana’s former President Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, has, in a meeting with compatriot Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia, expressed the hope that this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections will be peaceful.

He said the vigilance of the people and the determination of the law enforcement agencies to remain neutral would be key to the success of the elections.

“We will play our part to ask our people to make it as peaceful as possible but I guess what will ensure the peace is to make sure that we all remain vigilant and let’s hope the law enforcement agencies will also be impartial,” ex-President Rawlings said.

“We are not unknown for ensuring peaceful elections but this year’s might prove to be a little complex; that is why we are all praying.”

President Pohamba, immediate past President of Namibia who is in Ghana to deliver a series of lectures at the University of Development Studies, Tamale, said it was his prayer also that the elections would be conducted in a peaceful atmosphere and the eventual winner accepted by all Ghanaians.

The former Namibian leader, who called on Mr Rawlings at his office in Accra on Monday, described the former Ghanaian leader as a comrade who had paid his dues to Ghana.

“I am informed you initiated the establishment of the University of Development Studies and I feel greatly honoured to be selected to deliver lectures at such an important university,” the former Namibian leader said.

President Pohamba conveyed the best wishes of Namibia’s founding President, Sam Nujoma, and current President Hage Geingob to Flt Lt Rawlings. Namibians, he indicated do not forget the special relationship they have with President Rawlings and Ghana.

The former Namibian leader will deliver the fourth in the Africa Leadership Lecture series of the UDS under the theme ‘Genesis and Trajectory of Contemporary Africa Leadership’, on April 27, 28, and 29. He will be decorated with an Honorary Doctorate Degree on Friday, November 29, 2016.

Present at the meeting were Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, UDS Vice Chancellor Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye and the Namibian Ambassador to Ghana, Charles Josob.

Source: Office of former President Jerry Rawlings

Monday, April 25, 2016

DRC: Opposition hold huge rally to protest against Kabila’s mandate

Opposition in Democratic Republic of Congo held a massive rally in Kinshasa to show their solidarity and strength in winning the upcoming election.

The leaders reiterated their refusal to participate in a national dialogue wanted by President Kabila and also rejected any further postponement of the presidential election.

“The key to our democracy is the presidential election and it should to be held within at a convenient time for the opposition,” said Delly Sesanga, a member of the opposition.

The second issue is that Mr. Kabila doesn’t keep his word. How do we go there then?

“The dialogue will be same to the one we did two years ago with 100 resolutions and recommendations. Ho many have been implemented so far? The second issue is that Mr. Kabila doesn’t keep his word. How do we go there then?” Said Jean-Claude Mvuemba.

At the end of November last year, Mr. Kabila had announced his intention to convene a “inclusive national dialogue” intended to allow a consensus on the electoral calendar and the financing of elections, but five months later, the project is yet to materialize.

Kabila who has ruled the Central African country since 2001 has not made his intentions clear as to whether he will stand for a third term in office despite the constitution hindering him from doing so.

Political tensions are high in Congo. At least 40 people were killed in January 2015 during demonstrations against alleged plans by Kabila to extend his rule.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Comoros: Runoff election results hit by doubt

[Dibie Ike Michael with Agency] More than a week after the presidential runoff election on the Comoros islands, the outcome still remains in doubt.

President of the consumer society of the Islands, Mohamed Mchangama said the situation remains tense in the region as Vice president Soilihi has asked the constitutional court to rule on the legality of the results from the island of Anjouan, VOA reports.

“We have provisional results from the electoral commission saying that Colonel Azali, but of course the challenger, Dr. Mohamed Ali Soilihi, the Vice President is going to the constitutional court saying that there was fraud, and many electors could not vote. So they are asking for a new vote in some parts of the island of Anjouan,“he said.

The followers of Mohamed Ali Soilihi were having a meeting, which is supposed to be forbidden, claiming that the constitutional court will recognize them as the winner.
Mchangama said although there has been no fight, the situation in the island remains quite tense as all the candidates are claiming victory.

“The followers of Mohamed Ali Soilihi were having a meeting, which is supposed to be forbidden, claiming that the constitutional court will recognize them as the winner,” he said.

He noted that the constitutional court had began work on Wednesday, and everyone is waiting for what the constitutional court will do.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had commended the Comorian people for “peacefully fulfilling their civic duty by participating” in the second round election on April 10, 2016.

The first round election took place only on Grand Comore island in line with electoral rules to choose the president on a rotational basis from the three main islands.

Mchangama said the political situation in the region has further hurt the already poor economy of the islands.

Meanwhile, current president Ikililou Dhoinine’s term expires on May 28 after serving a one five-year term.

Equatorial Guinea: Country votes on Sunday in presidential polls

Preparations are underway as Equatorial Guinea gets ready for elections on Sunday.

A meeting on the state of preparations took place on Wednesday in Malabo in the presence of accredited observers and representatives of political parties taking part in this weekend’s statutory exercise.

Some opposition parties stayed away from the deliberations.

“Here we see how the campaign unfolds. The significant element found in this campaign is the absence of the opposition in these meetings,” Seikhou Amadou Tiany, Ambassador of Guinea in Equatorial Guinea said.

For the Equatorial Guinean people, the future winners of these elections will have to prioritize the fight against unemployment.

“I hope those who have yet to work, will. It’s because of unemployment that there is increasing theft; there are many unemployed and there is no job. Me for example, I do not have a job,” Anasthasia Obiang said.

Election material has already arrived in the country. They are to be transported to the various constituencies.

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in power since 1979, faces six presidential candidates, mostly inexperienced, it’s been suggested.

Chad: Idriss Deby garners 61.56% of votes to win fifth term

[Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban] Incumbent Chadian President, Idriss Deby Itno, has been declared winner of the presidential elections in the West African country. The Electoral body said Deby won by 61.56% of votes cast.

The 63-year-old President now has the legal mandate to extend his 26-year rule by a fifth term, which would run for the next five years.

Voters were expected to choose between Deby and 3 other challengers including opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo who according to the results managed 12.8% of the votes having campaigned that Chad needed change.

Chad, despite its abundant oil wealth has about half of the 13 million population living in poverty. The country is also battling against Boko Haram insurgents who have carried out attacks in the country.

The opposition had earlier started preparing for a second round of polls claiming that there was no clear winner in the first round of polls.

The issue of some missing soldiers who reportedly voted against the incumbent also came up but the government dismissed the claims saying that nothing of the sort had happened.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

DRC: Opposition protest likely third term bid of President Kabila

Opposition leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo hit the streets of Lumumbashi to protest the uncertain political future of the incumbent president, Joseph Kabila, who it is believed could be planning to run for a third term.

They have indicated the need for the Head of State to vacate his seat before the end of his mandate in December.

The crowd was dispersed by the police and the situation has caused a tense atmosphere in the country.

But security officials have reassured the population that the situation is under control.

The opposition suspects that regime officials carried out acts of vandalism at the premises of an opposition party on Tuesday.

The relationship between the regime and the opposition remains strained despite a UN resolution and mediation efforts by the African Union.

Some opposition parties have boycotted the dialogue claiming it could bring little change to the status quo.

Joseph Kabila became president in 2001 and won disputed elections in 2006 and 2011. The constitution bars him from another term in office.


Gambia: U.N. condemns deadly opposition crackdown

The United Nations has condemned a government crackdown in Gambia that it said had led to the death of three opposition party members who were arrested during protests on Thursday.

In a statement, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed “dismay” at reports that a leading member of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Solo Sandeng, and two other party members had died while in custody.

The three opposition party members were held after a small demonstration near the capital Banjul on Thursday in which they demanded electoral reform and protection of free speech in the tiny West African country.

Gambian government must uphold its international obligations … including the right to peaceful assembly.

The clampdown continued on Saturday when security forces arrested senior opposition members including the head of the UDP Ousainu Darboe, whose home was raided by police.

