The race for the position of British Prime Minister, Liz Truss began even before she turned in her resignation letter. A number of names have been taunted as possible replacements. Some of the prominent names include the former British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Former British Finance Minister, Rishi Sunak and British current Finance Minister, Jeremy Hunt.
Investors King had earlier reported that U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss Resigns After 45 Days in Office.
Truss, who became Prime Minister on September 6, ran into trouble when her Finance Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng announced the administration policy of a 45% tax cut for the rich.
British Pounds plunged to a 37-year low immediately after the policy was announced while analysts within and outside the country started criticising the policy and the need for an urgent reversal.
While Liz Truss will remain in place as caretaker prime minister until a successor is named, a leadership contest is expected to take place over the next week.
Some of the top contenders for the position are listed below:
The 58-year-old former prime minister has been taunted to return to his former position. He was seen as agile, active and charismatic. He also superintends over the Brexit vote which is one of the factors influencing the present social, and political-economic conditions of the United Kingdom.
Johnson previously enjoyed high levels of popularity until losing credibility in the final months of his premiership amid political scandal around Covid-19 rule-breaking and his links to disgraced MP Chris Pincher.
Former culture secretary and close Johnson ally Nadine Dorries tweeted Thursday that he was the only MP with “a mandate from party members and the British public,” having won the 2019 General Election.
Jeremy Hunt was the British finance minister brought in to replace Kwasi Kwarteng. He is assumed to be one of the most influential personalities in the British Government.
He has previously held several senior government positions, including foreign secretary, health secretary and culture secretary.
However, Jeremy has potentially exited himself from the race. Hunt hinted that he would not run, telling Sky News: “I rule it out, Mrs Hunt rules it out, three Hunt children rule it out.”
Sunak is a former Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) who keenly contested against Truss.
He looks like the favourite having warned Truss about her unfunded tax cuts saying it would be disastrous for Britain. He said they would bring panic in the bond market and concern from the International Monetary Fund.
Sunak has experience in economic crisis-fighting, having guided the UK through the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also secured the most votes from MPs in the last leadership election – comfortably clearing the new threshold with 137 endorsements. Although Truss eventually won the decisive members’ vote, Sunak only lost narrowly – with 43% of the vote.
Mordaunt is the Leader of the House of Commons who also has the capacity to be the PM. She may have had a dress rehearsal for being PM this week, after stepping in for an absent Truss at a debate.
“The prime minister is not under a desk,” Mordaunt said on Tuesday in an occasion that appeared as much about pitching herself as it did about helping the PM.
She came third in the last leadership election, narrowly missing out on being put before the members. With 105 votes from MPs in the last election, she too is expected to clear the new threshold.
Burkina Faso’s Military Junta Foils Attempted Coup Amid Ongoing Instability
Burkina Faso’s military junta announced its successful thwarting of an attempted coup this week, once again highlighting the nation’s precarious stability in the face of an ongoing Islamist insurgency.
The fragile transitional government, led by Colonel Ibrahim Traore, found itself targeted by a group of military officers and their cohorts seeking to plunge the country into chaos.
Government spokesman Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo released a statement late Wednesday, confirming the arrest of the individuals behind the plot, while asserting that those still at large were actively being pursued.
Traore, who took power a year ago after overthrowing Interim President Henri Paul Sandaogo Damiba, has been on edge due to the persistent specter of coups.
To address security concerns, Traore recently appointed new heads of the security services, including the National Intelligence Agency, following the arrest of several army officers accused of plotting against the state.
Ouedraogo reassured the public that a thorough investigation would be conducted to shed light on this latest attempted coup.
This incident in Burkina Faso underscores the troubling trend of military leaders seizing power in African nations, with Niger and Gabon experiencing similar developments in the past two years.
The West African nation remains at a critical juncture, teetering between democracy and instability as it grapples with internal and external threats.
French Ambassador Departs Niger Amid Escalating Tensions: Macron’s Pledge to Withdraw Troops Looms
Ambassador Sylvain Itte, along with six colleagues, left Niger’s capital, Niamey, on a flight bound for Paris via Chad.
This departure comes three days after French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed the withdrawal of the French envoy and pledged to withdraw approximately 1,500 French troops stationed in Niger by the end of 2023.
The abrupt exit of Ambassador Itte, as reported by Agence France-Presse, occurred at around 4 a.m. on Wednesday and followed the deterioration of relations between Niger’s military leaders and their former colonial power, France.
The strained relations were primarily triggered by the ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum in a coup on July 26, a coup that led to the severance of military ties between the two nations.
Macron’s initial refusal to adhere to the August 28 deadline set by the junta for Ambassador Itte’s departure only served to heighten the diplomatic standoff.
The junta had cited alleged French “actions contrary to Niger’s interests” as the reason for the ambassador’s expulsion.
In the latest development, the coup leaders formally requested a timeline for the withdrawal of French troops from Niger. Macron had previously confirmed his commitment to completing the withdrawal by the end of 2023, further emphasizing the changing dynamics of the Franco-Nigerien relationship.
On Wednesday, President Macron engaged in talks with Nigerien Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massaoudou, during which he reaffirmed France’s support for President Bazoum and expressed his country’s eagerness to see a return to constitutional order in Niger.
This statement from the Elysee underscores France’s continued involvement in Niger’s internal affairs despite the recent diplomatic tensions.
As both nations navigate these turbulent waters, the future of their diplomatic and military relations remains uncertain.
The departure of Ambassador Itte is just the latest chapter in this evolving saga, and it raises questions about the implications for France’s historical ties to its former colony and its broader strategic interests in the West African region.
G-20 Grants African Union Equal Membership Status to EU
The Group of 20 nations has reached a consensus to confer permanent membership status upon the African Union.
This significant move is aimed at empowering the African continent with a stronger voice in addressing pressing global issues, including climate change and emerging-market debt.
The announcement was made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who served as the host of the G-20 summit held in New Delhi over a two-day period.
During this historic event, President Azali Assoumani of Comoros, who currently holds the presidency of the African Union, was warmly embraced by Prime Minister Modi and offered a seat at the summit table.
This strategic decision, which has been previously reported by Bloomberg News, grants the 55-member African Union the same prestigious status enjoyed by the European Union within the Group of 20.
European Council President Charles Michel expressed his delight regarding this development in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He expressed eagerness for close cooperation between the African Union and the European Union within the framework of the G-20, solidifying the commitment to address global challenges collectively.
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