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Kuwait Court Dissolves Parliament

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Kuwait’s top court has dissolved parliament and called for new elections after an opposition challenge to the voting system was thrown out.

Head judge Youssef al-Mutawa said the Constitutional Court made its decision after examining and rejecting the challenge.

The case had questioned the constitutionality of a change to the electoral system ordered by the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah.

Mutawa said the hearing had decided not to make a ruling on the challenge, in effect leaving the emir’s decree unchanged. Al-Sabah is described as “immune and inviolable” in the constitution.

The government said the new system, which reduced the number of votes per person to one from four, brought Kuwait in line with other countries.

However, opposition politicians said the decree was unconstitutional and an attempt to stop them from forming a majority or bloc in parliament.

Al-Sabah had used emergency powers in October last year to change voting rules, six weeks before the country was due to hold parliamentary elections.

Opposition politicians boycotted the poll, and on the eve of the election tens of thousands of Kuwaitis marched in protest against the decree.

The Interior Ministry said on Friday it would not allow any unlicensed protest marches.

“We will never allow any rallies or marches outside Erada Square,” said a statement from the Interior Ministry, referring to a designated protest area opposite parliament.

State news agency KUNA said any protesters who break the law would be dealt with firmly.

Political parties are banned in Kuwait and the four-vote system helped opposition MPs form alliances in elections and gave them more clout in parliament.

Islamic, nationalist and liberal opposition groups said the emir’s decree would enable the government to manipulate election results and subsequent legislation as a consequence.

The case has international significance because political stability in Kuwait, owner of more than six percent of global oil reserves, has traditionally depended on co-operation between the government and the elected parliament, the oldest and most powerful legislature in the Arab Gulf states.

The country sits in a strategic position between Saudi Arabia and Iraq and across the Gulf from Iran.

Kuwait has been ruled by the Al-Sabah dynasty since 1750, but the opposition has repeatedly said it is challenging the constitutional system and not Al-Sabah rule per se. [Al Jazeera]

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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