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ECOWAS Parliament says regional security operations must be strengthened to prevent coups

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ECOWAS parliament

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament have said that the ECOWAS Commission must strengthen collective regional security operations with the African Union to stop the threat of coup d’etats in the sub-region.

This is one of the recommendations contained in the draft report presented at the end of delocalised meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament Joint Committees on Political Affairs, Peace, Security, and the African Peer Review Mechanism, Judicial Affairs and Human rights, Social Affairs, Gender and Women Empowerment on Friday.

The delocalised meeting, which held in Monrovia, Liberia, from July 25 to July 28, aimed at proffering the best mechanisms for ensuring greater political inclusion in governance in member states, peace, security to prevent and resolve the multifaceted crisis faced by states.

The draft report which would be adopted by plenary at the next session of the Parliament contained recommendations to the Member States, the ECOWAS Commission and Parliament on ensuring the peace, security, stabilisation and good governance in Member States.

With the threats of insecurity in the region, the ECOWAS Parliament Committees stated: “We appeal to the ECOWAS Commission to work hard to strengthen collective regional security operation in collaboration with the African Union and key partners.

“To encourage regional efforts in addressing the concerns and common security challenges that makes the state fragile and susceptible to coups.

“Encourages the ECWOAS Commission to continue to intensify dialogue with the transitional authorities in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso.

It stated that: “In order to ensure the follow up and implementation of the transition time-table with a view to accelerate the return to constitutional order in these states.

“Urges the ECOWAS Parliament to develop mechanisms to enable it to be proactive, operational in conflict prevention and management.

“Urges the member states to centralise military commands to avoid formation of elite military units or parallel military forces whose command and control is outside a unified command structure.”

Speaking to journalists at the end of the meeting, Sen. Edwin Snowe, Leader of the Liberian Delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament, lamented the backslide in democratic rule in the sub-region, describing it as a shame on the region’s democracy which must be stopped.

Snowe, who was also Chair of the Joint Committees’ delocalised meeting, expressed optimism in the leadership of President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, who is Chair of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of States, to intervene in the recent coup in the Republic of Niger.

“It is actually war in Guinea Bissau two weeks ago when President Tinubu said zero tolerance to coup d’etats and less than two weeks later there is coup d’etat.

“This morning, the President have asked me to join him on Sunday to Abuja for the Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Heads of State. We hope that the Heads of States will come up with some decisive positions of this matter.

“It is actually a shame on our region and we hope that we will find a way to stop this. Because it 8d backsliding from democracy. Gone are the days when we had the Samuel Doe, Jerry Rawlings, Yahaya Jameh, Abacha’s. Gone are those days.

“We have made significant progress in our drive to democracy so to see us going back to where we come from is a shame and I hope that something will be done in a faster manner for us to correct the situation.

“It is a big test for Nigeria and the leadership of the Chairmanship of President Tinubu and we are hoping that there will be some drastic measures to correct this situation in our region.

“This time around, ECOWAS will not be a sleeping bulldog. I believe in the leadership of President Tinubu and I am sure he will make a difference,” Snowe said.

He however noted that for every successful coup with a loss of a member state, it undermines the work of ECOWAS bodies and institutions, reiterating that the leadership of ECOWAS will stand firm protecting the region’s democracy.

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Putin Registers As Candidate For Russia’s Next Presidential Election

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Russia on Monday officially recognised Vladimir Putin as a candidate for the presidential elections in March, a vote that he is all but certain to win.

The 71-year-old has led Russia since the turn of the century, winning four presidential ballots and briefly serving as prime minister in a system where opposition has become virtually non-existent.

The Central Election Commission said it had registered Putin, who nominated himself, as well as right-wing firebrand and Putin-loyalist Leonid Slutsky as candidates for the vote.

The election will be held over a three-day period from March 15 to 17, a move that Kremlin critics have argued makes guaranteeing transparency more difficult.

Following a controversial constitutional reform in 2020, Putin could stay in power until at least 2036.

Rights groups say that previous elections have been marred by irregularities and that independent observers are likely to be barred from monitoring the vote.

While Putin is not expected to face any real competition, liberal challenger Boris Nadezhdin has passed the threshold of signatures to be registered as a candidate.

However, it is still unclear if he will be allowed to run, and the Kremlin has said it does not consider him to be a serious rival.

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Hong Kong court grants Chinese real estate giant reorganisation postponement

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Hong Kong’s Supreme Court has once again granted the highly indebted Chinese real estate giant Evergrande a postponement for its reorganisation plan.

Judge Linda Chan surprisingly postponed the decision until Jan. 29, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.

The property developer, which has liabilities estimated at more than 300 billion dollars, is threatened with liquidation.

However, creditors from abroad had taken the company to court because of its missing several payments.

Chan had already said at the previous hearing that this would be the last postponement and that she would very likely agree to liquidation if China Evergrande did not find a plan for restructuring with its creditors.

According to reports, however, the lawyers of the Hong Kong-listed group had now held out the prospect of being able to reach an agreement with the lenders in the coming weeks.

In the case of liquidation, an insolvency administrator would monetise the company and pay out the creditors.

Meanwhile, some experts were of the opinion that liquidation would return less money to creditors than a reorganisation, China Evergrande argued the same in court, according to reports.

The group had been trying to submit a restructuring plan since 2022, without success. Its founder and once China’s richest man, Hui Ka Yan, is being investigated by the Chinese authorities.

Like many other property groups, the company had been in a serious crisis for some time because it is earning significantly less on the slumping property market.

The company is finding it more difficult to obtain state support and is no longer able to service its loans.

“The Evergrande case also shows that the era of large private property developers in China is coming to an end,’’ says Max Zenglein from the Merics China Institute in Berlin.

If Chan decides to wind up China Evergrande, this could also have an impact on other companies.

“One challenge for the government will be to prevent domino effects in the economy caused by major bankruptcies,’’ says Zenglein.

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