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Weekly Round-Up: Senegal Elects Africa’s Youngest Prez, Supreme Court Throws Out Dafeamekpor’s Case as New Force PRO sues Ghana for $1M

From Senegal to Ghana, the entire continent of Africa has been busy this week. As usual, if you haven't had time to follow all the news, this update will give you a picture of the biggest stories we covered within the week.

From Senegal to Ghana, the entire continent of Africa has been busy this week. As usual, if you haven’t had time to follow all the news, this update will give you a picture of the biggest stories we covered within the week.

Senegal Elects Africa’s Youngest Leader as Outgoing President Macky Sall Bemoans Cost of Elections on African Economies

Senegalese voters went to the polls on Sunday, March 24, to elect the country’s next president among a crowded field of 17 candidates. At the close of polls, former tax collector and left-wing advocate, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, emerged victorious.

The delayed election, originally scheduled for February 24, took place after President Macky Sall’s unsuccessful effort to delay it until December.

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Faye’s win came only 10 days after being released from jail. He now becomes Africa’s youngest democratically elected leader.

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The 44-year-old leader contested the elections as an independent candidate due to the dissolution of his Patriots of Senegal (PASTEF) party last July for causing unrest.

Before the close of polls, the governing coalition’s candidate, former Prime Minister Amadou Ba, conceded defeat and congratulated Faye.

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President Macky Sall also congratulated him. Later, Sall told the head of the ECOWAS observer group who witnessed the presidential election, Ibrahim Gambari, during a courtesy that while democracy remains the best form of government, the process of choosing leaders is quite ruinous to the economy of African nations.

Our Take

Faye’s victory is a probable indication that Africa’s democracy is taking a new turn, and maybe for the better.

Dafeamekpor, Ministerial Nominees and the Supreme Court

On March 27, the Supreme Court dismissed the application for injunction filed by South Dayi MP, Rockson Dafeamekpor, restricting Parliament from considering the approval or otherwise of President Akufo-Addo’s ministerial nominees.

The five-member panel described the application as frivolous and abuse of the court processes.

Dameamekpor’s lawsuit, initiated on March 18, against the Speaker of Parliament (1st defendant) and the Attorney General (2nd defendant) argued that the President did not seek parliamentary approval before reassigning ministers whose appointments were revoked.

Hours before this court judgment, the minority in parliament tagged the Supreme Court as biased and prejudicial in handling cases with political implications.

A week ago, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, said Parliament will not consider President Akufo-Addo’s ministerial nominees who are seeking Parliament’s approval “in the spirit of upholding the rule of law” until after a determination of this suit.

Shallie Abbuisi: New Force Spokesperson Vs the Republic of Ghana

Still on legal matters, the Diaspora spokesperson for the New Force, Shallie Abbiusi, has taken the state of Ghana to the ECOWAS Court of Justice, seeking $1 million in compensation for alleged human rights violations when she was arrested and detained last year.

In December, Ghana’s Immigration officials accused Ms. Abbuisi of forging documents to obtain a residential permit in Ghana — a claim she and her layers denied. She was granted bail by a court later that month but was rearrested after dropping the charges, saying her continuous stay in the country was illegal. She was put on a plane that same day and deported to her home country.

But Miss Abbuisi says that treatment was a human rights violation. Read details of her case here.

Drama in South Africa: Jacob Zuma barred from contesting upcoming general elections

The Electoral Commission of South Africa on Thursday, March 28, barred former President Jacob Zuma from running in the country’s general elections in May.

The electoral commission said in a statement that under the South African constitution “any person who was convicted of an offence and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment without the option of a fine” cannot stand in an election.

Mr Zuma, 81, served as the country’s president from 2009 until 2018 but had to step down as a result of corruption allegations leveled against him. He was sentenced to a jail term of 15 months for refusing to testify to a panel probing financial corruption and cronyism under his presidency.

Dumsor, GMAs and Other News

Power interruptions continue to hit several parts of the country. This has prompted calls from citizens for a timetable that will help them plan their activities. While the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has refused to respond to this demand, the Energy Minister also came under fire for making unsavory public comments about the situation. Read the details of that here.

On Friday, March 28, nominees for the 25th Ghana Music Awards were unveiled during the launch event at the Accra International Conference Centre. Telecommunications company, Telecel, previously known as Vodafone, has been named the official headline sponsor for this year’s Ghana Music Awards. See the full list of nominees here.

On a sad note, world-renowned Ghanaian-American fiber optics innovator and inventor, Dr. Thomas Owusu Mensah, passed away this week. He was 74.

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