African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".


  • African Press International Daily Online News Channel

  • * * API on Facebook

  • Total Visitors

    • 5,362,302 HITS
  • Flag tracker

    web counter
  • RSS BBC News – Africa

    • South Sudan treason charges dropped April 24, 2014
      South Sudan withdraws charges against four top politicians accused of the alleged coup plot that triggered the civil war.
    • Nigeria rapist to be stoned to death April 24, 2014
      An Islamic court in northern Nigeria sentences a man of 63 to death by stoning for raping a girl of 10 and infecting her with HIV.
    • Lupita Nyong'o named most beautiful April 24, 2014
      Kenyan Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o, 31, is named the world's most beautiful person for 2014 by the US People magazine.
    • Deadly car bomb strikes Nairobi April 23, 2014
      Four people, two of them police, are killed in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by a car bomb outside a police station.
    • DR Congo train in deadly derailment April 23, 2014
      At least 63 people have been killed after a freight train overloaded with passengers derailed in Katanga in south-eastern DR Congo, officials say.
    • Bomb 'kills senior Egypt policeman' April 23, 2014
      A senior Egyptian police officer has been killed by a bomb blast in the capital, Cairo, officials say.
    • SA row over 'banned' Malema advert April 23, 2014
      South Africa's public broadcaster says it refused to broadcast an advert from the controversial politician Julius Malema, saying it incited violence.
    • Mali group says French hostage dead April 22, 2014
      Islamist militants in Mali say French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal, who was kidnapped in 2012, is dead.
    • Three children found dead in London April 23, 2014
      A woman, originally from South Africa, is arrested after three children are found dead at a house in south London.
    • Moroccan Jew asks to join Islamists April 23, 2014
      A Jewish lawyer in Morocco challenges the political establishment by asking to join the ruling Islamist PJD party, it is reported.
    • Pistorius 'had no acting coaching' April 22, 2014
      Oscar Pistorius' family denies claims the athlete took acting lessons ahead of his testimony in the murder trial of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
    • Al-Jazeera trial sees video evidence April 22, 2014
      A court in Egypt is shown video and audio evidence in the trial of three al-Jazeera journalists accused of terrorism-related offences.
    • VIDEO: Film features plight of African park April 24, 2014
      The lethal realities of life in Virunga National Park are the subject of a British documentary which has just had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
    • VIDEO: Sudan hopes for bird-watching boost April 24, 2014
      Environmental campaigners in Sudan are promoting the country as a tourist destination for bird watchers in a bid to boost revenue, which could then be used to protect nesting sites and rare birds from extinction.
    • VIDEO: What is 'beauty' in Africa? April 24, 2014
      As Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o is named the world's most beautiful person a new documentary explores the beauty debate from an African perspective.
    • VIDEO: Ethiopia's Jewish community divided April 24, 2014
      Thousands of Ethiopian Jews have been left disappointed by an Israeli government decision to end a 30-year-old programme that saw tens thousands of Ethiopian Jews airlifted to the Holy Land.
    • VIDEO: Deadly car bomb strikes Nairobi April 24, 2014
      A car bomb has exploded outside a police station in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, killing four people.
    • VIDEO: Horror of S Sudan massacre filmed April 23, 2014
      The White House has strongly condemned the massacre of civilians in South Sudan calling it a betrayal of the people by their leaders.
    • VIDEO: Grim journey through 'new Rwanda' April 22, 2014
      The United Nations says the on-going conflict in South Sudan has a disturbing echo of events in Rwanda 20 years ago.
    • VIDEO: Footage shows Nigeria kidnap school April 22, 2014
      More than 180 Nigerian schoolgirls remain missing after being snatched from their classroom last week.
  • RSS BBC News – Home

