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Ukraine War: Russia Warns Sweden And Finland Against Nato Membership | Politics

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Russia has warned Finland and Sweden against joining Nato, saying the move would not bring stability to Europe. Nato was formed in 1949 to counter the threat of Soviet expansion and domination, and since the fall of the Berlin wall a number of formerly communist eastern European countries have joined the military alliance.

Member states agree to come to one another’s aid in the event of an armed attack against any individual member state. Back in February Maria Zakharova, Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, warned of “military and political consequences” if the countries joined the bloc.

And on  Monday, April 11, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “the alliance remains a tool geared towards confrontation” and thst Moscow is clear when it comes to opposing any potential enlargement of the alliance. 

 Peskov warned the bloc “is not that kind of alliance which ensures peace and stability, and its further expansion will not bring additional security to the European continent”.

The warning by Russia comes  as US defence officials expect Sweden and Finland to bid for membership of the alliance, potentially as early as June saying Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has been a “massive strategic blunder” which is likely to bring Nato enlargement.

The move would see the Western alliance grow to 32 members and US State Department officials said last week that discussions had taken place between Nato leaders and foreign ministers from Helsinki and Stockholm.

Before Russia invades Ukraine, Russia demanded that the alliance agree to halt any future enlargement, but the war has led to the deployment of more Nato troops on its eastern flank and a rise in public support for Swedish and Finnish membership.

Finnish lawmakers are expected to receive a security report from intelligence officials this week, and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said she expects her government “will end the discussion before midsummer” on whether to make a membership application.

Finland shares a 1,340km (830 miles) long border with Russia and has been angered by the invasion of Ukraine. 

While Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic party, which has traditionally opposed Nato membership, said it is rethinking this position in light of Russia’s attack on its western neighbour. Party secretary Tobias Baudin told local media that the Nato review should be complete within the next few months.

“When Russia invaded Ukraine, Sweden’s security position changed fundamentally,” the party said in a statement on Monday. 
Also both countries stepped up defence spending since the invasion of Ukraine.

On Monday, army leaders in Helsinki announced a new plan to allocate €14m (£10.88m) to purchase drones for Finland’s military.
And last month Swedish officials said they would boost defence spending by three billion kronas ($317m; £243m) in 2022.

 

 

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Kenya To Break Pattern Of Disputed Elections | Politics

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Kenyans are working toward breaking the pattern of disputed elections and preventing election-related violence in the upcoming general election slated for August, 2022.

A pre-election assessment mission by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) said the potential milestone would require concerted efforts by all stakeholders, including political parties, security services, civil society and the media.

The assessment delegation includes Mrs Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana and Mr James Lahai, the National Coordinator of National Election Watch, Sierra Leone.

The rest are: Madam Nicole Rowsell, the Acting Vice President of the National Democratic Institute, the United States of America, and Mr Yomi Jacobs, the Resident Program Director of the International Republican Institute in Kenya and Nigeria.

Briefing the Ghana News Agency, Mrs Mensa said the purpose of the PEAM assessment was to ‘measure’ the current political environment as well as the electoral preparations ahead of the August 2022 general election.

She said the mission was to provide independent, impartial information and practical recommendations before Election Day to improve the process and demonstrate international support for credible and peaceful electoral processes.

The assessment, Mrs Mensa said indicated that the 2022 general election had the potential to be a pivotal milestone for democratisation in Kenya.

“Elections in 2007, 2013, and 2017 were marred by challenges with the results transmission process and related lack of public confidence in the official outcome, resulting in widespread post-election violence in 2007 and 2008 and the nullification of the 2017 presidential election results by the Supreme Court,” she noted.

The mission found that the elections would take place against a backdrop of shifting political alliances and newly enacted and evolving amendments to the Electoral and Political Party laws and provide an opportunity to break with the past.

She said the delegation recognised the positive efforts being made to conduct more transparent, accountable, and inclusive elections, including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) efforts to rebuild trust and assert its independence.

There are efforts to improve the political party nomination processes, increased stakeholder engagement by police, nomination of a female vice-presidential candidate, reliance on the judiciary to resolve disputes and the judiciary’s preparedness for legal challenges that may arise in the post-election period.

She said the delegation noted that stakeholders expressed concerns about remaining vulnerabilities that could undermine confidence in the 2022 elections and increase the potential for election-related violence.

These include electoral amendments that can affect the conduct of the election pending in Parliament, creating confusion among the electorate.

Mrs Mensa said the delegation observed that the persistent distrust over the transmission and announcement of results remained while Parliament’s failure to approve limits on campaign financing meant that campaign-related expenditures would continue to play an outsized role during the elections.

The delegation also heard reports of State resources being misused for campaigning in violation of the electoral code of conduct and the use of hate speech across the political spectrum to incite violence.

The lack of economic opportunity for young people makes them potentially more vulnerable to being exploited by political leaders to engage in violence.

Also, the prevalence of mis- and disinformation not only disrupts the flow of accurate election-related information to citizens, but also contributes to raising tensions and polarisation among political factions and ethnic groups.

The delegation heard concerns about the neutrality and the role of certain elements of the security services in maintaining peace.

Source: GNA

 

 

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NPP UK Branch Elect New Executives | Politics

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The United Kingdom Branch of the Governing New Patriotic Party [NPP], has held executive elections to choose new leaders to steer its affairs for the next four years.

The elections, which was held on Sunday, 22 May 2022, had Mr. Kingsley Adumattah Agyapong (Wofa K) being elected as Chairman.

Other elected executives are;
Mr. Alex Mensah (1st Vice-Chairman)
Mr. Ibrahim Abdul- Mumuni (2nd Vice-Chairman)

Mr Otuo Acheampong (Branch Secretary)
Mr. Charles Asmah (Treasurer)
Mrs Patricia Achiaa Boakye (Daakyehemaa)- (Women Organiser),
Mr. Richmond Kwame Boateng (Branch Organiser),
Mr. Ike Prince Asante (Youth Organiser) and,
Mr. Issah Ayumah (Nasara Coordinator)
The UK Branch of the party is made up of London and all members from various Chapters which are semi-autonomous in their decision-making and resource mobilization.

All the Chapters held their elections peacefully before the general Branch elections.

The new chairman, Mr. Kingsley Adumattah Agyapong, takes over from Derrick Kwaku Nkansah, whose tenure has expired.

The leadership of the party said it was hopeful that the new leaders will help the mother party in Ghana as well as the government to achieve all of its election 2020 promises to break the 8.

Source: Peacefmonline.com/Ghana

 

 

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Kenya: Jean Mensa’s Team Meets Stakeholders Ahead Of August 9 Elections | Politics

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The International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) have finished conducting a Pre-Election Assessment Mission (PEAM) as part of their overall observation of Kenya’s 2022 general elections.

The pre-election assessment which began on May 16 and ended on May 20, 2022, made some interesting recommendations ahead of Kenya’s polls slated for August 9, 2022.

Among the recommendations, the delegation urged Kenya’s Government to ensure timely financial transfers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to ensure effective preparations, including voter education campaigns.

It further urged the Kenyan Parliament to urgently address the issue of pending electoral law amendments – either expediting their review or stating no further reforms will be entertained prior to the August polls to remove confusion or suspicion of attempts to manipulate the process.

The assessment delegation comprised Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana; James Lahai, the National Coordinator of National Election Watch (Sierra Leone); Nicole Rowsell, Acting Vice President of the National Democratic Institute (USA); and Yomi Jacobs, Resident Program Director of the International Republican Institute in Kenya (Nigeria).

The delegation conducted its activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, which was launched in 2005 at the United Nations, and in compliance with the laws of the Republic of Kenya. All activities were conducted on a strictly nonpartisan basis and without interfering in the election process. The delegation met with a wide array of election stakeholders, including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), political parties, civil society, business associations, media representatives, religious leaders, the judiciary, and government actors. The delegation expresses its appreciation to everyone with whom it met for sharing insights from which the mission benefited greatly.

IRI and NDI are nonpartisan, nongovernmental, nonprofit organizations that support and strengthen democratic institutions and practices worldwide. The Institutes have collectively observed more than 200 elections in more than 50 countries over the past 30 years. NDI and IRI will conduct a second pre-election assessment mission to assess progress toward key recommendations before Kenya’s general elections are scheduled for August 9, 2022.

The delegation also urged IEBC to build trust among the electoral contestants and public confidence in the electoral process and also develop and disseminate a clear methodology with appropriate safeguards on the collation, transmission, and declaration of results.

The delegation further urged all political actors to demonstrate commitment to ensuring peace before, during, and after elections, by publicly endorsing and adhering to the electoral code of conduct, and other peace pledges.

“Refrain from hate speech, cyberbullying, and inciting violence by supporters, including gender-based violence, and cooperate with institutions to investigate incidents,” the mission advised in a statement.

The Kenyan media was also urged to Provide election coverage in accordance with the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism and Offer the use of their platforms for civic and voter education programs and information.

“Provide coverage of candidate debates, to inform citizens and promote an issue-based campaign,” it further advised.

 

 

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.

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