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May to Try to Form Government After UK Election Debacle, Uncertainty Over Brexit Talks

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  • May to Try to Form Government After UK Election Debacle, Uncertainty Over Brexit Talks

British Prime Minister Theresa May will ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government on Friday after an election debacle that saw her Conservative Party lose its parliamentary majority days before talks on Britain’s EU departure are due to begin.

Confident of securing a sweeping victory, May had called the snap election to strengthen her hand in the European Union divorce talks. But in one of the most sensational nights in British electoral history, a resurgent Labour Party denied her an outright win, throwing the country into political turmoil as no clear winner emerged.

May’s Labour rival Jeremy Corbyn, once written off by his opponents as a no-hoper, said May should step down and he wanted to form a minority government.

But May, facing scorn for running a lackluster campaign, was determined to hang on. A spokesman for her office said she would go to Buckingham Palace to ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government – a formality under the British system.

Sky News reported that Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) would back her, allowing the Conservatives to reach the 326 seats needed for a parliamentary majority. The DUP declined to comment.

With 649 of 650 seats declared, the Conservatives had won 318 seats and Labour 261.

The DUP, which took 10 seats, was considering an arrangement which would involve it supporting a Conservative minority government on key votes in parliament but not forming a formal coalition, Sky said.

“If … the Conservative Party has won the most seats and probably the most votes then it will be incumbent on us to ensure that we have that period of stability and that is exactly what we will do,” a grim-faced May said after winning her own parliamentary seat of Maidenhead, near London.

But with complex talks on Britain’s divorce from the EU due to start in 10 days, it was unclear what their direction would now be and if the so-called “Hard Brexit” taking Britain out of a single market could still be pursued.

After winning his own seat in north London, Corbyn said May’s attempt to win a bigger mandate had backfired.

“The mandate she’s got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence,” he said.

“I would have thought that’s enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all of the people of this country.”

Asked whether Brexit negotiations should be delayed, Corbyn told Sky News: “They’re going to have to go ahead because Article 50 has been invoked.”

“Our position is very clear, we want a jobs-first Brexit, therefore the most important thing is the trade deal with Europe,” he said.

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.

Government

Mali Sworn In Bah Ndaw as Transition President

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Mali’s interim president, Bah Ndaw, chosen to head a transitional government following a coup last month, was sworn in during ceremonies in the capital Bamako on Friday, AFP journalists witnessed.

A committee appointed by the junta which seized power on August 18, toppling President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, selected Ndaw, a 70-year-old retired colonel, as interim president.

Ndaw is due to lead a transition government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

The ceremony on Friday took place in a theatre filled with officials dressed in military fatigues, senior judges, and foreign diplomats.

During the ceremony, Supreme Court Chief Prosecutor Boya Dembele said the challenges facing both men were “enormous”.

“It will truly require a reformulation of the state,” said the judge, dressed in red fur-lined robes.

The swearing-in comes as the fragile Sahel state’s neighbours have leaned on the military junta to appoint civilians as interim president and prime minister.

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) slapped sanctions on the poor country on August 20 to push for a swift return to civilian rule.

A decision by the bloc on whether to ease the measure is possible on Friday, according to former Nigerian president and ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Jonathan.

“We are optimistic that this event will signal the beginning of the return to normalcy in Mali,” he said on Twitter on Thursday night, referring to the swearing in of interim-government leaders.

Last month’s coup followed weeks of mass protests against Keita, spurred by frustrations over a brutal jihadist conflict, perceived corruption and the country’s slumping economy.

Mali has struggled to quell an eight-year-old Islamist insurgency which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.

AFP

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Imo State Bans Traffic Agents, Task Forces Over Bribery

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Uzodinma Bans Traffic Agents, Task Forces Over Bribery

The Executive Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has restricted all traffic agents and task forces from operating in the state over bribery and extortions.

Declan Emelumba, the state commissioner for Information and Strategy, disclosed this at the Government House in Owerri on Thursday.

Checks revealed that the task force team that operates from Heroes’ Square still demands as much as N27,000 fines from people arrested. A shocking situation that has plunged the limited resources of hardworking Imo people.

However, the information commissioner, who described the task force as “illegal”, said the state government has sanctioned its personnel.

Emelumba said, “The governor has since banned all traffic agents and task forces in line with the desire of the people.”

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FG Puts Nine-year Presidential Jet Up For Sale

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The Federal Government has put up for sale a jet in the presidential fleet, Hawker 4000 aircraft with registration number, 5N-FGX/: RC 066.

The business-size jet which entered into service in December 2011, has capacity for nine passengers and three crew members.

Findings indicate that only 73 Hawker 4000 aircraft were manufactured by Hawker Beechcraft between 2001 and 2013 and they were sold for $22.91m each as of 2012.

The FG in a published advert on Wednesday disclosed that the aircraft with a range of 3,190-nautical mile had flown for 1,768 hours.

It said the aircraft could be inspected at the Presidential Air Fleet’s hangar located at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Interested buyers were requested to submit their closed bid to the Chairman, Committee for Sale of Aircraft, Office of the National Security Adviser, care of Special Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

In an advertisement published in some national dailies on Wednesday, prospective buyers were directed to submit a refundable bank draft for $50,000 to the committee with the bid.

It also said that all the bids should be quoted in dollars.

The notice read, “Please note that all bids must be submitted within one week of this publication.

“Background check is required as a pre-qualification for the bid. Prospective bidders who want to inspect the aircraft will be granted access within one week from this advertisement.”

The Presidency had similarly in 2016 put up for sale two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000, in line with the directive of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), that aircraft in the Presidential Air Fleet should be reduced to cut down on waste.

The government also said some aircraft in the fleet would be handed over to the Nigeria Air Force for its operations. It could not be confirmed if this had been done.

According to the Presidency, the PAF has 10 aircraft and they include Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or Air Force One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.

Reports said each of the two Falcon 7X jets were purchased in 2010 for $51.1m, while the Gulfstream 550 costs $53.3m.

The Senior Special Assistant, (Media and Publicity) to the President, Garba Shehu, had yet to respond to inquiries on the number of presidential aircraft sold so far, as of the time of filing this report.

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