The identities of the two other party members were not released and their deaths could not be immediately verified, though the UDP said in a statement on Sunday that three of its members had been killed.

Amnesty International had said on Saturday that one detained UDP member, Fatoumata Jawara, was believed to be suffering from serious injuries.

Ban Ki-moon called for a “prompt, thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances that led to their death while under state custody.”

U.S. state department spokesman John Kirby called on the Gambian government to “uphold its international obligations … including the right to peaceful assembly.”

The statements are likely to put pressure on President Yahya Jammeh, who was in Turkey this week attending a summit of Islamic countries.

Jammeh, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1994, has made headlines for his eccentric proclamations, including a claim to have invented a cure for HIV/AIDS, and his recent surprise decision to make Gambia an Islamic republic.

But he is also regularly denounced by rights groups and foreign governments for ruthlessly stamping out political dissent in the nation of 2 million people, which is a popular beach destination for budget-conscious European tourists.

The former military man, who once told a reporter he could lead Gambia for “a billion years,” is expected to extend his rule in elections in December after scrapping constitutional term limits.

The ECOWAS regional bloc refused to send observers to the last elections in 2011, citing intimidation of the opposition and the electorate.


South Africa: Electorates to boycott elections due to lack of utility services

Residents of a township on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday protested against the lack of electricity and other services, with many promising to boycott the upcoming local elections.

The Zandspruit residents barricaded all entrances leading to the informal settlement, saying they are giving Johannesburg’s Mayor, Parks Tau a seven-day ultimatum to provide them with electricity.

They had also planned to march to the local police station to hand over a memorandum.

There are over 800 households which need to be relocated as you may find out that there are more families staying in one yard, which is already known to the City.
Their bone of contention is that the government had promised in 1994 to make utility services available to them but to no avail.

In March this year, the country’s power provider, Eskom, made a pledge to start installing electricity in Zandspruit in July, but noted that there are areas that needed to be developed to make it a formalized township.

At the time, the utility’s spokesperson Khuli Phasiwe said there were other checks and balances that needed to be done.

‘There are over 800 households which need to be relocated as you may find out that there are more families staying in one yard, which is already known to the City,’ he said to a local news agency.

South Africa’s power woes under control

Albeit there were issues with supply in the first quarter of 2015 and months preceding that, Eskom has not implemented load shedding for the past nine months.

In a statement released on Tuesday (19 April) the power provider said “its plan is to continue implementing appropriate levels of planned maintenance to ensure long-term plant reliability.”

“A key aspect of this includes having a strict winter and summer maintenance budget that comprises 8.5GW for winter and 11.5GW for summer,” added the statement.

News Agencies

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chad: Opposition leader wants probe of military vote in April 10 polls

A Chadian opposition leader, Saleh Kebzabo has called for an independent investigation into how the military voted during the country’s April 10 presidential election.

His call follows the disappearance of about sixty soldiers, some of whose bodies were found in a river after the poll.

The missing soldiers are believed to have voted against the incumbent president, Idriss Deby who is seeking a fifth term in office.

Those who did not follow the instructions of their superiors were arrested, (and) thrown in jail.
The recovered bodies of the soldiers were said to have borne marks of torture.

Saleh Kebzabo told a press conference on Monday that the army’s vote was “totally discredited” since the absence of voting booths compelled voters to vote for Idriss Deby.

He added that those who did not “follow the instructions of their superiors were arrested, (and) thrown in jail.”

Nomads and the military voted on April 9, a day before the rest of the population voted in the presidential election contested by thirteen candidates.

Results from Chad’s presidential election have still not been released. But the opposition is bracing itself for a runoff poll.

A spokesperson for the opposition, Mahamat Ahmad Alhabo, said at the weekend that a tally of results from all polling stations by representatives of the opposition, indicate that no candidate has secured enough votes to win the first round.

They have therefore warned that they will not accept any results that states otherwise.

News Agencies

Equatorial Guinea: Presidential campaigns kick off

Campaign is ongoing in Equatorial Guinea as the country prepares to vote in its presidential election scheduled for April 24.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema who enjoys the support of ten coalition opposition parties will be challenged by six candidates in the upcoming election.

The candidates aim to deploy multiple strategies to convince voters throughout the country.

“I am not the candidate of assassins or criminals,” incumbent presidential candidate Teodoro Obiang Nguema told a crowd.

Main opposition parties have refused to participate in the election citing foul play and inequality in the treatment of candidates.

They think Obiang Nguema’s iron fisted rule makes an opposition victory almost impossible

“As a candidate, I don’t have any protection. I do not have a car, house or money. Nothing at all not even campaign materials,” UCD opposition candidate Avelino Mocache said.

73 year-old President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has ruled the oil rich nation for 36 years.

Zambia: 13 opposition parties endorse President Lungu

Thirteen opposition parties in Zambia have formed an alliance with the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), to campaign for the re-election of President Edgar Lungu in the forthcoming elections.

Media reports in the country indicate that the coalition dubbed National Opposition Alliance (NOA) included Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM), Christian Democratic Party (CDP) and the All People’s Congress (APC).

This, is beyond just endorsement, but adoption which will see a long-term working relationship with PF, while maintaining our individual political parties’ identity and ideologies.
The chairman of the opposition coalition Edwin Sakala said that they wished for Lungu to continue rolling out developmental projects that had already been rolled out by the PF in the southern African country.

“This, is beyond just endorsement, but adoption which will see a long-term working relationship with PF, while maintaining our individual political parties’ identity and ideologies,” he said.

Lungu has come under criticism in recent weeks in what is viewed as an attempt to intimidate opponents ahead of the elections.

The southern African nation will hold presidential, parliamentary and local government elections on August 11.

Ghana: Former UN chief urges African leaders to respect term limit

Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has urged African leaders to leave when their mandated time is up and to avoid excluding opposing voices if elections are to cease contributing to conflicts on the continent.

The renowned international diplomat said that while unconstitutional changes to government on the continent had reduced, exclusionary politics threatened to reverse the gains made.

“I think Africa has done well, by and large the coups have more or less ended, generals are remaining in their barracks, but we are creating situations which may bring them back,” the Nobel laureate said in an interview at the 5th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa.

“If a leader doesn’t want to leave office, if a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen as being gamed to suit a leader and he stays term after term after term, the tendency may be the only way to get him out is through a coup or people taking to the streets.

“Neither approach can be seen as an alternative to democracy, to elections or to parliamentary rule. Constitutions and the rules of the game have to be respected.”

Annan, the keynote speaker at the forum this year, said winner-take-all approaches to elections on the continent had the effect of leaving out citizens for holding an opposing view, raising tensions around elections.

Annan, who chairs the Africa Progress Panel and the Nelson Mandela-founded The Elders grouping, said he had been the first to tell the African Union not to accept coup leaders among their midst [during an OAU heads of state summit in Lusaka in 2001].

Annan also said that solutions to the problems the continent has must come from within. However, the continent must build up its ability to do so, including in financing its institutions.

“We cannot always pass a hat around and insist we want to be sovereign, we want to be independent. We should lead and get others to support us—that support will be much more forthcoming when they see how serious and committed we are.”

The African Union has struggled to get members to pay their dues to allow it run its operations and programmes efficiently, a recurrent theme addressed by leaders at the forum in the Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar.

Annan said such budgetary concerns were constraining the work of the continent in strengthening stability and required creative ways of resourcing.

“I was happy to hear them [African leaders] say ‘we must be prepared to pay for what we want; we must be prepared to put out our own money on the table and fund issues that are of great importance to us.’”

The forum, now in its fifth year, is an inspiration of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and is organised by the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University.
An invitation-only event, it is chaired by former Nigeria president Olusegun Obasanjo and seeks to provide a platform for current and former leaders to interact with key stakeholders in an informal setting to tackle contemporary issues facing the continent.

