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We Have no Confidence in INEC – PDP Govs

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  • We Have no Confidence in INEC – PDP Govs

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party have said they have no confidence in the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2019.

The governors alleged that the commission had conducted itself as a tool of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.

The governors specifically accused the National Chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmud Yakubu, and a National Commissioner of INEC, Mrs Amina Zakari, as being involved in the alleged biased roles of the electoral body.

The PDP governors arrived at these positions after their meeting, which was held in Abuja on Sunday night.

The meeting, which ended in the early hours of Monday, was held at the Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro.

The Chairman of the Forum, who is also the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, signed the communiqué of the meeting on behalf of his colleagues.

The communiqué read in part, “The forum noted that INEC needs to reinvent itself as a truly independent umpire of the electoral process in the country.

“For now, we have no confidence in INEC. The commission has conducted itself as a tool of the APC-led Federal Government, especially with the roles of the Chairman, Prof Mahmud Yakubu, and a National Commissioner, Mrs Amina Zakari.”

The governors also condemned the alleged politicisation of security agencies in the country by the Federal Government.

They claimed that the Federal Government had been using the security agencies to enhance electoral fraud in states such as Ekiti, Osun and Rivers.

The governor said, “The PDP Governors’ Forum condemns in strong terms the politicisation of security agencies in the country by the Federal Government.

“We observe that security agencies have become organs and tools of the APC-led Federal Government to harass and intimidate the opposition and dissenting voices.

“The Forum decries the use of security agencies to perpetrate electoral fraud as it happened in Ekiti, Osun and Rivers states, and urged them to be non-partisan in the performance of their duties in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.”

The governors further condemned the alleged flagrant violation of democratic ethos by the operatives of “this government as shown recently in the infamous act by the Police at the residence of elder statesman, Pa Edwin Clark, and the harassment on innocent Nigerians across the country on frivolous claims.”

On the alleged release of N16bn to Osun State from the Paris Club refund by the Federal Government, the PDP governors alleged that the money was meant to induce voters ahead of the September 22 governorship election in the state.

“The Forum condemned the surreptitious, selective and suspicious payment of N16bn purportedly from the Paris Club refund. We are of the view that the money is to fund corrupt inducement of voters in the forthcoming governorship election in Osun State on September 22, 2018,” the communiqué added.

The governors also condemned the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended electoral bill into law.

With this, the governors said the President had indicated that he and his party “are afraid of electronic voting or the introduction of technology into the electoral system.”

On the 13 presidential aspirants of the party, who have picked the party’s presidential nomination and expression of interest forms, the governors said that they would soon have a meeting with them.

The meeting, they said, would also be attended by the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, two other national officers and leaders of the party in both chambers of the National Assembly.

Nigerians believe in us, INEC replies PDP govs

But INEC said Nigerians believed in it to deliver free, fair and credible elections in 2019, noting that it was making efforts to improve on the electoral process.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, said, “Since the inauguration of the current leadership of INEC in November 2015, the commission has been putting various measures in place to improve and strengthen the electoral process. And in doing so, the commission has also carried all stakeholders along. Not only that, by putting all our cards on the table at all times, INEC has continually demonstrated integrity, transparency and efficiency. The efforts are paying off.

“Only on August 31, the commission brought the Continuous Voter Registration to a close after registering 14.5 million voters in 16 months. The commission has also conducted about 190 different types of elections, including six governorship elections, none of which has been overturned.

“From the feedback we are getting from Nigerians, they are appreciative of our efforts and our pledge is that we will deliver free, fair and credible 2019 general elections.”

We’re not like PDP which abused INEC – APC

Also, the APC has debunked claims by the PDP governors that it has compromised INEC’s independence.

The Acting National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, said this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja on Monday.

He said, “We all know how the PDP used INEC when they were in power for 16 years, Nigerians have not forgotten how INEC was used under (Maurice) Iwu, we are not like them. Under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, we recognise INEC’s independence and we respect it. The PDP should stop this pettiness.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Rishi Sunak Announces Resignation Amid Labour’s Sweeping Victory

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced his resignation as the leader of the Conservative Party following a historic victory by Labour in the general election.

Addressing the nation from the steps of 10 Downing Street, Sunak expressed his deep regret and took full responsibility for the party’s defeat.

“I would like to say, first and foremost, I am sorry. I have given this job my all,” Sunak began, visibly moved.

“But you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgement that matters. I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.”

The Conservatives experienced a staggering loss, with more seats taken by Labour than in any previous election.

This shift marked a dramatic change in the political landscape, as large swathes of the country turned red. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, claimed victory early Friday morning, addressing a jubilant crowd of supporters.

“The UK has the opportunity after 14 years to get its future back,” Starmer proclaimed.

Sunak, who retained his seat in Richmond, North Yorkshire, described the night as “sobering.”

In his concession, he stated, “The Labour Party has won this general election, and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory. The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight; there is much to learn, and I take responsibility for the loss.”

Following his resignation speech, Sunak and his wife, Akshata, departed from Downing Street for Buckingham Palace to formally tender his resignation to King Charles III.

A spokesperson for the King confirmed, “His Majesty was graciously pleased to accept.”

Reflecting on his tenure, Sunak said, “I am honoured to have been your prime minister. This is the best country in the world.”

