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New Era Newspaper Tuesday March 6, 2018

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16 AFRICA Tuesday, March 6 2018 | NEW ERA Sierra Leone presidential election - the candidates FREETOWN Sierra Leone elects a new president on March 7 to replace Ernest Bai Koroma who is stepping down after two terms. There are 16 candidates in the of the four most prominent ones:Kamara, a career politician and economist by training, is outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma’s hand-picked successor. He served as the country’s foreign minister until last year when he stepped down to pursue his bid for ruling party. During a presidential debate held on February 15, Kamara, 66, offered a political vision that adheres closely to the APC’s platform for the last decade. He has told voters the party “will do more in the areas of roads, electricity, health and education,” and Koroma has campaigned by his side. Lansana Gberie, a political analyst and author, said Kamara was “the favourite bureaucrat for army rulers and politicians.” His lack of visibility -- “very few people knew him until President Koroma tapped him as his successor,” said Gberie -- means he is relying heavily on his long association with the APC and Koroma to get elected. government in 1996, is running for a second time after losing to Koroma in 2012. He has apologised for the conduct of troops who executed more than a young soldier in 1992, and has successfully rehabilitated his image. The retired brigadier spent time studying in the United States and is known for his outspokenness, calling “a sham with no economic and After Bio hit out at corruption on the campaign trail, Kamara accused the SLPP candidate of stealing million during his three months in power, though his APC opponent faces corruption allegations of his own. Kandeh Yumkella split from the SLPP to form his own party last year, offering an alternative to the two-party race that has dominated Sierra Leonean politics since Stepping down… Sierra Leone’s outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma delivers a speech during a campaign rally for his party’s presidential candidate on March 3, 2018, in Kambia, ahead of the country’s general election. Sierra Leone goes to the polls on March 7 for a general election that will select a new president, parliament and local councils. Photo: Nampa/AFP independence from Britain in 1961. Praised for focusing on the country’s issues rather than appealing to regional and ethnic sympathies, Yumkella has successfully leveraged social media to better appeal to more educated, urban youth. Yumkella said Sierra Leone’s schools are so poor that he would declare an “education emergency” if he became president and develop technical colleges. The former UN diplomat developed strong expertise in energy solutions for developing nations and climate change during his years with the world body, and is seen country’s large donor community. He has faced criticism for his dual citizenship with the United States, and was even taken to court by the APC despite renouncing it last year. Sam-Sumana, 55, was sacked as vice-president by President Koroma in 2015 and has since formed his own political party with his few former allies from the APC. Fresh from a successful court case against his old party in a West African regional court, Sam-Sumana against his old boss with a new party focused on better workers’ rights. “Meagre salaries for government workers is a recipe for corruption,” he told the nation during the presidential debate, promising to increase salaries for all government workers and enforce existing corruption laws. – Nampa/AFP KAMPALA Uganda’s President Yoweri police chief Kale Kayihura as well as the country’s security minister, a statement said Sunday. Kayihura, a serving general, was once regarded as the most country but has recently fallen out of favour with Museveni who has ruled Uganda since he took power at the head of a rebel army in 1986. Kayihura was appointed inspector general of police in 2005, the same year that a successful referendum was held on restoring multi-party democracy to the East African nation after a near 20-year ban on political parties. His tenure as police chief was characterised by the proliferation Ugandan President of military-style units in the force and an increase in the perceived politicalisation of the police. Since the March 2017 assassination of Felix Kaweesi -- a senior policeman who had been viewed as his potential successor -- Kayihura has come under pressure for failing to curb growing insecurity. At least 23 women have been killed in unsolved murders around the capital, there has been a spate of deaths of foreign nationals and last week a woman killed after being held captive for three-weeks by kidnappers demanding a huge ransom. The rising insecurity further discredited a police force widely viewed by the public to be incompetent and corrupt. In the aftermath of Kaweesi’s assassination -- which remains unsolved -- Museveni said “criminals have infiltrated the police” and ordered Kayihura to “clean the police.” Nevertheless, in May 2017 Kayihura’s contract was renewed. Since then a rival security body -- the Internal Security Organisation (ISO) -- has made several high viewed as being close to Kayihura who are accused of corruption and torture, as well as gangsters who have admitted working with the police. Some Ugandans have accused Kayihura of being too close to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and there have