It does not make decisions but is becoming an African ‘brand’ of note where local solutions are innovatively explored as the region seeks to carve out its place in a global security architecture dominated by western and emerging powers.

Leaders and experts at the Tana Forum also noted that the continent was not isolated.

“As Africa faces increasing security challenges, so does the rest of the world. The continent is well placed to provide innovative solutions to these security challenges,” Obasanjo said.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Togo’s Faure Gnassingbe, Somalia’s Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Sudan’s Omar al Bashir were among the heads of state and government present.

Former leaders Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Festus Mogae of Botswana, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Pierre Buyoya of Burundi and Joyce Banda of Malawi were also in attendance.

“I think it is a very good idea that ex-leaders come together with current leaders to share experience and try to talk very frankly about the challenges facing the continent and also about our relations with the international community,” Annan, who was attending the annual forum for the first time, said.

Source: African Press Organization

Ghana: November 7 voting day not official yet

The decision to accept 7th November of every four years as voting day in Ghana is currently before Cabinet, a Deputy Chairperson of Electoral Commission (EC), Georgina Amankwaa has told Onua 95.1 FM’s Yen Sempa.

The Deputy Chairperson said the proposed Bill will then leave the domain of Cabinet to the Council of State and then finally to Parliament for deliberation.

It is after Parliament has enacted the bill into law that the EC can conclude that the elections will be held on 7th November, she explained.

However, Madam Amankwaa, who is legal practitioner by profession and trade unionist, speaking to Kwame Karikari on Tuesday, explained that the EC is ready for the election in November 2016.

“Parliament has not approved of the 7th November but we are sure it will be approved at their next sitting,” she prayed.

Story by Kweku Antwi-Otoo/Onua FM/

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ghana: Think Tank urges electorate to vote on issues

A Research Fellow with the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Dr Abdul Gafaru Abdulai, has blamed the electorate for the lack of disposition for issue-based voting in the country.

Speaking to Class News, Dr Gafaru said Ghanaians must vote on issues in the November polls.

“The bottom-up pressures are very important in pushing politicians to do what they would have otherwise not intended to do, but the bottom-up pressures also tend to be much weak in so many cases,” he stated.

“A key reason again, has to do with that fact that you and I are not sufficiently discerning, as far as our voting pattern is concerned. We know that there are certain regions and communities in this country that no matter how terrible a political candidate may be that candidate may win in particular communities and particular districts and so on and so forth. We need to put a stop to that.

“We need to send a strong signal to our politicians that we vote on the basis of issues. We do complain that our political parties should campaign on issues, but do we vote on issues ourselves?”

According to Dr Gafaru, the citizenry could play a role in pushing the quality agenda issue, as far as service delivery was concerned.

“We want to see how our political parties would assure us that they are going to implement policies that would contribute to the quality of healthcare delivery, education, and so on and so forth,” he said.

Source: Ghana/

Monday, April 18, 2016

Comoros: Ex-Veep rejects presidential results

Comoros’ former Vice President Mohamed Ali Soilihi, also known as Mamadou, who is the ruling party’s presidential candidate has contested the vote results which gave victory to former coup leader Azali Assoumani.

“I do not recognize these results, which according to me are partial. On the issue of the figure, the INEC has no mandate to declare the results,” said Mamadou.

Colonel Azali Assoumani, who first seized power in a coup in 1999 and ruled until 2006 after winning the first multi-party poll in 2002, was declared winner of Sunday’s run-off with 40.9 percent of the votes, the election commission said.

I do not recognize these results, which according to me are partial. On the issue of the figure, the INEC has no mandate to declare the results.

Mamadou claimed that 23 of the 400 polling stations on Anjouan, one of the three Comoros islands, were yet to announce their results, adding that the ballots cast there were likely to favour him.

“23 Offices of vote on 400 to Anjouan (one of the three islands of the archipelago of the Comoros) are not included,” he said.

The pre-election campaigning was marked by personal attacks and allegations of corruption between Mamadou and Assoumani, who was boosted by the support of the opposition Juwa party, which had no candidate in the second round.

Assoumani, who comes from Grande Comore, had after the first round secured the backing of Juwa, an opposition party whose own candidate dropped out. Assoumani’s Convention for the Renewal of Comoros (CRC) party is the second-biggest opposition group after Juwa.

Comoros’ system was established in 2001 after more than 20 coups or attempted ones, four of which were successful, in the years following independence from France in 1975.


Comoros: Ex-coup leader wins presidential elections

[africanews, AFP, News Agencies] A former Comorian coup leader, Azali Assoumani, has been elected president of the Indian ocean archipelago in the second round polls held last Sunday.

Provisional results from the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) put Assoumani in the lead with 40.98 percent of the votes. Vice President Mohammed Ali Soilih came in second with 39.87 percent while the governor of Grande Comore, Mouigni Baraka placed a distant third with 19.15 percent of the votes.

The results of the poll were declared at the People’s Palace in the capital, Moroni.

Assoumani’s supporters in the capital burst into wild celebrations when the results of the poll were declared.

“It is a victory for Comorians. It’s victory for democracy my brother. We’re all happy, all the Comorian people are delighted by this victory,” Mohamed Djounaid told AFP.

For Irchad Gabi, the victory was for the alliance that placed the national interest ahead of partisanship.

“It is victory for the Comorian people, the people have taken over. The people did not accept the bullies. The people have spoken. So this is a victory of Colonel Azali, for Famis and Ibrahim. It is a victory for Kiki, is the victory for this alliance which played a role in the win,” he said.

57-year-old Colonel Assoumani was third in the first round of the poll held on February 21. His success in the second round was largely due to support from Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, the leader of the main opposition Juwa party.

The first round of voting in February was held on the island of Grande Comore. The three leading candidates from that race then competed in the nationwide poll held on April 10, in line with a constitutional system that rotates the federal presidency between Comoros’ three semi-autonomous landmasses.

Almost 7,000 people on the island of Anjouan however were unable to cast a ballot because several polling stations remained closed amid protests, according to the electoral commission.

According to Bloomberg, the minister in charge of elections, Abass Elhad Mohamed, has said partial elections may be held on the Anjouan island in the next few days to compensate for the closure.

Assoumani, a former army commander, seized power in a 1999 coup before winning elections in 2002. He stayed on in office till 2006.

Chad: Opposition unites against president in runoff anticipation

Opposition candidates in Chad are bracing themselves for a second round of voting even before official results from the first round of the country’s presidential election are released.

According to Mahamat Ahmad Alhabo, a spokesperson for the opposition candidates, their tally of the April 10 election results from their representatives at all the polling stations, indicates that no candidate has secured an absolute majority. They have therefore warned that they will not accept any results that states otherwise.

Their claim is considered a sign of heightened tension in the West African country whose president is seeking a fifth term in office.

The opposition spokesperson says the incumbent president, Idriss Deby has asked them to accept results being prepared by the electoral commission to declare him winner of the poll for the sake of peace, the VOA reported.

Mahamat Ahmad Alhabo who is also the president of the Party for Liberty and Development (PLD) however said the opposition will never accept such an abuse of democracy and wants a second round of polls to be held in line with Chad’s constitution.

Chad’s electoral commission has 2 weeks from the day of the polls to declare the final results.

Mahamat Zen Bada, campaign manager for President Deby, assured that the president was committed to respecting the values and principles of democracy. He thus urged the other political parties to maintain the prevailing peace and serenity in the country.

Deby came to power in a 1990 coup which deposed President Hissene Habre. He has since stayed in power. He changed the constitution in 2004 to extend his stay in office by eliminating the two-term limit on the presidential tenure.

Niger: Opposition resumes political activities

Members of Niger opposition group, Coalition for an Alternative (COPA), said they have decided to resume their activities in the country’s parliament and at the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

Leaders of the opposition coalition, in a statement, explained that they wanted to, “limit the damage of a chaotic governance” and “curb the institution of a single way of thinking”.