He also acknowledged the many Conservative MPs who lost their seats, stating, “It pains me to think how many good colleagues who contributed so much to their communities and our country will now no longer sit in the House of Commons. I thank them for their hard work and their service.”

As the Conservative Party faces a period of introspection and rebuilding, Sunak emphasized the importance of the party’s role in opposition.

“It is important that the Conservative Party now rebuilds and also takes up its crucial role in opposition, professionally and effectively,” he noted.

The leadership race within the Conservative Party is expected to commence shortly, as the party seeks to navigate its path forward after this significant electoral defeat.

For now, the UK braces for a new political era under Labour’s leadership, with the promise of significant changes on the horizon.

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Trump’s Immunity Claim Partially Upheld by Supreme Court, Trial Postponed

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald Trump possesses partial immunity from criminal charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results.

The ruling, which splits along ideological lines with a 6-3 vote, represents a significant legal victory for Trump, effectively ensuring that a trial will not occur before the November 2024 election.

The Court found that the federal appeals court was too dismissive of Trump’s immunity arguments.

For the first time, the Supreme Court acknowledged that former presidents could be shielded from prosecution for certain official acts carried out while in office.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, explained that “The president is not above the law. But Congress may not criminalize the president’s conduct in carrying out the responsibilities of the Executive Branch under the Constitution.”

The ruling did not go so far as to dismiss the indictment altogether, as Trump had hoped.

However, the decision’s timing is pivotal as it narrows the opportunity for Special Counsel Jack Smith to bring Trump before a jury in Washington, D.C., before the November 5 election.

The ruling now returns the case to the lower courts to determine which specific allegations are protected under the presidential immunity doctrine.

This process will likely extend beyond the election, leaving Trump facing only one of four criminal cases against him before voters head to the polls.

Trump was previously convicted in a New York state court on May 30 for falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election.

His Washington trial, related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election, has been on hold pending the Supreme Court’s decision on his immunity claim.

The dissenting opinion, penned by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, criticized the majority for granting such broad immunity.

They argued that the decision undermines the principle that no one, including the president, is above the law.

The decision underscores the ongoing legal battles facing Trump as he campaigns for the 2024 presidential election.

While this ruling may provide a temporary respite, it also raises critical questions about the extent of legal protections afforded to former presidents and the balance of power within the U.S. government.

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Macron’s Alliance and Left-Wing Bloc Consider Strategy to Block Far-Right Surge

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President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance and the left-wing New Popular Front are contemplating strategic withdrawals of their candidates to prevent the far-right National Rally from gaining power.

Marine Le Pen’s National Rally secured a surprising 33.2% of the vote, according to interior ministry figures, outpacing both the New Popular Front’s 28% and Macron’s coalition, which garnered 20.8%.

This result has sent shockwaves through the French political landscape, heightening fears of a far-right ascendance.

“The lesson of today is that the far right is at the gates of power,” French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal told supporters on Sunday night. “Our objective is clear: to prevent the National Rally from having an absolute majority.”

A decisive victory in the second round would enable National Rally President Jordan Bardella to claim the premiership, granting the party significant legislative power.

Traditionally, France’s mainstream parties have united to keep the far right out of government.

The financial markets responded with cautious optimism after the National Rally’s smaller-than-expected margin of victory.

Futures on France’s CAC 40 index surged almost 3% at the opening bell, while the euro gained 0.5%, marking its largest intraday increase in over two weeks.

However, the political uncertainty has led to fluctuating yields on French bonds, reflecting investor unease.

In over half of the 577 constituencies, three candidates qualified for the runoffs. In these cases, the third-placed candidate can withdraw to bolster the chances of another mainstream party defeating the National Rally.

The deadline for such withdrawals is 6 p.m. on Tuesday, leaving party leaders in a frantic race to form alliances.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the New Popular Front, an alliance of left-wing parties, announced his intention to encourage third-placed candidates from his group to withdraw in favor of a united front against the far right.

President Macron echoed this sentiment, calling for a “broad, clearly democratic and republican alliance for the second round.”

However, the situation is complicated. Mélenchon’s France Unbowed has proposed policies that conflict with European Union budget rules, potentially unsettling investors.

This has made it unclear whether Macron’s Renaissance party will withdraw in constituencies where the far left would benefit.

In a gesture toward building alliances with the left, Prime Minister Attal announced the suspension of an unpopular unemployment insurance reform on Sunday evening.

The government had argued that the changes would incentivize employment, but opposition parties criticized the timing, given rising joblessness.

Although Macron’s presidency itself is not at risk — and he has stated he has no plans to resign — the election results indicate he will either have to share governing responsibilities with the National Rally or navigate a gridlocked parliament.

The National Rally opposes many of Macron’s key initiatives, including migration policy, pension reform, and EU integration.

Market analysts suggest that while investors prefer gridlock over a far-right government, any credible alliances to block Le Pen from absolute power could restore some stability to French markets.

“A hung parliament could make it hard to get anything done in France, which is exactly what the markets would like,” said Kathleen Brooks, research director at XTB.

As the political landscape evolves rapidly, the coming days will be crucial in determining France’s legislative future and the broader implications for European politics.

The nation watches closely as Macron and Mélenchon’s parties deliberate their next moves to counter the far-right surge.

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