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UPDATED: Tinubu Re-Elected As ECOWAS Chairman

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President Bola Tinubu has been re-elected as the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), about one year after he took over the leadership of the regional bloc.

The Nigerian leader who rose to power in May 2023 was re-elected as the ECOWAS chairman during the 65th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government. That event took place at the Presidential Villa in Nigeria’s Abuja capital on Sunday.

ECOWAS has been hit by a wave of coups in recent years.

During his opening remark at the summit, President Tinubu urged ECOWAS member states to make financial commitments to help in the battle against terrorism in the region.

“As we move to operationalise the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) in combating terrorism, I must emphasise that the success of this plan requires not only strong political will but also substantial financial resources,” he told the gathering.“We must therefore ensure that we meet the expectations and recommendations set forth by our ministers of defence and finance in order to counter the insecurity and stabilise our region. Member states must make extra commitments to providing resources for stabilising the region.”

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JUST IN: Keir Starmer’s Labour Wins UK General Election

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Keir Starmer on Friday will become Britain’s new prime minister, as his centre-left opposition Labour party swept to a landslide general election victory, ending 14 years of right-wing Conservative rule.“The Labour Party has won this general election, and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory,” a sombre-looking Rishi Sunak said after he was re-elected to his seat.“Today, power will change hands in a peaceful and orderly manner with goodwill on all sides,” the Tory leader added, calling the results “sobering” and saying he took responsibility for the defeat.At a triumphant party rally in central London, Starmer, 61, told cheering activists that “change begins here” and promised a “decade of national renewal”, putting “country first, party second”.

But he cautioned that change would not come overnight, even as Labour snatched a swathe of Tory seats around the country, including from nine Cabinet members, and former prime minister Liz Truss.Truss’s disastrous 49-day tenure effectively sealed the Tories’ fate with the public two years ago, when her unfunded tax cuts spooked markets and crashed the pound.She had been facing a campaign to oust her by grassroots activists — dubbed “the Turnip Taliban” — in her rural constituency and lost by just 630 votes.

‘Keir we go’Labour raced past the 326 seats needed to secure an overall majority in the 650-seat parliament at 0400 GMT, with the final result expected later on Friday morning.An exit poll for UK broadcasters published after polls closed at 2100 GMT on Thursday put Labour on course for a return to power for the first time since 2010, with 410 seats and a 170-seat majority.The Tories would only get 131 seats in the House of Commons — a record low — with the right-wing vote apparently spliced by Nigel Farage’s anti-immigration Reform UK party.In another boost for the centrists, the smaller opposition Liberal Democrats ousted the Scottish National Party as the third-biggest party.

The results buck a rightward trend among Britain’s closest Western allies, with the far right in France eyeing power and Donald Trump looking set for a return in the United States.British newspapers all focused on Labour’s impending return to power for the first time since Gordon Brown was ousted by David Cameron in 2010.“Keir We Go,” headlined the Labour-supporting Daily Mirror.“Britain sees red,” said The Sun, the influential Rupert Murdoch tabloid, which swung behind Labour for the first time since 2005.

Tory futureSunak will tender his resignation to head of state King Charles III, with the monarch then asking Starmer, as the leader of the largest party in parliament, to form a government.The Tories’ worst previous election result was 156 seats in 1906. Former leader William Hague told Times Radio the projections would be “a catastrophic result in historic terms”.But Tim Bale, politics professor at Queen Mary, University of London, said it was “not as catastrophic as some were predicting” and the Tories would now need to decide how best to fight back.Right-wing former interior minister Suella Braverman and Mordaunt, who was leader of the House of Commons, both said the Tories failed because they had not listened to the British people.

But Brexit champion Farage, who finally succeeded in becoming an MP at the eighth time of asking, has made no secret of his aim to take over the party.“There is a massive gap on the centre-right of British politics and my job is to fill it,” he said after a comfortable win in Clacton, eastern England. To-do listLabour’s resurgence is a stunning turnaround from five years ago, when hard-left former leader Jeremy Corbyn took the party to its worst defeat since 1935 in an election dominated by Brexit.Starmer took over in early 2020 and set about moving the party back to the centre, making it a more electable proposition and purging infighting and anti-Semitism that lost its support.

Opinion polls have put Labour consistently 20 points ahead of the Tories since Truss’s resignation, giving an air of inevitability about a Labour win — the first since Tony Blair in 2005.Starmer is facing a daunting to-do list, with economic growth anaemic, public services overstretched and underfunded due to swingeing cuts, and households squeezed financially.He has also promised a return of political integrity, after a chaotic period of five Tory prime ministers in 14 years, scandal and sleaze.

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JUST IN: UK’s Sunak Apologises To Public As He Leaves Office

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Rishi Sunak on Friday apologised to the public after his Conservatives were trounced by Labour in the UK general election, and said he would step down as party leader.The 44-year-old former financier gambled on going to the country six months before he had to, hoping that better economic data would swing public support back towards the Tories.But Thursday’s vote indicated that Britons wanted to send a clear message to the party by kicking them out of power after 14 years of economic hardships, Brexit upheaval and Tory infighting.“To the country, I would like to say first and foremost, I am sorry,” he said outside the Prime Minister’s residence at Downing Street, before heading to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation as prime minister to King Charles III.

“I have given this job my all, 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 scale of the defeat made it inevitable that Sunak — the conservative party’s fifth leader since 2010 — would have to step down as Tory head as well.But he said that he would stay on in the role until the arrangements were made for an internal leadership contest, which is expected to be a fight for the ideological soul of the party.

Sunak saw a record number of his top ministerial team lose their seats, including defence secretary Grant Shapps and House of Commons leader Penny Mordaunt.His immediate predecessor as prime minister, Liz Truss, also lost her seat.Sunak — an observant Hindu who is Britain’s first prime minister of colour — wished his successor Keir Starmer well, calling him “a decent, public-spirited man who I respect”.“One of the most remarkable things about Britain is just how unremarkable it is that two generations after my grandparents came here with little, I could become prime minister,” he added.

“And that I could watch my two young daughters light Diwali candles on the steps in Downing Street. We must hold true to that idea of who we are.”

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JUST IN: Kenyan citizens give President Ruto 48-hour ultimatum to resign

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There is an outrage in Kenya as citizens gave President William Ruto a 48-hour ultimatum to step down, demanding a new government committed to “transparency, accountability, and good governance.”

The call for resignation has gained significant traction, with a viral Twitter statement stating, “We no longer recognise William Ruto as the President of Kenya. We recall his presidency and urge him to immediately resign and surrender his office to the Kenyan people.”

This statement has generated lots of engagement, reflecting widespread discontent.

Regardless of President Ruto retracting a controversial finance bill that proposed tax increases, public outrage continues to prevail.

The bill, which was intended to address Kenya’s debt of approximately 10 trillion shillings ($78 billion), or roughly 70% of GDP, faced fierce opposition.

Ruto highlighted that without the tax increases, there would be a significant funding shortfall for critical development programmes, including those supporting farmers and teachers.

Kenyans are said to have struggled with economic instability, rampant corruption, and governance issues, leading to escalating living costs and high unemployment rates.

The public’s frustration has climaxed into protests and a fervent demand for change.

Scores of protesters took to the streets, expressing their dissatisfaction with the administration, which they describe as plagued by “incompetence, mismanagement, and a persistent failure to address the nation’s pressing needs.”

Kenyan police were said to have fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators while soldiers were deployed and roads leading to Ruto’s office at State House and parliament were blocked by police in anti-riot gear.

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