    • Netanyahu: Abbas must end Hamas pact April 24, 2014
      Israeli Prime M Netanyahu tells the BBC Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas must abandon his pact with Hamas if he wants peace talks to resume.
    • Mother charged with triple murder April 24, 2014
      Mother charged with three counts of murder after three children found dead at house in south-west London
    • New Russia drills after Ukraine raid April 24, 2014
      Russia announces new military exercises on its border with Ukraine, after Kiev orders troops to move against separatists in the east.
    • FBI probe teacher 'abused boys in UK' April 24, 2014
      A convicted paedophile abused children at a private school in London where he taught, its chair of governors confirms.
    • Barclays wins pay package vote April 24, 2014
      Barclays shareholders vote to approve the bank's remuneration package, which includes higher bonuses despite a 30% fall in profits.
    • Firefighters to stage fresh strikes April 24, 2014
      Firefighters in England and Wales are to stage strikes on 2, 3 and 4 May over a long-running pensions row, the Fire Brigades Union says.
    • Post Office staff agree pay deal April 24, 2014
      The postal union, the CWU, says it's secured a pay deal covering more than 3,000 staff at Crown Post Offices worth up to 7.3% over 3 years.
    • Police make Syria plea to UK women April 24, 2014
      British counter-terrorism police chiefs make an unprecedented appeal to Muslim women to persuade their relatives against travelling to Syria to fight in the civil war.
    • Crime falls 15% in England and Wales April 24, 2014
      Overall crime in England and Wales falls by 15% in 2013, an official survey shows - but there are signs, according to police figures, of rises in certain categories.
    • Ecclestone denies bribery in Germany April 24, 2014
      Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone denies charges of bribery at the start of his trial in Munich and says he will fight to clear his name.
    • Cyber gang leader jailed for scam April 24, 2014
      The leader of a gang which stole £1.25m from two of Britain's major banks in a "sophisticated and organised" cyber attack, is jailed for five-and-a-half years.
    • BBC suspends its CBI membership April 24, 2014
      The BBC announces it is to suspend its membership of the employers' organisation the CBI during the Scottish independence referendum campaign.
    • Treats in moderation make kids happy April 24, 2014
      Seven-year-olds are happier when they are allowed sweets, snacks and television in moderation, suggests a study of children's well-being.
    • Warhol works found on Amiga disks April 24, 2014
      A dozen previously unknown works created by Andy Warhol have been recovered from 30-year-old Amiga disks.
    • Martinez tips Moyes for rapid return April 24, 2014
      Everton boss Roberto Martinez backs predecessor David Moyes to make a quick return to management.
    • Rangers' finances fragile - Easdale April 24, 2014
      Rangers are in a "fragile" financial state and would not survive a second administration, a club shareholder tells BBC Scotland.
    • Woods hopeful of summer return April 24, 2014
      Tiger Woods hopes to return to competition this summer but is more concerned with his long-term fitness, his agent says.
    • Home nations in Euro 2020 scrap - SFA April 24, 2014
      Scotland will need to outdo their closest neighbours if Glasgow is to be a Euro 2020 host city, says SFA chief Stewart Regan.
    • Thursday's gossip column April 24, 2014
      Olic rejects Stoke, Man Utd want Shaw and Cavani, Moyes in shock Spurs link, Barcelona revive Luiz interest, and Wenger to sign new deal.
    • Labour to cut ties with Co-op Bank April 24, 2014
      The Labour Party is looking to sever its links with the troubled Co-op Bank, bringing to an end one of the oldest political partnerships in the UK.
  • RSS Reuters: Politics