been unsubstantiated accusations in the tabloid press that the pair have secretly plotted to overthrow Museveni. In the same statement Museveni ISO -- Henry Tumukunde -- who has been openly critical of police failings. Tumukunde and Kayihura have been engaged in a public tussle for over 15 years. Both men are veterans of the “Liberation War” which brought Museveni to power Tumukunde had previously fallen out with Museveni when, in 2003, he had opposed the removal of term limits. In 2005 he was forced to resign as an MP representing the army and was arrested. The man in command of the soldiers who arrested him was Kayihura. By 2016 Tumukunde was rehabilitated and Museveni appointed him security minister. Okoth Ochola will replace Kayihura as Inspector General of Police and General Elly Tumwiine has been appointed security minister, according to the statement. –Nampa/AFP JOHANNESBURG South African supermarkets began a mass recall Sunday of meat products made at a facility that health listeriosis outbreak that has killed 180 since January 2017. Listeriosis is caused by a bacteria animal faeces, and can contaminate food, especially fresh meat, dairy The country’s second largest supermarket chain, Pick n Pay, said it had “acted immediately to manufacturing sites identified by the Department of Health”. “All fridges and food preparation contamination. Recalled meat is 1,420 stores in South Africa, said in broad range of retailers” could be affected. Health Minister Aaron Motso- rent outbreak began at a facility run the capital of north-eastern Lim- other sites could also be affected. Products including locally popular polony sausages, also immediate safety recalls, he added. Enterprise said in a statement that it “prioritises the health and “We are committed to ensuring that all Enterprise products, as The National Consumer Commis- turers to ensure no affected products are sold, Motsoaledi said. the manufacturers’ entire distri- and international,” he added. that are sold as ready-to-eat.” The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) said that 948 cases of listeriosis had been confirmed since January 1, 2017, leading to 180 deaths. The death toll stood at 172 as recently as February 22. ously said South Africa’s lis- The disease mainly affects children Contamination in humans can tion of the bloodstream and, in are at a heightened risk, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). – Nampa/AFP

Tuesday, March 6 2018 | NEW ERA WORLD 17 Renzi: The down and out former darling ROME Matteo Renzi, Italy’s outspoken former premier looks on his way out after leading his party to election disaster, an alarming change in fortune for a man who just a few years ago was considered the darling of Italian politics. The centre-left coalition led by Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD), in power going into the elections, is set to pick up just 23.6 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election, down before the election and a huge blow to the PD’s chances of being part of the next government. With over two-thirds of the vote counted, the PD itself has under 20 Italian media speculating that the usually bullish Tuscan could step down as leader, despite having only won the party’s primaries in a landslide in April. According to forecasts by the Corriere della Sera daily, the PD is on course for just 107 seats in the lower house Chamber of Deputies and 45 in the Senate, a collapse from years ago under Renzi’s predecessor Pier Luigi Bersani. The result will be particularly humiliating for a man whose party clinched 40 percent of the vote in the 2014 European elections. “If the early voting data is consequences... by resigning,” La Repubblica wrote yesterday. Often accused of an arrogant or authoritarian leadership style, the former premier never managed to deliver on his ambitious promises to revamp Italy and cast away the political old guard. In 2012, with his sights set on party leadership, he vowed to make Italy the country “where you get a job because of what you know and not who you know,” said L’Espresso. But today he is often accused of surrounding himself with his chosen few, frequently fellow Tuscans, who have done little to boost his reputation. One of them is Maria-Elena Boschi. A key minister in Renzi’s former government, the glamorous politician has been dogged by rumours she had a hand in the 2015 state bailout of South Korean envoys in historic trip to meet North’s Kim SEOUL The most senior South Koreans to travel North for more than a decade arrived in Pyongyang yesterday to meet leader Kim Jong Un, the latest step in an Olympics-driven rapprochement on the divided peninsula. The delegation, which travelled as an envoy of the South’s President Moon Jae-in, is pushing for talks between the nuclear-armed regime and the United States, after Kim sent his sister to the Pyeongchang Winter Games. “It was agreed... that they would attend a meeting and dinner with Kim Jong Un,” said Moon’s spokesman. visit to the South by a member of the North’s ruling dynasty since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, and her appearance at the Games’ opening ceremony – where athletes from the two Koreas marched together – made global headlines. Moon has sought to use the Pyeongchang Games to open dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang in hopes of easing a nuclear standoff that has heightened fears over global security. In Seoul, Kim Yo Jong invited him to a summit in Pyongyang on her brother’s behalf. But Moon did not immediately accept, saying the Before leaving for Pyongyang, the South’s national security advisor Chung Eui-yong said: “We plan to hold in-depth discussions for ways to continue not only inter-Korean talks but dialogue between North Korea and the international community including the United States.” ance of UN sanctions, the isolated and impoverished North last year staged its most powerful nuclear Etruria bank, where her father was a board member. She remained, nonetheless, one of Renzi’s top picks in any future government. A government in which the PD now looks to be playing no part. Renzi became the country’s youngest prime minister in 2014, at the age of just 39. Showing a tireless work ethic while his wife, Agnese, and three children stayed home in Tuscany, with a vow to revive Italy’s lethargic economy. labour market reforms and modest growth, while overseeing the granting of legal recognition to gay relation- But the recovery was not strong enough to generate any real political dividends, and Renzi’s domestic fall from grace came in December 2016, when Italians rejected his proposal for constitutional reform in a referendum. His dream of a “simpler, more competitive and more courageous” Italy lay in tatters and Renzi resigned as premier. During his time in power, Renzi alienated many on his party’s far left, who broke away last year to become Popularity under test … Former Prime Minister and leader of the Democratic Party (PD), Matteo Renzi arrives at a polling station with his wife Agnese (left), on March 4, 2018, in Florence. Italians vote today in one of the country’s most uncertain elections, with far-right and populist parties expected to make major gains and Silvio Berlusconi set to play a leading role. Photo: Nampa/AFP some of them capable of reaching the US mainland. US President Donald Trump dubbed Kim “Little Rocket Man” and boasted about the size of his own nuclear button, while the North Korean leader called Trump a “mentally deranged US dotard”. They traded threats of war and sent tensions soaring before a thaw in the run-up to the Winter Olympics. “We will deliver President arise the Korean peninsula and to create sincere and lasting peace,” delegation leader Chung told reporters. Chung is one of five senior yesterday. South Korean visit to the North since December 2007, when Seoul’s then-intelligence chief travelled to Pyongyang. Conservative Lee Myung-bak was elected the South’s president the following day and took a markedly harder line on relations with the North. Monday’s delegation included spy chief Suh Hoon, who is a veteran in dealings with the North. He is known to have been deeply part of the left-wing Liberi e Uguali (Free and Equal) alliance. For now he still heads what remains the largest centre-left party in the Italian parliament, but the PD’s catastrophe on Sunday has all but torpedoed the possibility a broad German-style coalition between it and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, who also performed worse than expected. The two political heavyweights were at one time allied over the need for constitutional reform and share political common ground on issues such as Europe, but “Renzusconi”, as Renzi’s left-wing opponents often m o c k i n g l y called him, now looks all out of options. – Nampa/AFP involved in negotiations to arrange two previous inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency also announced their impending visit in a one-paragraph dispatch. Tuesday. Other members include Suh’s deputy at the National Intelligence Service as well as Chun Hae-sung, tion ministry which handles crossborder affairs. US on Wednesday to explain the in Washington, according to the Moon, who advocates dialogue with the North’s nuclear-armed regime, last week said Washington needs to “lower the threshold for talks” with Pyongyang. But the US has ruled out any possibility of talks before the North takes steps towards denuclearisation, and imposed what Trump hailed as the “toughest ever” sanctions on Kim’s regime late last month. - Nampa/AFP China ups defence budget by 8% BEIJING China yesterday announced an 8.1 percent defence budget increase for 2018, giving the world’s largest armed forces a boost after spending slowed in the last two years. Beijing will spend 1.11 trillion yuan (US5 billion) on its military, according to a budget report presented before the opening session of the annual National People’s Congress, according to the agency. The outlay compares with a seven percent increase last year and 7.6 percent in 2016, time in six years that spending growth was China spent US1 billion on the People’s Liberation Army last year, the second largest defence budget in the world but still four times less than the US3 billion US outlay, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank. The defence budget increase has roughly followed the same pace as China’s national economic output in recent years. The economy grew by 6.9 percent in 2017 and the government said Monday it will target growth of around 6.5 percent in 2018. China’s neighbours and the United States have watched warily as Beijing has modernised the world’s largest army, reducing its ground troops to two million soldiers while spending on state-ofthe-art hardware and weapons. At the same time, Beijing has imposed increasingly assertive claims to vast expanses of the contested South China Sea, while engaging in confrontations with Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea and with India over Himalayan border regions. - Nampa/AFP

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167