They clarified that the country’s institutions from the last ballot suffered from a lack of credibility and representativeness.

The opposition coalition had alleged fraud in the first round of the election, claiming “unfair treatment between the two candidates” and has vowed not to recognise the results, even though opposition candidate, Hama Amadou has not himself said he would withdraw from the race.

The group noted that members of the opposition would return to parliament early this week. The leaders also announced that they will participate in the Election Commission operations in view of the forthcoming local elections scheduled to hold around June.

The opposition political class in Niger had suspended its political participation in protest against the conduct of the first and second round of the presidential elections, and had then challenged the reelection of president Mahamadou Issoufou with nearly 93% of the votes.

The group had said it would no longer recognise the re-elected president as the legitimate leader of Niger. This came ahead of the publication of the results of the second run-off election proclaiming the victory of Mahamadou Issoufou.

Ghana: US supports elections with $4.5m

The United States government has pledged to support Ghana’s parliamentary and presidential elections in November this year with $4.5 million.

The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson who revealed this in an interaction with some senior editors from selected media houses in Accra to mark his 90th day in office stated that one-third of the amount would be channeled to the Electoral Commission (EC) to strengthen its strategic communication and also educate the public on the practicality of voting.

He also disclosed that another one-third of the amount which would be channeled through the UNDP to support the activities of the National Peace Commission both at the national and regional levels.

Ambassador Jackson said other areas likely to benefit from the support includes training programmes for journalists on election reporting and also working together with the National Peace Commission to identify potential conflict areas.

The Ambassador also answered questions ranging from security, terrorism, democratic development and his vision in Ghana as an ambassador.

Ambassador Jackson said for Ghana to have a peaceful election would depend on the commitment of Ghanaians and urged the political parties in the country to make a pledge to hold peaceful and transparent elections.

Source: Ghana/

Ghana: Ex-EC boss condemns death rumours

The former chairman of the Electoral Commission Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan has laughed off rumours making rounds that he has passed away.

A hale and hearty Afari-Gyan said those wishing him dead “should come and carry his corpse away” if they can confirm his demise.

The gregarious septuagenarian said he is enjoying his retirement and is not moved by “the mischief being peddled around”.

Speaking briefly to Monday while news went viral on social media, especially on Facebook and WhatsApp platforms, he said his phone has been inundated with calls from family members enquiring about the news since Sunday, but he remains calm.

Family members close to the man who was the arrow head of Ghana’s elections since 1993 have also confirmed the 70-year-old is still healthy, and nothing has happened to trigger such news.

Dr Afari-Gyan left the EC on June 17, 2015 after turning 70. He helped conduct elections in other African countries and had been in charge of Ghana’s elections since 1993.

Source: Ghana/

Ghana: Faulty roll can affect Ghana’s peace – EC

The Deputy Electoral Commissioner, Mr Amadu Sulley, on Thursday, said a faulty voters’ register could affect the democratic process and peace in the country.

In order to prevent this, he said the voters’ register would soon be opened for validation to enable qualified voters who are not on the register to register.

Mr Sulley, who has oversight responsibilities on the Upper East branch of the EC, said this when he addressed the media at a capacity building training in Bolgatanga on the theme: “Enhancing Inclusiveness in Ghana’s Electoral Processes,” sponsored by the USAID.

The training was aimed at enhancing the knowledge of media personnel about the electoral system of Ghana, voter registration processes and also to enable the journalists to express their opinions on issues relating to the electoral system.

Mr Sulley explained that the C.I. 91; Public Election Regulation 2016, dealt with laws guiding the conduct of registration and urged the media to take up the important role as stakeholders of the EC to provide accurate education and information as they were key in making the elections credible.

Mr Fred Tetteh, the Principal Electoral Officer in charge of Research, who took participants through election reporting, asked the journalists to be fair and balanced in their reportage.

He said the EC would continue to update the media on preparations towards the election and asked the media to leave the declaration of election results to the EC, saying; “the media does not have the power to declare results”.
He urged media personnel to take note of the use of ‘polling station’ and ‘constituency’ in their reportage.

Mr Samuel Akapule from the Ghana News Agency, who spoke on the contributions of the media in elections, advised reporters to be mindful of media owners and politicians who would like to use their medium to promote selfish political interests.

He urged all to maintain a high level of professionalism, to be accurate and remain impartial in their coverage of the elections.

Source: GNA

Ghana: EC vows to stick to core values

[By Godwill Arthur-Mensah/ Mildred Siabi-Mensah] The Electoral Commission (EC) says it would comply with its values by ensuring transparency, fairness and integrity in the electoral process.

The Commission had also affirmed to comply with the electoral laws, Constitutional Instrument C.I 91, without fear or favour, and would therefore not be perturbed by the incessant public criticisms of its activities.

Mr Stephen Opoku-Mensah, the Western Regional Electoral Director, said this at a capacity-building workshop for media practitioners in Takoradi, in the Western Region.

The event, which was organised by the EC and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) educated the practitioners on election reportage and explained some salient issues in the L.I 91, which would govern this year’s elections.

Mr Opoku-Mensah urged eligible voters who had attained 18 years, as well as those who could not register in the 2014 registration exercise, to avail themselves to register in the limited voter registration slated for April 28 to May 8.

The workshop was held on the theme: “Enhancing Inclusiveness in Ghana’s Electoral Process.”

Mr Samuel Boadu, Acting Director of Human Resource at the EC, said it would not be good for the nation to go into national elections with a questionable voter register.

He noted that it would require the collective efforts of all well-meaning Ghanaians to ensure a credible voter register.

He, therefore, entreated Ghanaians to volunteer information on deceased relatives and persons to the Commission, in order to aid in cleaning the register.

He said the media play a prominent role in ensuring a successful election and therefore tasked journalists to ensure balanced, fair and accurate reportage on events and activities leading to the November 7 polls.

Mr Boadu said the EC does not aid the government in power to win power, adding that , all the political parties are involved in conducting electoral activities, hence  their agents or representatives are expected to observe and monitor  all electoral actions.

He said the political parties are also at liberty to raise issues for redress.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Ghana: Observer group demands poll roll cleaning road map

Local election observer Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has asked the Electoral Commission to provide a road map to Ghanaians about when and how it intends to ensure a clean poll roll ahead of the November 7 polls.

In a statement signed by its national coordinator, Albert Arhin, CODEO said in light of the controversy surrounding the sanctity of the electoral roll, it was imperative for the EC to level with Ghanaians about the timelines within which it intended cleaning the roll.

Source: Ghana/

Zimbabwe: Opposition says Mugabe is too ‘tired’ to solve crisis

[Elvis Boh with AFP] Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare on Thursday, demanding an end to President Mugabe’s rule.

The protesters were dressed in red colours of the main opposition party – Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) – as they chanted songs denouncing the president.

“We are not demanding an overthrow of the government, we are demanding a dignified exit for a tired Mugabe,” opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said.

The demonstration was authorised by the High Court in Harare and was done under the surveillance of security forces.

The protesters were demanding to have the 2.2 million new jobs promised by the ruling Zanu-PF party during its 2013 election campaign pledge, as well as transparency on government revenue.

“Mugabe has no solution to the crisis because he is too tired,“Tsvangirai told reporters.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was quoted as saying that it was just the beginning of a wave of protests geared towards forcing Mugabe to resign.

Zimbabwe is facing a “tough” economic outlook with negative growth this year amidst struggles to clear long-standing arrears with its international lenders.

Chad: African Union okays election despite anomalies

African Union (AU) said the just held Chadian presidential election allowed voters to “freely choose their leaders” without fraud despite certain anomalies.

The election is expected to see president Idriss Deby extend his 26 year rule in the country; AFP reports.

AU also noted that most polling station staff did not show great mastery of electoral operations.

Overall, presidential election gave citizens the opportunity to freely choose their leaders .. in a peaceful atmosphere.
“Overall, presidential election gave citizens the opportunity to freely choose their leaders .. in a peaceful atmosphere,” said the report presented by the head of the AU observer mission in N’Djamena, Dioncounda Traoré of Mali.

Thirteen candidates ran for the top job in Sunday’s polls including Deby, who is bidding for a fifth term in office with a support of state institutions and a strong presence on the ground of his party, the Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS).

Observers also “noted with regret that in 10 percent of polling stations visited, voting in secrecy was not.
guaranteed,” while “in the majority of cases, election staff did not show a great mastery of electoral operations,” notably “in how they emptied ballot boxes,” at nightfall, half of the time without sufficient lighting.

Despite opposition claims of ballot stuffing and buying-up of voter cards in the impoverished country, the head of the AU mission concluded that the election was carried out “without fraud.”

Provisional election results are expected to be published in two weeks by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

However, the election was boycotted by rights groups and the country’s labour movement after five leading activists were detained during the last three weeks.

Under Deby’s leadership, Chad has become both an oil producer and a key player in the fight against the insurgent groups in West Africa.


DRC: AU urges country to respect constitutional deadline for upcoming elections

The African Union envoy for national dialogue in Democratic Republic of Congo has said that it is crucial for elections in the country to be conducted before the end of the year.

The commission also acknowledged that it may be difficult for DRC to meet the constitutional deadline for the coming elections given the limited duration for all the preparations.

“The problem we have today is that there is a constitutional deadline that must be respected. We are not sure of finishing all the process of elections as prescribed by the constitution,” said Edem Kojo, head of the AU envoy to DRC.

The AU envoy to the DRC, is currently on a mediation mission in the country during which it is expected to bring a lasting solution to the political misunderstanding among political opponents.

On the other hand, the government is accusing the opposition and the United Nation for fixing an election without their approval.

On Saturday, the G7, a coalition of seven opposition parties refused to participate in the dialogue, claiming that the AU envoy was creating a new legitimacy that would make a new transition to the current government last for three or four more years.


Zambia: Opposition rejects move to print ballot papers in Dubai

[By Peter Adamu] United Party for National Development president Hakainde Hichilema says his party will not allow the printing of ballot papers to be done in Dubai by the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

And Hichilema said that he had no doubt that he will win the August 11 elections during the first round.

Receiving an assortment of defectors at Chainama Hotel among them former Southern Province minister Alice Simango and former minister for Western Province Adonis Mufalali Hichilema said his party was already governing from outside.

Simango is better remembered by the public for her teary show before television cameras in Sinazongwe during her reign as Southern Province minister when she went to inspect the Chinese owned Colum Coal Mine.

"We will not allow Lungu to print ballot papers in Dubai with his friends. There is already the story of Timor which has not gone but they are still here under different companies," he said.

"But let me tell you we will catch you. We will beat you in the first round kukukwapula (thumping you) first round."

He added, "In his remaining four months and 14 days I am authorizing him only three trips to make a bit of money. You know we are already governing from outside because this man has failed."

Hichilema alleged that President Lungu was championing violence to intimidate voters.

Political scientist Neo Simutanyi who recently gave the UPND a heads up in his opinion poll was among the people accorded top notch recognition at the presser.

Other defectors included former Justice Permanent Secretary Joseph Akafumba who lost elections in 2011 on the ruling Patriotic Front ticket, Lubinda Imasiku (former MP Liuwa) and some officials from

Elias Chipimo's National Restoration Party.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Equatorial Guinea: Benin ex-president to head AU mission

[Ken Karuri ] Benin’s ex-president Boni Yayi has been appointed by the African Union to head It’s electoral observer mission in Equatorial Guinea.

The Central African nation is scheduled to hold its presidential elections on April 24th.

A statement released by the AU said Yayi had been chosen to lead the team due to his contribution in the consolidation of democracy.

Yayi relinquished his post as Benin’s Head of State after two terms and supervised a peaceful transition in his country.

Long serving Equatorial Guinea president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, will seek to extend his 36 years in office and faces six other candidates.

Obiang’s regime has regularly come under fire from rights groups for violent suppression of opposition as well as for rampant corruption.

He is almost certain to win the upcoming election, having been re-elected in 2009 with 95.37 percent of the vote.

Campaigning will start in the central African nation on April 8, concluding April 22, according to the decree.

The presidential election was originally scheduled for November and no reason was given for the delay.

Obiang had declared his candidacy for another seven year term in November at a meeting of his ruling Democratic Party.

He will face off against Gabriel Nse Obiang, considered to be the incumbent president’s main rival, recently announcing his candidacy for the opposition CI party.

Nse Obiang’s national campaign tour was suspended Tuesday “until further notice” and five of his supporters were arrested after they were accused of assaulting a security officer at a public meeting two days earlier.

President Obiang came to power in a coup in 1979, overthrowing the bloody rule of his uncle, Macias Nguema.


Ghana: Opposition parties mock EC’s new logo; charge it to be serious

Some opposition political parties have described the new logo of the Electoral Commission (EC) as a waste of time.

According to them, rather than addressing issues relevant to the November 2016 polls, the EC is interested in “unnecessary” things such as its logo.

Speaking to Joy News, General Secretary of the People’s National Congress (PNC), Atik Mohammed said EC should not compare itself to a corporate institution which is bordered about its logo and how to change it from time-to-time.

Rather, he said, “The Commission should be interested in its image in the public” and how it is going to address the dwindling confidence of Ghanaians in its activities.

“Merely changing logo has no prospect”, he said adding the change in the EC’s logo rather makes its image in the public worst.

On his part, Policy Advisor of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Kofi Asamoah Siaw said the controversy surrounding the EC’s new logo has come about because the new design “doesn’t pass for excellent”.
He said many people have accused the Commission of plagiarism adding it could have avoided this if it had given the design of the logo to students of the Junior High Schools (JHS).

The old logo of the EC is a crest flung by two eagles on top with a black star in the body of the crest. Along the edge is the writing Ghana Electoral Commission. And in the center is a symbol of a box and a suspended hand dropping a ballot into it.

EC’s new logo:
The new EC’s logo is made up of eight arrow shapes all pointing to a central point. At the bottom of each shape is a colored dot.

There are two red dots, two yellow dots, two green dots and two white dots and all of this is placed on a navy blue background with the words Electoral Commission Ghana written in capitals.

IT and Brand Expert, Divine Puplampu said Ghanaians, especially those in the hinterlands, will find it difficult to identify the new logo since it has no symbol which points to the work the Commission does.

He said many people were able to connect to the old logo because of the symbol of the ballot box and the suspended hand with the ballot paper.

According to him, the Commission will have to spend more money to get Ghanaians identify it with the new logo which he described as avoidable had the Commission done the right thing.

Kenya: Rape victims of 2007 post election violence seek justice

[Dibie Ike Michael with AGENCY] Eight Kenyans sexually assaulted during post election violence in 2007-08 have gone to court to compel the government to take legal action to ensure justice.

The group of six women and two men filed a petition at Kenya’s High Court demanding that the government address cases of sexual violence during unrest in the country after a disputed elections in which some 1,200 people died.

The post election violence was the country’s worst wave of violence since independence from Britain in 1963.

The survivors want the truth about what happened to them known; and they want the state to acknowledge that they suffered.
The Kenyans, who are seeking “truth, justice and reparations from the state,” have asked the court to find that the violence carried out were crimes against humanity and that the government must therefore ensure all efforts are made to prosecute those responsible.

Some 50 supporters who said they also suffered sexual or other violence held banners outside the court in support of the case.

“The survivors want the truth about what happened to them known; and they want the state to acknowledge that they suffered, we stand in solidarity with eight survivors who were brutally gang-raped and forcibly circumcised,” the statement said,

They added that they were an “emblematic” representation of thousands of other women, girls, men and boys who suffered similar violations.

The hearing comes a week after charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Deputy President William Ruto were dropped. The same court had dismissed the crimes against humanity charges facing President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2014.

Only a handful of people have been prosecuted for the 2007-08 violence after charges were dropped against Ruto.

The government had repeatedly promised to ensure victims of the violence are compensated.

The case, was first opened on March 2014.

Kenyatta and Ruto are due to address a rally in the central Kenyan town of Nakuru,on saturday at a reconciliation and thanksgiving prayer service following the ICC ruling.

Sudan: Vote counting begins in Darfur as referendum ends

[Victor Muisyo with AFP] Vote counting got underway in Darfur on Wednesday after three days of referendum voting on administrative status of the region.

Calm was observed in various polling stations of the West Sudanese region.

Nearly 3.5 million Darfuris had registered to participate in the exercise seeking to unify Darfur’s five states into a single administrative unit.

The vote counting is however expected to experience some difficulties, owing to communication hitches and inaccessibility of some areas.

This vote has been criticized by Paris and Washington who believe that current conditions do not favour credible result.

Darfur has been rocked by chaos and violence between government forces and non-Arab insurgents who feel ethnically marginalized by the regime dominated by Arabs .

The conflict has left at least 300,000 dead and some 2.5 million displaced, according to UN.

Kenya: Opposition politician shot dead

An opposition politician has been shot dead outside his home in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

Stephene Mukabana, a youth leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, was killed last night when he rushed to the aid of a man being robbed by a six-member gang, police are quoted by the local Standard newspaper as saying.

However, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said a "group of assassins trailed and executed" the 42-year-old Mr Mukabana, the Standard reported.

According to Nairobi police boss Japheth Koome, Mukabana was driving into his compound when he heard screams from a dark alley where a man was being robbed.

“The reports we got show the deceased tried to help another robbery victim when he was shot in the head and chest,” said Koome.

The man was also shot and wounded but he is in a stable condition in hospital and he has given police details of what happened. Police say Mukabana was shot at close range by the gang that escaped without stealing anything from him. No arrest has been made so far.

But other ODM officials said Mukabana was trailed by people who wanted to kill him before he met his death.

The officials claimed Mukabana was dragged from his house before being shot at. He had declared interest in running for the Embakasi East parliamentary seat.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said Mukabana was assassinated.

“I take this earliest opportunity to unequivocally condemn the act of lawlessness, cowardice and hooliganism that occurred in Chokaa, Mihango Ward yesterday night, where a group of assassins trailed and executed the ODM Youth Leader for Nairobi, Stephen Mukabana and murdered him in cold blood,” said Kidero.

He said such inhumane acts of impunity are regrettable and cannot be allowed to go unpunished in a county under his watch.

Source: Standard

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Djibouti: Somalia congratulates president on re-election

The Federal Government of Somalia has congratulated the president of Djibouti for his re-election to the office.

Ismail Omar Gelle was re-elected to the office in the tiny boat shaped country for the fourth time.

Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke sent congratulations to President Guelleh.

Press statement from PM office said "On behalf of the people and federal government of Somalia I want to send congratulations to the President Ismail Gelle for his re-election."

It added" We pray almighty to ease the responsibility entrusted upon you by the great people of Djibouti once again,"

The statement further acknowledged and thanked the support of the people and government of Djibouti to Somali people and government for years.

Somalia and Djibouti enjoy brotherly relations for years since independence in 1979 from French.

President Gelle was praised for his push for Somali peace and reconciliation conference in 2000 that paved way for the establishment of transitional federal government that was led by President Abdikassim Salat Hassan.

Djibouti also has troops in Somalia as part of AU peace keeping troops covering Hiran region.


Djibouti: Opposition rejects election results, alleges rigging

[By Abdulaziz Osman] Djibouti opposition leaders are rejecting the results of the country's presidential election, citing fraud.

Djibouti's ruling party declared on Saturday that President Ismail Omar Guelleh won Friday's presidential election, gaining nearly 87 percent of the votes.

Three candidates who ran against the incumbent told VOA Somali the result was "false."

The independent candidate Mohamed Muse Tourtour said, "A national vote-stealing occurred, it is false and I will not accept it."

Jama Abdirahman Djama, another independent candidate, said, "I warned that the will of people not to be repressed, but the results show what I warned just happened."

Omar Elmi Kheyre, the Union of National Salvation (USN) candidate, said all opposition parties are united "not to accept the results," and the president deceived the public.


Some opposition parties boycotted the election after Guelleh, who was always the clear front-runner, went back on his earlier decision not to run.

Opposition leaders say they plan in the next few days to issue a joint communique and demonstrate against the outcome.

But the country's election commission denies the opposition claims, saying the election process was held without a problem and in accordance with Djibouti and international law.

Abdi Ismail Hirsi, who heads the election commission, told VOA the candidates have the right to accept or reject the results, and should refer their claims to the constitutional council.

Guelleh, who has been in power since 1999, starts another five-year presidential term.

VOA news

Chad: Internet blackout unresolved 2 days after presidential polls

More than 48 hours after the holding of the presidential elections in Chad, N’Djamena residents still have no access to social networks.

Among other challenges, mobile internet was interrupted Sunday morning and then fixed later in the evening.

No official explanations have been given for the blackout.

The development is similar to those that prevailed in March in Congo. The Brazzaville regime had decided hours before the presidential election to suspend telephone and internet for security reasons.

Chad’s National Electoral Commission (CENI) says the results should be ready in ten days.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Ghana: UK to cut funding for democratic activities

The UK government has announced that it will stop funding Ghana’s democratic activities after its latest programme of support spanning the next five years.

Ghana has benefited from donor support for its elections over the last two decades, but according to the UK Minister of International Development, Desmond Swayne, Ghana’s democracy has matured over the years and does not need financial support from the UK.

Mr. Desmond Swayne announced that a £4-million programme to strengthen democratic governance would mark the UK’s last investment in democratic structures in Ghana.

Under this Programme, personnel of the Electoral Commission (EC), the Ghana Police Service, the Judiciary and civil society organisations (CSOs) will be supported to undergo training to upscale their skills in handling security and judicial issues related to elections and other democratic governance matters.

He said the £4-million package was to strengthen the EC, the police, the Judiciary and CSOs for them to deal promptly with good governance issues and further enhance Ghana’s image as a beacon of democracy in the sub-region.

Speaking at a forum in Accra, Mr. Swayne described Ghana as having established a fearsome reputation as being a beacon for development in Africa hence the decision to cease the donor support.
“…Because of that and because of the fact that Ghana is becoming low middle income country, I anticipate that this will be the last of such investment that we will make in democratic structures of this sort.”

Mr. Swayne entreated Ghanaians to view this move as a recognition of Ghana having come of age as far as having a sustainable democracy is concerned.

“That is a measure of your success that we expect you as you go forward to be able to fund your democracy from your own resources.”

By Delali Adogla-Bessa/

DRC: Opposition requests AU impartiality over political impasse

[ with Elvis Boh] A group of 7 opposition leaders have called on the African Union not to take sides in the ongoing political crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The leaders have urged the African Union to ensure that the presidential election holds in November as scheduled in accordance with a UN Security Council resolution.

In January 2015, some opposition leaders in DRC organised peaceful protest against a new electoral code which was introduced in parliament.

The AU envoy to the DRC, Edem Kodjo, is currently on a mediation mission in the country during which he is expected to bring a lasting solution to the political misunderstanding among political opponents.

Some opposition parties are skeptical about the AU mediation mission amidst suspicion that President Joseph Kabila is planning to remain in power after his mandate expires in December 2016.

Chairman of the African Union, Dr Dlamini Zuma in January called for a restraint and peaceful mediation of the political impasse in the country.

Congo: Former presidential candidate says he fears for his life

[Selinah Ntobong with Agencies] One of the candidates who contested Denis Sassou Nguesso in the Republic of Congo’s March 20 poll has said he fears for his life as his home in the capital Brazzaville has been surrounded by security forces.

According to the BBC, Jean -Marie Mokoko said his security detail, which he is entitled to as a former army general, had been removed.

Although several media have reported about Mokoko’s apparent house arrest, which he described as a dead end, the BBC reported that a Police spokesperson refused to confirm or deny the allegations made by the former general.

The former advisor to the Congolese president called for civil disobedience following the declaration of President Denis Sassou Nguesso as victor of the March 20 polls.

He has however indicated that he stands for peace and has denied any involvement in Monday’s clashes in the capital Brazzaville between security forces and a group said to be “ninjas.” 17 people were killed during the upheaval.

Five opposition candidates have rejected the results of the March 20 election calling it a “massive fraud.”

Congo: Defeated opposition urges supporters to accept results of March 20 polls

The runner-up in the Republic of Congo’s disputed March 20 presidential poll, Guy-Brice Parfait, has called on his supporters to accept the results declared by the country’s electoral commission.

His call comes days after he had asked the government to investigate clashes that erupted in the country’s capital, Brazzaville, on Monday between government forces and unidentified assailants in the southern part of the city.

There had earlier been pockets of violence between supporters of President Denis Sassou Nguesso and opposition supporters after the final results were declared, which the opposition disputed.

Guy Parfait, one of nine candidates who contested the presidential election in March, on Wednesday asked his supporters not to further contest the results.

“I say here that I Guy Brice Parfait Kolélas, accept the verdict. No matter how questionable the constitutional court’s decision is. It’s with a heavy heart and with sadness that I address all those who trusted me. Persevere in faith that one day we will overcome the ideals for which we fight,” he told his supporters through the press.

Kolélas still remains convinced that the results of the elections are flawed.

The other opposition candidates have also described the election as flawed and had called for a campaign of civil disobedience.

Results declared by the head of the court, Auguste Iloki, put president Sassou Nguesso in the lead with 60 percent. Kolelas came in second with 15 percent and former army chief, Jean Marie Michel Mokoko placed third with nearly 14 percent of the votes.

Despite the opposition’s foul cry, the country’s Constitutional Court on Monday affirmed the reelection of the incumbent president and dismissed the opposition’s motions challenging Nguesso’s victory.


DR Congo denies US concerns over election-related arrests

[Selinah Ntobong with AFP] Congo’s government on Friday denied having conducted arrests during clashes over President Sassou Nguesso’s electoral victory.

The government made the remarks in response to criticism by the US over the situation in the country since the March the 20th polls.

“There is no arrest linked with the state security . There is no political arrests ,” said Thierry Moungalla, spokesperson of the Congolese government

There is no arrest linked with the state security . There is no political arrests.
“The government of Congo has taken note of the statement from Washington over the election, but finds it difficult to understand how people who have not observed can judge the credibility of the process,” he added.

The US State Department said on Thursday that it was “deeply disappointed by the biased presidential electoral process in Republic of Congo.”

“Widespread irregularities and arrests of opposition supportes which followed the elections marred an otherwise peaceful vote,” it added.

Charles Zacharie Bowao, Coordinator of the IDC-FROCAD, the main opposition party in the country, refuted Moungalla’s remarks and even refered to relatives of some candidates who they say were detained for nearly a fortnight.

One of the presidential candidates, Andre Okombi Salissa on Friday confirmed reports of the detentions albeit not being able to confirm the numbers.

“Forty to fifty supporters or opposition members were arrested throughout the country, since the presidential election,” she said.

Chad: Presidential election results expected in a 2 weeks

[Elvis Boh with REUTERS] The official results of Chad’s presidential election will only be known after two weeks, Chadian election officials say.

The voters turned out massively on Sunday to elect a president with incumbent Idris Deby Itno standing for re-election.

Voting went on as normal and polling stations closed at 6 pm as stipulated by law, giving room for vote counting.

I call on Chadians to vote in calm and serenity. Our country is starting from a long way back but the future looks bright. I ask all politicians to respect the verdict of the ballot box.

“We came to vote for the president to guarantee peace in our country. Around us in the neighboring countries there are too many problems,” a civil servant, Fatima Zara said.

“I got up early to come and vote because we want change,” Mathieu Madjitulnagar, an unemployed Chadian told reporters.

Security measures were reinforced during vote in strategic areas of capital city N’Djamena.

According to news agencies, internet connection was continuously perturbed since the morning hours.

The military and refugees had voted on Saturday and some military staff who never voted on the eve were given the opportunity to cast their votes on Sunday.

Idris Deby Itno seized power in 1990 and has been challenged by 13 opposition leaders as he seeks fifth term.

“I call on Chadians to vote in calm and serenity. Our country is starting from a long way back but the future looks bright. I ask all politicians to respect the verdict of the ballot box,” Deby told reporters.

About 6 million Chadeans were eligible to vote in Sunday’s election.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Chad: Presidential poll winner faces herculean task

[Africanews/Ken Karuri] Chad is expected to hold its presidential elections on April 10th but the challenges are immense for the whoever emerges winner of the upcoming polls.

Security will be one of the first priorities. The fight against Boko Haram militants is weighing heavily on the resources of the country that is already facing a difficult economic situation from plummeting oil prices.

Chad, situated in the middle of a volatile region, has either been part of the regional security problem or has suffered as collateral damage. As an immediate neighbour to Nigeria and their military assistance to fight Boko Haram, the country has been the victim of attacks by the terrorist group.

Chad depends largely on the money from the sale of crude to sustain its economy and the slump in global oil prices has hit the country hard. Diversification of the economy is therefore essential.

Finally, the next president will have to mobilize around Chadian national unity following months of political jostling.

Several leaders of civil society groups are still languishing in prison for opposing what they say is a new mandate for President Idris Deby who is seeking another term in office and who is favored to win.

Deby, 63, seized power in 1990 after toppling Hissene Habre and later modified the constitution in 2004, scrapping its two-term limit on presidential tenure, and won the following elections by a huge majority.

He has promised to placate protesters concerns if re-elected including a pledge to re-introduce presidential term limits if he wins in April but the opposition has warned it will not accept a “rigged” result.

Djibouti’s: Voting progresses slowly in presidential election

Voting commenced at 6am local time ((0300 GMT) on Friday in Djibouti to elect a new president.

Favourite in the election is incumbent president Ismaël Omar Guelleh who is being challenged by five other candidates seeking to end his search for a fourth term.

A few people thronged the polling stations on Friday due to the early commencement of voting and also because it is a holiday in Djibouti, an AFP journalist reported.

The streets of Djibouti city, which has been crushed by the heat of the moment, were almost deserted, except for security forces.

“It’s a little early, people will come around 10:00,” said an election official of the prefecture office in the center of the capital, where only a dozen ballots had been cast.

In the office, there were two voting booths and a ballot box. On a table are the ballot papers of the six candidates and that of Mr Guelleh, who will be voting in this office, is the first.

“The question does not even arise. The other candidates do not have a plan. Guelleh has a very clear plan: continue the development progress and the ports. We must continue with him,” said Djibril, an employee of a security company who had just voted.

This opinion is not shared by Houssein, an unemployed man like about 60% of Djiboutians. “We need something different. IOG is a bright man, right. But you have to try something else,” he said before casting his ballot.

Some 187,000 voters, slightly less than a quarter of the population (875,000 inhabitants) are expected to vote at one of the country’s 455 polling stations.

The results are expected on Friday night.

In the previous presidential election in 2011, the turnout was 63%, according to figures from the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

Mr Guelleh, 68, is running for a fourth five-year term, after amending the constitution in 2010 to remove any limitation.

He faces five other candidates including three independent candidates. The opposition, which managed to unite for the 2013 legislative elections, under the banner of the Union for National Salvation (USN), is disbanded this time around.


Djibouti votes in presidential elections

Djibouti's president has opted to run for a fourth term after leading the East African nation for 17 years. The main opposition alliance has all but broken down with two rival candidates claiming to represent the group.

The strategic East African country Djibouti on Friday holds elections to choose the next president, although the opposition has a slim chance of defeating Ismail Omar Guelleh.

The 68-year-old President Guelleh is vying for a fourth term after winning the last polls in 2011 with 80 percent of the vote.

"Democracy: it is what today allows us to live together in peace, security and stability in Djibouti," the president said earlier this week in a tweet.

Out of the six other candidates aiming to dethrone Guelleh, Mohamed Daoud Chehem and Omar Elmi Khaireh both claim to represent the seven-party opposition alliance known as the Union for National Salvation.

Three of the other member parties opted to boycott the poll, leaving the strongest opposition group to Guelleh's presidency in shambles.

While Djibouti is a relatively small country, its strategic location on the Bab al-Mandab Strait has attracted international interest from countries such as China, France and the US.

"We are in a phase of accelerated growth and the country needs Guelleh to ensure stability while completing all the economic development work started 10 years ago," government spokesman Mahamoud Ali Youssouf told AFP news agency.

The East African nation is home to roughly 180,000 registered voters out of a population of 875,000.
Guelleh has ruled the country from 1999, when he took over power from his uncle Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who led the country which gained independence from France in 1977.

ls/jm (AFP, dpa)

Benin: Two former presidential hopefuls in new president's cabinet

Benin’s new president, Patrice Talon has appointed 2 of his ‘opponents’ in last month’s election as Ministers of State, according to a new cabinet list released on Wednesday.

Abdoulaye Bio Tchane and Pascal Irenee Koupaki who were 4th and 5th in the first round of the poll have been appointed as Minister of state in charge of Development and First Secretary to the presidency respectively.

The two men backed Talon’s candidature in the runoff poll against the then Prime Minister, Lionel Zinsou.

Three women have also been given cabinet positions and they will be in charge of Higher Education, Employment and Communication.

The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations’ Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), Aurelien Agbenonci will head the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

President of the Law Commission of Benin’s National Assembly, Joseph Djogbenou has been handed the Justice portfolio.

Several other allies of businessman Sebastian Ajavon, whose support was crucial to Talon’s victory according to AFP are also expected to make their way into government.

Patrice Talon is yet to name a Prime Minister for his administration. Sworn into office on Wednesday, Talon won the runoff poll with 65.37 percent of the votes.

He takes over from Thomas Boni Yayi who decided to step down after serving his two terms in office.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ghana: Flagbearers to get police guards for Nov. polls

The Ghana Police Service has said it will provide four police officers for each presidential candidate and two for their running mates for the November polls.

In a statement signed by Director of Public Affairs Supt. Cephas Arthur, the Police Service said it would provide protection for “Presidential Candidates and their running mates before, during and after the November 7 general election. This package forms part of security arrangement being put in place to ensure a peaceful process.”

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. John Kudalor revealed this at a meeting held with the chairpersons and general secretaries of the various political parties at the National Police Headquarters, Accra, on Friday April 1, 2016.

The Police said party executives were called upon to make input by way of indicating their preferences for their own security details to be assigned by the Police. The Police Administration said that it was ready to detail the personnel as soon as the inputs were made.

Some of the party representatives entreated the Police to expand the facility to cover party chairpersons and general secretaries, as their activities also put them at risk.

Mr John Kudalor emphasised that the security of flagbearers and their running mates was high on the agenda for the Police, hence the need to hold the dialogue earlier than scheduled.

He re-iterated that a similar arrangement was made in 2012 to protect the same personalities. “We are prepared to provide four and two personnel each for the flagbearers and their running mates, respectively”.

This arrangement is different from general security that will be provided by the Police for political rallies and activities during the electioneering period, the statement added.

Participating at the meeting were the General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia; the acting chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Freddie Blay, together with the party’s acting General Secretary, Mr John Boadu and one Dr. Charles Dwamena. Representing the Convention People’s Party was Chairman Prof. Edmund Delle and General Secretary Nii Armah Akomfrah, while Nii Allotey Brew Hammond and Mr. Mutala Mohammed Ahmed represented the PPP.

The rest were Dr Henry Lartey and Mr Frederick Ato Dadzie for the GCPP, Mr Atik Mohammed for PNC, and Mr Mohammed Frimpong and Madam Mercy B. Aidoo for NDP. The Police Management Board (POMAB) was also present at the meeting.

Source: Ghana/

Monday, April 4, 2016

Ghana: Group wants EC to come clean on STL role in 2012 elections

In the face of fresh evidence, election observation body (Coalition of Domestic Election Observers) CODEO, says the Electoral Commission (EC) needs to confirm or deny a claim that it contracted an IT company, Superlock Technologies Limited (STL), to transmit election results.

Although the Commission denied this, at least, three years ago, Interior minister Prosper Bani last Tuesday released a statement which said the EC has contracted STL to transmit tallied election results.

The fresh claims have left CODEO worried, National coordinator, Albert Arhin, has told MultiTV/Joy FM’s new analysis show Newsfile.
“They need to clarify the issues….it borders on transparency and accountability” he expressed concern.

In December 20012, the role of STL came into sharp focus when the NPP accused the Electoral Commission of secretly engaging STL for election results transmission.
The then EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, on December 8, 2012, dismissed the allegation.

“We wish to state emphatically that no such engagement has been made, neither is the Commission doing electronic transmission of results,” Dr. Afari-Gyan.
But Prosper Bani’s revelation categorical statement has left political observers wondering if it was a slip.

CODEO says it has never known STL to play any role in any election adding that in a normal arrangement, results are sent from the polling stations to the constituency centers where it is collated.

According to Mr. Arhin, the collated results are then sent to the regional office and later forwarded to the national head office of the Electoral Commission.

“So if there is anything contrary to this normal arrangement then it ought to be explained to Ghanaians to know exactly what happened”, he said.

He said the integrity of the EC is at stake if it leaves questions surrounding its relationship with STL unclarified. He added that STL’s contract with the EC is to supply and install ICT software and products, which officials of the Electoral Commission are to use for the elections.

This he said suggests that STL will not have direct control of the process as it is to supply ICT products, which are to remain the property of the Commission.

“The Electoral Commission has never transmitted polling station results to any other place for presentation to the headquarters. Maybe this is the first time they are trying to transmit results”, said Mr. Arhin who is an ex-worker at the Commission.

Source: myjoyonline

Friday, April 1, 2016

Djibouti: President eyes fourth term win after 17 years stay

(AFP) - After 17 years under his rule, few doubt Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh will fail to win a fourth term in polls next week, with a divided opposition already calling the vote a sham.

Supporters of Guelleh -- president since 1999 of the tiny but strategic former French colony whose port guards the entrance to the Red Sea and Suez Canal -- are confident of victory in the April 8 vote.

Since campaigning began on March 25 portraits of "IOG", as Guelleh is nicknamed, have lined the baking hot streets of Djibouti city, capital of the arid Horn of Africa nation of some 820,000 people, where Guelleh supporters parade in the green party colours of his Union for the Presidential Majority (known by its French acronym, UMP).

"We are optimistic, especially when we see that the opposition party is straggling", said Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf.

Guelleh won the last polls five years ago with 80 percent of the vote, after parliament changed the constitution in April 2010 to clear the way for a third, and now a likely fourth, term.

The main opposition group, the so-called Union for National Salvation (USN), is a collapsing coalition of opposition parties.

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