    • Caroline Kennedy backs Hillary Clinton for 2016 April 24, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Caroline Kennedy, the current U.S. ambassador to Japan, says she would support Hillary Clinton if the former secretary of state seeks the presidency in 2016, and she hopes Clinton decides to run.
    • U.S. trade bank chief warns lawmaker 'political games' threaten exports April 24, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers will only hurt American exports and jobs by playing "political games" that threaten to shut down the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the bank's president said on Thursday.
    • Obama reaffirms commitment to Japan on tour of Asia allies April 24, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama assured ally Japan on Thursday that Washington was committed to its defense, including of tiny isles at the heart of a row with China, but denied he had drawn any new "red line" and urged peaceful dialogue over the islands.
    • Mississippi sets 20-week limit on abortions April 24, 2014
      (Reuters) - Mississippi will ban abortions after more than 20 weeks of pregnancy from July, joining other conservative U.S. states that have placed restrictions on the procedure.
    • Pentagon dossier to detail secretive U.S. Afghan detainee policy April 24, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of them have been locked up for a dozen years. Some are suspected fighters from Yemen, Russia or Pakistan, arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Several have been linked to al Qaeda.
    • Obama seeks to ease Asian allies' doubts during visit to Japan April 23, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will use a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Tokyo and other Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that Washington's real aim is to contain Beijing's rise.
    • Pentagon dossier to detail secretive U.S. Afghan detainee policy April 23, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of them have been locked up for a dozen years. Some are suspected fighters from Yemen, Russia or Pakistan, arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Several have been linked to al Qaeda.
    • Exclusive: White House considers former banking lawyer for Fed board - sources April 23, 2014
      NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former lawyer with the American Bankers Association is being considered by the White House as a possible nominee to the board of the Federal Reserve, according to sources familiar with the efforts
    • Vote delayed on loan guarantee for World Trade Center developer April 23, 2014
      NEW YORK (Reuters) - The board of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey on Wednesday delayed a scheduled vote on whether to provide $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein, the latest holdup for the project.
    • Democratic governors challenge Connecticut campaign finance law April 23, 2014
      (Reuters) - The U.S. Democratic Governors' Association on Wednesday sued the state of Connecticut, saying its laws on political spending are unconstitutionally broad and limit the ability of political groups to buy independent ads backing candidates.
    • Hagel begins first trip to Latin America as U.S. defense chief April 23, 2014
      ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday his first trip to Latin America as Pentagon chief would add "muscle and sinew" to growing North American defense ties and highlight the importance of helping partner nations improve their militaries.
    • Georgia governor signs gun carry rights expansion into law April 23, 2014
      ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a broad expansion of gun carry rights into law on Wednesday, allowing legal gun owners to take weapons into bars, churches and government buildings under certain conditions.
    • California lawmakers, bruised by scandal, turn to ethics training April 23, 2014
      SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - California lawmakers, their reputation tarnished by fraud and corruption scandals, on Wednesday took a break from normal business to attend ethics training, the latest step by the state Senate to repair its image as elections loom.
    • U.S. Justice Department announces clemency review of drug offenders April 23, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department laid out new clemency guidelines on Wednesday that are expected to make thousands of drug offenders eligible for a reduction in the sentences they are currently serving.
    • U.S. steps up trade pressure on Japan ahead of Obama visit April 23, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States put last-minute pressure on Japan to compromise in tough trade talks on Wednesday, shortly before President Barack Obama was to arrive for a state visit.
    • California GOP hopeful wants free college for science, math students April 23, 2014
      BERKELEY, California (Reuters) - California Republican gubernatorial hopeful Neel Kashkari called for free college tuition for students pursuing math and science degrees, part of an education reform plan released Tuesday that would also model public schools after charter schools.
    • California congressman woos Sriracha pepper sauce factory after odor complaints heat up April 23, 2014
      LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A U.S. congressman from a Los Angeles community is seeking to lure the factory that makes the bestselling Sriracha-brand hot pepper sauce to his district after residents in its current location complained about the smell.
    • New Jersey governor's press aide subpoenaed in 'Bridgegate' probe April 23, 2014
      (Reuters) - A New Jersey legislative panel investigating the "Bridgegate" traffic scandal subpoenaed the press spokesman to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and three other officials on Tuesday.
    • Asia tensions simmer as Obama set to arrive in Tokyo April 22, 2014
      TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in a tense Asian region on Wednesday, faced with the delicate task of assuring Japan and other regional allies of America's commitment to their defense without hurting Washington's vital ties with a rising China.
    • U.S. top court upholds Michigan ban on college affirmative action April 22, 2014
      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday further undermined the use of racial preferences in higher education by upholding a voter-approved Michigan law that banned the practice in decisions on which students to admit to state universities.
  • RSS CNN.com – Africa

