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Ukrainians head to polls in parliamentary election

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Voting is under way in Ukraine to elect a new parliament that will boost President Petro Poroshenko’s mandate to go ahead with his pro-West agenda.

The snap election, coming eight months after a street revolt overthrew Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovych, is  meant to complete a historic shift from Russia’s sphere of influence.

While around 36 million people have registered to vote, the election will not be held in areas controlled by pro-Russian separatist rebels in the east.

President Poroshenko’s party is expected to get the largest share of  the vote, but it is not certain whether the party will be able to form a  government on its own.

Other parties expected to win seats in the 450-member  parliament include Prime Minister  Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s Popular Front and the Fatherland party of Yulia  Tymoshenko.

Yanukovych  was deposed in February after months of violent  protests sparked by his decision to put ties with the European Union on hold.

The Ukrainian president said in a televised address on Saturday that he wanted a majority to emerge that would see through laws to support a pro-Europe agenda and break with the Russian past.

“Without such a majority in parliament, the President’s programme … will simply remain on paper,” he said.

The emergence of a strong force committed to a united Ukraine could place new strains on ties with Russia which the Kiev leadership blames for backing rebels in a conflict that has killed more than 3,700 people and destroyed the economy.

There were no immediate reports of heavy clashes during the night in the east, where a fragile ceasefire has been in force since September 5.

A gas pricing row with Russia which has the potential to disrupt supplies to European Union countries via Ukraine also rumbles on unresolved despite a meeting between Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Poroshenko called the snap election with the aim of clearing out Yanukovych  loyalists and securing further legitimacy for Kiev’s pro-Western direction after the “Euromaidan” protests.

The protests were broadly supported by the West but denounced by Russia as a coup after Yanukovych’s fall. A month later, Russia annexed Crimea and separatist rebellions, supported by Russia, erupted in the industrialised east.

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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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