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Barrow Wins Gambian Presidential Election, as Jammeh Concedes Defeat

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The United Democratic Party (UDP), opposition alliance presidential candidate Adama Barrow speaks during a rally in Buffer zone, Gambia
  • Barrow Wins Gambian Presidential Election, as Jammeh Concedes Defeat

The Gambia’s opposition candidate, Adama Barrow, yesterday pulled off a stunning victory, comfortably winning a presidential election and putting an end to the 22-year rule of President Yahya Jammeh.

Jammeh, who has ruled The Gambia for 22 years, has conceded defeat to Barrow, the chairman of the country’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said yesterday.

This follows the precedent set in African presidential elections by Nigeria’s former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who conceded defeat to and congratulated current President Muhammadu Buhari in last year’s elections, even before the formal announcement of the full results of the make of mar election, thereby pulling the country from the brink.

“It’s really unique that someone who has been ruling this country for so long has accepted defeat,” Alieu Momar Njie told reporters in Banjul ahead of the release of the results of Thursday’s presidential election.

Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said, as Gambians began to take to the streets to celebrate the biggest upset in the West African country since Jammeh seized power in a 1994 coup.

His campaign manager, Yankuba Colley, said he was not aware of the electoral commission chairman’s statement but said he believed the President would step down if the Gambian people wanted it.

Barrow won 54.54 per cent (263,515 votes), while Jammeh took 36.66 per cent (212,099) and third party candidate, Mama Kandeh, secured 102,969 votes (17.80 per cent) in the poll, which witnessed around 65 per cent turnout, the IEC said.

Jammeh, who was running for a fifth term, once said he would govern for a billion years if God willed it, was attempting to win a fifth term with his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC).

On the streets of Bakau, a district on the outskirts of Banjul, Gambians began an impromptu street party, drumming, dancing and honking car horns.

“This man (Jammeh) beat and oppressed us,” a young man, who gave his name as Jawara told AFP, adding: “We didn’t have our freedom, but definitely Barrow will give it to us.”

Gambian state television told AFP that Jammeh would make a statement later in the day to congratulate 51-year-old Barrow, a previously unknown estate agent and former economic migrant to Britain, who was chosen as the opposition flag-bearer by a group of political parties that had joined forces for the first time, whipping up unprecedented popular support.

Barrow told AFP before the vote was announced that he was “certain” he had won.

He would likely serve a three-year term at the head of a transition reform government in the tiny former British colony that occupies a narrow sliver of land surrounded by French-speaking Senegal and pristine Atlantic Ocean beaches beloved by tourists.

Security forces had been deployed heavily in Banjul earlier yesterday amid nervousness over whether Jammeh would accept a ballot box defeat.

Before dawn broke, military and police, some covering their faces, set up checkpoints every few hundred metres on the outskirts of the capital, while citizens remained inside sleeping or watching the results come in.

“Power belongs to the people. You cannot stop us and you cannot stop them,” Barrow said at his final rally this week, while Jammeh predicted the biggest landslide of his political career and warned that protests over the election result would not be tolerated, saying The Gambia “does not allow” demonstrations.

A deeply devout Muslim, Jammeh was born in the western village of Kanilai in 1965, the year that The Gambia gained independence from Britain.

Jammeh joined the army in 1984 and 10 years later, mounted a coup with fellow army officers against then President Dawda Jawara, who had ruled the country since independence, pledging to root out corruption and hold elections.

After giving up his rank of colonel to allow him to contest elections as a civilian, Jammeh swept the vote in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011, following a 2002 constitutional amendment removing presidential term limits.

 

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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