    • Luxury shoes made in Ghana April 15, 2014
      Fred Deegbe was standing outside a shop window five years ago, marveling at the shiny pair of wing-tip Oxfords he'd just bought, when he started wondering whether such beautiful designer shoes could ever be produced in his country, Ghana.
    • Meet Nigeria's 'Mark Zuckerberg' April 3, 2014
      At 23, many people around the world are still at university -- at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
    • Why we need more geek girls April 3, 2014
      "It was like taking a big leap of faith."
    • 'Uncle Ebo' revives Ghanaian theater April 15, 2014
      African Voices meets James Ebo Whyte a passionate storyteller with a series of successful plays to his credit.
    • How medics saved lives at Westgate April 9, 2014
      When gunmen stormed into Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, Abbas Gullet was one of the first emergency responders on the scene. As head of Kenya's Red Cross, he was in charge of coordinating services for people in need.
    • Embracing Ghana's natural beauty April 1, 2014
      She started her business with just £100, lugging her beauty bag from door to door, but some 25 years later Grace Amey-Obeng has built a multi-million dollar cosmetics empire that's helping change the perception of beauty for many.
    • Africa's most endangered April 16, 2014
      Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened. Find out more about its most endangered animals.
    • Secrets of 'gorilla whisperer' March 25, 2014
      Zain Verjee visits Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park -- the home of half of the world's endangered mountain gorilla population.
    • Savannah from the sky March 13, 2014
      It's almost impossible for a photographer to find fresh visual perspectives these days. Brooklyn-based Zack Seckler had to travel to a different continent and strap into an ultra-light aircraft to find one. His Botswana series presents the country from between 50 and 500 feet, providing a unique and captivating view of the savannah.
    • Why the abduction isn't shocking April 22, 2014
      No one knows where 77 abducted girls in Nigeria are -- and surprising still, no one's particularly shocked.
    • Slum dweller means business April 22, 2014
      Most success-hungry entrepreneurs would tell you there's not enough hours in the day -- try saying that to Buken Makokha.
    • Human viruses killing last gorillas? April 22, 2014
      They are the world's largest primates and yet the constant threat of illegal poaching, deforestation and now human diseases mean that soon the world's mountain gorillas could be completely wiped out. Meet the woman trying to fix the situation before it's too late.
    • Is this the new Oprah? April 18, 2014
      Meet Mo Abudu: 'Africa's Oprah Winfrey.' The glamorous 49-year-old is conquering the continent one media empire at a time.
    • Ancient tribe living in the past April 18, 2014
      The Hadza are one of the oldest people on earth. Today, they battle for land, and continued survival.
    • Web dismantles stereotypes April 21, 2014
      The new Web series "An African City" is fun, trendy and over the top.
    • Why you should fear Boko Haram April 17, 2014
      Boko Haram's lethality is indisputable.
    • You gotta try South African BBQ April 17, 2014
      Grilled zebra anyone? Peri-peri warthog? This is how to barbecue, South Africa style.
    • Inside an Ebola isolation ward April 16, 2014
      Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes into an ebola clinic to find out what life is like for the patients inside.
    • Rating Pistorius's defense April 16, 2014
      After five days of intense cross-examination, has Olympian Oscar Pistorius helped or harmed his defense that he did not intentionally kill his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkam?
    • Pop art condoms saving lives April 15, 2014
      The Center for African Family Studies in Nairobi has teamed up with Kenyan artist Michael Soi to create eye-catching condom wrappers to promote safe sex and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people.
  • Country Stats

    free counters

Parliamentary polls in Togo. The ruling party’s victory could stifle reforms, analysts warn

Posted by African Press International on August 15, 2013

Parliamentary polls in Togo. The ruling party’s victory could stifle reforms, analysts warn

LOME,  - Togo’s July legislative polls extended the dominance of President Faure Gnassingbé’s party, which has been in power since 1967, despite opposition claims of malpractice. These results could narrow the chances for reforms and presage the results of the 2015 presidential election, analysts say.

The ruling Union for the Republic (UNIR) party broadened its parliamentary majority, winning 62 of 91 seats in the 25 July vote, which had been repeatedly postponed. The often divided opposition cried foul, but the constitutional court confirmed the outcome.

The small West African country has seen persistent protests since Gnassingbé’s 2010 re-election – which the opposition also said was flawed – and an increase in political violence. Last year, security forces clamped down on a series of opposition demonstrations.

“The ruling party’s majority win re-emphasizes, one time too many, the overwhelming grip of the Gnassingbé family in Togo,” said Kamissa Camara, a West Africa political analyst.

