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African Speakers Want Countries Without Democratic Govts Blacklisted

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African Speakers Want Countries Without Democratic Govts Blacklisted
African Speakers Want Countries Without Democratic Govts Blacklisted

Speakers and heads of African parliaments meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, have called on the global to blacklist countries on the continent where undemocratic governments are in control.

There have been seven coups and coup attempts in Africa in the last two years. In Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Mali, and Sudan, military leaders succeeded in seizing power; in Niger and, most recently, in Guinea-Bissau, also tried but failed.

The speakers said the new trend of military coups could set the continent in reverse gear for many years and erode the developmental gains achieved through constitutional democracy.

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The speakers, led by the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, are meeting in Abuja for the 1st Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments (CoSAP).

Commenting on the issue of undemocratic governments during a plenary session on “Africa’s Public Financial Management in the COVID-19 Era: Challenges, Opportunities and Way forward”, some of the speakers appealed to the global not to recognise any African country where a coup brought in the government.

“No country will recognise a government that does not come through the ballot box.

“There are expressed provisions in our laws. Yet these things are done in certain countries and are allowed, which is wrong”, Gbajabiamila said.

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It was the South African Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who first raised the issue, expressing surprise that undemocratic governments were gradually returning to Africa.

She said this was against the African Union’s position, which strongly opposed the undemocratic takeover of power.

Like Gbajabiamila, his South African colleague said what the rest of the world should do was to resolve not to have any dealings with such countries.

The speakers described the trend as a “cancer”, which must be stopped from further spreading.

On his part, the Speaker of Zimbabwe, Jacob Matunda, stated that the lack of growth in Africa was not due to a lack of ideas but the deliberate plot by the West to keep the continent in stagnation.

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According to him, an African leader elected into office by popular will or who comes up with innovative ideas is soon “punished”, through any available method.

The speakers urged participants at the CoSAP meeting to come up with strong recommendations that would address the growing trend of military coups in some parts of the continent.

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