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Six Killed In Violence Ahead of Ivory Coast’s Presidential Election

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No fewer than six people have been killed in a pre-election violence in Ivory Coast, the mayor of the West African country’s south town of Dabou said on Thursday.

Supporters and opponents of President Alassane Ouattara, who is seeking a controversial third term, trade blame for rising violence ahead of the Oct. 31 election.

In response to the killings, Dabou authorities declared a curfew on Wednesday night.

Mayor Jean-Claude Niangne said the attacks were carried out by men armed with assault rifles and machetes.

Ouattara announced his candidacy for a third term in August despite his opponents insisting his third term bid violates the constitution. Since then no fewer than 20 people have died in protests and clashes between rival supporters.

The events have stoked fears about a bigger slide into violence. A disputed election a decade ago led to a civil war that killed 3,000 people.

Niangne, a member of Ouattara’s ruling party, said young men affiliated with the president’s opponents took control of parts of Dabou earlier in the week, killing six people and wounding 40, before being pushed out on Wednesday by the police.

He said weapons belonging to Ben Souk Sess – a national lawmaker and former mayor of the town who is an ally of exiled opposition leader Guillaume Soro – were used by the assailants

Sess, who is in exile in Mali, denied this and blamed the violence on youth gangs working for Niangne.

Ouattara’s two main challengers in the election, former President Henri Konan Bedie and Pascal Affi N’Guessan, called on their supporters last week to boycott the electoral process and prevent it from going ahead.

They accuse the ruling party of manipulating the electoral process to ensure Ouattara’s victory. Ouattara denies this and says he has the right to stand for re-election under a new constitution approved in 2016.

North Africa Politics

Algeria’s President Tebboune to Return Home after COVID-19 Treatment in Germany

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Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is set to return home from a German hospital “in the coming days” after treatment for COVID-19.

“The president assures the Algerian people that he is recovering and will return to the homeland in the coming days,” the office said in a statement, published on Facebook.

In late October, Tebboune was transported to Germany for an in-depth medical examination following a doctor recommendation.

Shortly after, the office announced that the president was diagnosed with COVID-19.

In compliance with the recommendations of his medical team, the 75-year-old Algerian leader continues to undergo the rest of recovery procedures after leaving a specialised medical facility in Germany, the office added.

Tebboune has served as the president of Algeria since December 2019.

He assumed the post after the resignation of Abdelaziz Bouteflika following months of protests.

Since the start of the pandemic, 83,199 cases of the coronavirus have been registered in Algeria.

To date, the North African country’s COVID-19 death toll stands at 2,431, while the number of recoveries is approaching 54,000.

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Ghana to Bury Ex-President Rawlings December 23

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Jerry Rawlings calls for review of Ghana's constitution

The remains of deceased former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, will be buried on December 23, his family has said.

James Victor Gbeho, Head of the funeral planning committee, in a press release on Monday, said the family, in consultation with government, has agreed on the date.

The funeral rites for the 73-year-old will come off at the Independence Square in Accra.

Mr Gbeho said, “The family is working in conjunction with government on the finer details of the funeral ceremony and will communicate the arrangements in due course.”

Rawlings, Ghana’s longest-serving head of state and founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), died on 12 November at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra after a short illness.

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Akufo-Addo, Mahama Go Toe to Toe as Ghana’s Presidential Election Draws Closer

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President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) will face former president John Dramani Mahama, leader of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the West African country’s December 7 presidential election.

The election has been dubbed the “battle of two giants.”

It is the third time Akufo-Addo and Mahama will compete against each other for the highest office in the country, with each previously having won one poll each– Akufo-Addo in 2016 and Mahama in 2012.

Although 12 candidates are vying for the presidency, including two women, only Akufo-Addo and Mahama are said to have a chance of coming out victorious.

The electoral campaign has been dominated by Ghana’s economy, infrastructure development, education, corruption, and debt relief.

Akufo-Addo, 76, has been touting economic growth during his current four-year term in office as well as the streamlining of government services and implementation of free schooling for senior high school pupils.

Mahama, 62, has meanwhile stressed the many infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, schools and hospitals, he realised during his presidency, promising do invest more in this area if re-elected.

Political analysts of the University of Ghana in the capital, Accra, predict a slim win for Akufo-Addo in the December elections.

Polls have indicated voters prefer Akufo-Addo’s policy-driven approach to run the nation of 30 million people, the university’s head of the political science department, Kaakyire Frempong.

A candidate is required to gain at least 50 per cent of votes to be elected in the first round.

Ghana’s roughly 17 million registered voters will also elect 275 legislators from 914 candidates on Dec. 7.

Akufo-Addo’s NPP is expected to once again gain the majority of seats in parliament.

Voting will take place at more than 33,000 polling stations between 7 am and 5 pm (0700 and 1700 GMT).

The electoral commission will announce results within 72 hours after the election.

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