The Gnassingbé family has “consolidated power through manipulation, corruption schemes, terror, etc… and have managed to control key institutions, which should in practice be totally independent from the state. This has created a totally biased and unfair democratic playing field, which translates into the way the country is run,” Camara told IRN.

Opposition fears

Gnassingbé came to power in 2005 following the death of his father, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who had ruled Togo for 38 years. The army-backed succession sparked deadly unrest and international condemnation that forced him to step down and call elections, which he then won.

An ensuing political tension necessitated dialogue between the opposition and the ruling party, which resulted in a broad political accord that included a consultative platform for political and other reforms as well as a truth commission over the poll violence and other past atrocities. Most of the truth commission’s recommendations have not yet been implemented.

“The ruling party’s victory is merely a sign of continuity. I don’t believe it adds anything to the country’s democracy. There is no progress for Togo’s democracy, and the election disputes only add to the country’s fragility,” said Aimé Tchamie, Amnesty International’s director in Togo.

Opposition coalition Let’s Save Togo (‘Collectif Sauvons le Togo’ – CST), which won 19 seats in last month’s elections, and other groups led protests in 2012 to press for reforms, key among them a presidential term limit as well as electoral and other institutional changes.

Days to the July elections, the opposition and the government reached a deal that included opposition representation in the electoral body, party funding and the release of detained opposition members, but the accord came too late to have a meaningful effect on the opposition’s electoral chances.

“The July legislative elections basically shattered all hopes for serious constitutional and institutional reforms to take place within the short-to-medium terms.”

“The strategy of going for elections first and later undertak[ing] constitutional and institutional reforms, as called for in the 2006 political agreement, leads one to believe that the government is taking advantage of [the] parliamentary majority to block reforms it doesn’t like,” said Magloire Kuami Kuakuvi, a Togolese academic and human rights specialist.

“Redrawing the voting zones is the minimum of reforms before legislative polls. It is ironic that with just 70,000 votes, UNIR won 62 seats against 25 taken by the CST and Arc-en-ciel [another opposition group] combined,” Kuakuvi explained.

Amnesty International’s Tchamie noted that Lomé, the capital city, is home to a fifth of the country’s six million people and has 10 deputies while certain upcountry constituencies with 50,000 people have three members of parliament.

“With 62 [ruling party] members, it will be difficult to adopt constitutional reforms because the president will want to consolidate power with this majority. That is what is likely,” Michel Goeh-Akué, a lecturer at the University of Lomé, told IRIN.

Togo has no presidential term limits and the president is elected in a single round of voting with no run-off – a provision that makes it possible to be elected even without garnering the majority.

“A series of constitutional and institutional reforms are indeed needed for Togo to join the cohort of democratic states,” Camara said. “The July legislative elections basically shattered all hopes for serious constitutional and institutional reforms to take place within the short-to-medium terms.”

She argued that Gnassingbé remains the strongest candidate for the 2015 presidential race. “It will be quasi-impossible for another candidate to be elected to the presidency. Indeed, Faure has not shown any indication that he would be willing to step down and let the elections take place without him.”

Rights abuses

Human rights groups and other observers have also denounced violations of freedoms such as arbitrary arrests, widespread torture, and restrictions on political gatherings and the right to free expression.

“UNIR’s parliamentary majority is not very reassuring for press freedom in Togo. This government was repressive and voted laws that curbed liberties,” said Maxime Domégn, the secretary general of Togo’s independent journalists’ union, citing the raiding and closure of a private radio station on 25 July.

Tchamie said: “We remain concerned about human rights in Togo. Many opposition leaders are still in detention.”

The analysts called for a stronger engagement by the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) in Togo to help implement reforms agreed in 2006.

“We are worried that this [political] tension may persist up to the 2015 elections. International actors should not wait up to 2014 to help start a political dialogue [between the opposition and the ruling party],” said Tchamie.

“For democratic development and progress to occur, actors need to be renewed on a regular basis. The Togolese regime is a dilapidated one. I believe the ECOWAS involvement in the Togolese decade-long political crisis has been so far very timid and could certainly become more forceful,” Camara noted.

ob/ai/rz  source http://www.irinnews.org

 

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,235 other followers

%d bloggers like this: