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ELECTIONS

AFRICA: Burundi awaits poll results as opposition alleges fraud.

AFRICA: Burundi awaits poll results as opposition alleges fraud.

AFRICA, BURUNDI, ELECTIONS
Polling station closed across Burundi on Wednesday in a largely incident free process in keenly watched general elections. The polls will usher in the post-Pierre Nkurunziza era. But voters also cast ballots for lawmakers and local level representatives. Internet connectivity for social media and messaging apps were blocked early Wednesday morning. Burundians stood in long lines outside polling stations, which opened shortly after six am, most centers had hand washing points for people arriving to vote and election officials had some protective equipments in some instances. After casting his ballot, Nkurunziza praised Burundians for the peaceful conduct of the process which he reiterated had been fully funded with local finances. He also stressed that politics was meant to serve ...
AFRICA: Burundi blocks Social Media amid Elections

AFRICA: Burundi blocks Social Media amid Elections

AFRICA, BURUNDI, ELECTIONS
Burundi has blocked social media platforms on election day as voters choose a leader to replace long-serving president Pierre Nkurunziza. Only those using Virtual Private Networks (VPN), which mask a user's identity, can access the social media sites. The authorities have not responded to requests for comment. Polling stations for the election opened early on Wednesday morning. The build-up to the poll - in which seven candidates are vying to replace President Nkurunziza - has been marred by violence and accusations that the vote will not be free and fair. The electoral commission has approved representatives from 53 foreign embassies, including some from the African Union, as poll observers. President Nkurunziza will be stepping down after 15 years but he will transitio...
AFRICA: Burundi vote holds amid COVID-19 protocols.

AFRICA: Burundi vote holds amid COVID-19 protocols.

AFRICA, BURUNDI, CORONAVIRUS, ELECTIONS
A crucial election has begun in the East African nation of Burundi, where President Pierre Nkurunziza is stepping aside after 15 years in charge but he will remain “paramount leader” in the country that continues to reject outside scrutiny. The vote is one of the most important transfers of power in Burundi since independence in 1962. Face masks and social distancing were observed as voting began after 6 a.m. but Burundi’s government has been criticized for not appearing to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously. Nkurunziza himself attended crowded political rallies. The country has 42 confirmed virus cases. Regional observers are not present after being told that arriving foreigners would face a 14-day quarantine, and on Wednesday morning citizens and journalists said access to...
AFRICA: Tension in Burundi towards Elections amid the Corona-virus Pandemic.

AFRICA: Tension in Burundi towards Elections amid the Corona-virus Pandemic.

AFRICA, BURUNDI, CORONAVIRUS, ELECTIONS, HEALTH
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and growing tensions in the country, Burundi will, on Wednesday, hold general elections. The small African country of the Great Lakes region and its 11 million inhabitants are trying to emerge from a deadly political crisis born of President Nkurunziza’s controversial candidacy for a third term in April 2015. Unlike Ethiopia, which postponed its August elections because of the COVID-19, Burundi has decided to maintain them at all costs, like Mali, Benin, and Malawi. Burundi, which the government claimed was protected by “divine grace”, has so far officially recorded 42 positive cases, including one death. But authorities are accused by doctors and the opposition of hiding COVID-19 cases, attributing them to other diseases such as pneumonia. Burund...
Uganda’s Gen. Tumukunde applies for bail

Uganda’s Gen. Tumukunde applies for bail

AFRICA, CRIME, EAST AFRICA, ELECTIONS, Politics, UGANDA
Former Minister of Security, Lt Gen (Rtd) Henry Tumukunde who is currently jailed in Luzira on remand has applied for bail through the High Court. On Wednesday, Tumukunde was remanded to Luzira Maximum Prison by Senior Magistrate Grade One, Valerian Tuhimbise. The retired soldier was arrested on Thursday last week by a team of security personnel led by Director of Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) Grace Akullo and Elly Womanya the Commandant Police Special Investigations Directorate (SID) stormed his Kololo offices and whisked him off to CID Headquarters in Kibuli for a statement and later taken to SID Kireka. In his bail application, Lt. Gen. Tumukunde committed to attend court at all times if granted bail and to avail sureties who have undertaken to ensure he attends...
Gen Tumukunde denied bail, sent to Luzira

Gen Tumukunde denied bail, sent to Luzira

AFRICA, EAST AFRICA, ELECTIONS, INTERNATIONAL, UGANDA
Gen.Tumukunde has been charged with treason and four counts of unlawful possession of fire arms and ammunition, however, pleaded not guilty to all five counts. The prosecution stated that on the 5th of March 2020 while appearing on a morning show at one of the local Television stations in Kamwokya, the Rt. Lt Gen made statements that were calculated to instigate the Republic of Rwanda to invade Uganda and cause an unlawful change of government. On the unlawful possession fire arms and ammunition, it states that on the 13th of March 2020 at his office Impala Avenue in Kololo, he was found in possession of 2 guns; an Ak47 and a pistol. Prosecution further states that he is charged with unlawful possession of 34 rounds of ammunition’s without a valid firearm license He has ...
Democrats vote amidst the rapid spread of Covid 19

Democrats vote amidst the rapid spread of Covid 19

AMERICA, CORONAVIRUS, ELECTIONS, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL NEWS, Politics, united states of america, USA
Tuesday was supposed to be Super Tuesday, the sequel, with four big-state contests. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, Ohio - and its 136 delegates - has indefinitely delayed its in-person voting, even though many in the state have already cast early or absentee ballots. The primaries were held as scheduled in the other three states of Illinois, Florida and Arizona,. The latter two have robust early voting systems, which mean any drop in same-day balloting had less of an effect on total turnout. In Arizona, for instance, early voting exceeded the entire turnout in the state's 2016 Democratic primary - and the state was called for Biden just a few hours after polls closed there. Illinois, however, relies heavily on election-day turnout - and reports from the state indicate th...
AFRICA: The United States Supports Elections in Ethiopia Through Nationwide Media Trainings

AFRICA: The United States Supports Elections in Ethiopia Through Nationwide Media Trainings

AFRICA, ELECTIONS, USA
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 5, 2020/ -- The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa launched on Wednesday nationwide media trainings that will help empower both state and private media outlets in the lead to elections in 2020.  The initiative is implemented by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) in partnership with Addis Ababa University School of Journalism and Communications (AAU-SJC). This project aims to enhance the skill sets of journalists and strengthen the institutional capacity of Ethiopian media organizations with the overarching goal of improving the quality of information available to the Ethiopian public in the lead up to the 2020 elections in Ethiopia.  A total of twenty-five training sessions are planned throughout the country.  Each...
AFRICA: Court rejects 2019 elections, Malawi to vote again.

AFRICA: Court rejects 2019 elections, Malawi to vote again.

AFRICA, ELECTIONS, MALAWI
Malawi's parliament has cleared the way for fresh polls in May after a top court overturned last year's elections results that returned Peter Mutharika to power. In a landmark decision, the Constitutional Court ruled on February 3 that last May's election was fraught with widespread irregularities -- especially the "massive" use of correction fluid on tally sheets. Parliament documents seen by AFP on Tuesday showed that under the new law passed on Monday, fresh elections will be held during the third week of May. Malawi's elections are traditionally held on a Tuesday, and it follows that polling will take place on May 19. "Fresh presidential election shall be held in the third week of May, 2020," read the bill. In another change, lawmakers decreed that a candidate w...
AFRICA: ‘I am not a dictator’: Togo’s president defends himself ahead of polls

AFRICA: ‘I am not a dictator’: Togo’s president defends himself ahead of polls

AFRICA, ELECTIONS, TOGO
Gnassingbe is aiming to extend his family’s decades-long domination over the West African nation by claiming a fourth term in power. The country of 8 million goes to the polls on Saturday after the constitution was changed to allow Gnassingbe to run again. What I can say is that I will always respect my country's constitution. Critics say the vote will not be fair as the opposition has faced a crackdown to snuff out a wave of protests. However, Gnassingbe told AFP in a joint interview with Le Monde newspaper that such accusations were “more due to reputation than reality”. “Sometimes these statements and opinions are exaggerated — in any case, I don’t feel like a dictator,” he said. Decades of the Gnassingbes The president took over in 2005 after the death of his fat...
UGANDA: Tax Clearance Certificate is not a Requirement for Political Contenders -Electoral Commision.

UGANDA: Tax Clearance Certificate is not a Requirement for Political Contenders -Electoral Commision.

AFRICA, ELECTIONS, UGANDA
The Electoral Commission (EC) top management has cleared air on the controversial tax clearance requirement for all those intending to contest for political offices in the coming election, saying for now there is no law. EC chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama speaking Tuesday during the launch of display of National Voters’ Register at EC head offices said that currently no law guides the commission to demand a tax clearance certificate from all candidates. “For now we don’t have that law. May be if the law is amended to include that as our requirement, that is when EC will begin demanding that qualification, “Byabakama said. In the recent past, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner General Doris Akol had alerted all Ugandans who are harbouring political interests to r...
UGANDA: Electoral Commission clears Bobi Wine for the presidential post, 21 others to start consultation.

UGANDA: Electoral Commission clears Bobi Wine for the presidential post, 21 others to start consultation.

AFRICA, ELECTIONS, UGANDA
The Electoral Commission (EC) as cleared People Power founder Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine to go ahead with his planned consultation meetings as soon as the Uganda Police gives the green light. The announcement was made by the EC chairperson, Simon Byabakama in a press briefing to journalists on Tuesday morning. Bobi Wine is among 20 other presidential hopefuls who have been cleared for the consultation exercise. Among those cleared include; Former presidential aspirant Elton Joseph Mbairizi, Apostle Ben Israel Sseninde, Timothy Mugerwa, Bob Paul Akileng, Steven Kaweesa, and Ambrose Kyomukama. Also cleared are: Joseph Mwambazi, John Herbert Nkangabwa, Fred Mwesigye, Tunawooza Makoma, Charles Mutaasa Kafeero, and Dr. Moses Amin. “Many people are still coming in,...
UGANDA: NRM puts in motion ’10-point plan’ for free and fair elections – Justine Lumumba.

UGANDA: NRM puts in motion ’10-point plan’ for free and fair elections – Justine Lumumba.

2021 ELECTIONS, AFRICA, ELECTIONS, UGANDA
In a renewed bid to commit to democratic ideals and transparency in handling elections, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), of which I am the chief administrator, has come up with a ten point plan for free and fair internal elections. This move is aimed at averting fallouts, anger and antagonism arising out of questionable party primaries which motivate the aggrieved to go independent or to work with our opponents to the disadvantage of official party candidates. The most significant measure instituted is queuing (lining up) behind candidates. This method will be employed at all electoral levels (Parliamentary, Local Councils and special structures elections); if necessary, even in choosing a Presidential flag bearer. That is how resolute we are on this new modus operandi...
ELECTIONS: Elections Tribunal should deal with electoral reforms – MP Mwiru.

ELECTIONS: Elections Tribunal should deal with electoral reforms – MP Mwiru.

AFRICA, ELECTIONS, UGANDA
Parliament has granted leave to Paul Mwiru (Jinja Municipality East) MP to bring a private member’s bill seeking to amend the constitution through the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020 to set up a tribunal to handle election petitions. Mwiru defended the proposed constitutional amendment saying he had combined his electoral proposal with those of Wilfred Niwagaba (Shadow Attorney General) but during the printing process, his proposal was omitted prompting Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah to advise him to table his amendment separately to conform with Rules and Procedure of Parliament. He said that the current legal framework of handling petitions is not only time consuming but also costly for many of the aggrieved personnel involved in the litigation process and wants the la...
AFRICA: Cameroon votes under tension

AFRICA: Cameroon votes under tension

AFRICA, cameroon, ELECTIONS
Cameroon voted Sunday in polls overshadowed by a partial opposition boycott and separatist violence that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Elections for the central African country’s legislature and local councils are taking place for the first time in seven years, after two postponements. They are unlikely to ruffle the enduring rule of President Paul Biya, one of the world’s oldest and longest-serving leaders, who has held a tight grip on power for 37 of his 86 years. As voting began large numbers of police and soldiers were seen deployed on the streets of Buea, the capital of the Southwest Region, one of two provinces gripped by bloody separatist violence. But the polling stations in the city were almost deserted an hour after they opened at 8am (0700 GMT). The ...
MALAWI: President  Mutharika appeals court ruling annulling his re-election

MALAWI: President Mutharika appeals court ruling annulling his re-election

AFRICA, ELECTIONS, MALAWI
Earlier this week, the Constitutional Court annulled the vote held last May that returned Mutharika to power as president. It cited “widespread, systematic and grave” irregularities, which included results sheets with sections blotted out or altered with correction fluid. “I can confirm that the court has received both appeals by first respondent (the president) and second respondent (electoral commission),” High Court Registrar Agnes Patemba told Reuters on Friday. I can confirm that the court has received both appeals by first respondent (the president) and second respondent (electoral commission). Mutharika had denounced the ruling as “a serious subversion of justice, an attack on our democratic systems and an attempt to undermine the will of the people”. The elec...
GUINEA BISSAU: Ex-PM Embalo wins poll round 2.

GUINEA BISSAU: Ex-PM Embalo wins poll round 2.

AFRICA, ELECTIONS, GUINEA BISSAU
Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea Bissau’s opposition party has been declared winner of the second round of presidential election held on December 29 last year. The National Electoral Commission (CNE) of Guinea-Bissau made the announcement Tuesday following a request by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for verification results. He beat his contender Domingos Simoes Pereira by about 54% to 46%, the commission said. Practically nothing has changed. Thus a new stage has been reached in the Guinea-Bissau crisis, even if the dispute remains far from being resolved. “There was absolutely nothing, it was just a consolidation of the figures announced by the CNE, and we were there to see it. Practically nothing has changed”, Vençã Mendes, a representative of th...
MALAWI: Malawi awaits ruling on presidential election petition.

MALAWI: Malawi awaits ruling on presidential election petition.

AFRICA, ELECTIONS, MALAWI, Politics
Malawi’s Constitutional Court will on Monday deliver a ruling on last year’s disputed presidential election that led to deadly confrontations and widespread unrest. The long-peaceful southern African nation has never had a presidential vote overturned, but the two opposition candidates who teamed up for a legal challenge are hoping the Constitutional Court will agree with their allegations of irregularities and order a new vote. President Peter Mutharika was declared the narrow winner of the May election with 38% of votes, followed by Lazarus Chakwera with 35% and former vice president Saulos Chilima third with 20%. The four other candidates collectively got nearly 6%. There is more that binds us than that which separates us. Arguments in the petition The five-judge...
2021 ELECTIONS: MPs reject proposed cuts on 2021 election budget claiming it will cause unfair elections.

2021 ELECTIONS: MPs reject proposed cuts on 2021 election budget claiming it will cause unfair elections.

AFRICA, ELECTIONS, UGANDA
Legislators have rejected a proposal by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to cut the Electoral Commission’s (EC) budget for the 2021 general elections. The Minister of Finance, Hon Matia Kasaija told MPs on the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on January 28, 2020, that the EC’s budget for the elections will be reviewed due to constraints in the treasury. The Minister was appearing before the committee to respond to concerns raised by the EC over a funding shortfall amounting to shs518 billion to conduct all the electoral activities in 2021. “I held a meeting with the EC and all stakeholders in the electioneering process today and we agreed that all agencies should review their budgets and look for areas that could be subjected to cuts...