Togo Ruling Party Triumphs At First Local Polls In 30 Years

 

Togo’s ruling party has cruised to victory at the first local elections in 32 years in the West African nation that has been dominated by one family for decades, results said. 

Voters in the country of 8 million people cast their ballots on Sunday at poll Western power described as an “important step in strengthening local democracy”.

Some opposition parties took part after boycotting parliamentary elections last year in protest at President Faure Gnassingbe’s grip on power.

Gnassingbe has ruled the country for 15 years since he succeeded his father Eyadema Gnassingbe, who led the country with an iron fist for 38 years after taking over in a coup.

READ ALSO: Mexican Authorities Rescue 24 Kidnapped Migrants

Parliament in May approved a constitutional change allowing Gnassingbe to run two more times and potentially remain in office until 2030.

Preliminary results released late Friday by the electoral commission gave the ruling Union for the Republic 895 of the 1490 local council seats on offer.

The National Alliance for Change was second on 134 seats, ahead of two other opposition groupings.

Overall turnout was put at just over 52 per cent but participation was low in the capital Lome. The vote was not held in three areas of the country due to “technical reasons”.

The election came almost two years after hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Lome and other cities in anti-government protests, leading to deadly clashes.

Protests again erupted earlier this year in Togo, sandwiched between Ghana and Benin, but have since waned.

Political activists have been detained by security forces and the police.

The previous councillors elected in local elections in Togo governed for 14 years from 1987 — despite being elected on five-year terms.

Councillors were later replaced with “special delegations”, tasked with organising new elections, whose positions were often filled with figures hand-picked by the government.

AFP

Nadal Opens Roland Garros Title Defence With Easy Victory

Spain’s Rafael Nadal serves the ball to Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann during their men’s singles first round match on day two of The Roland Garros 2019 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on May 27, 2019. Thomas SAMSON / AFP

 

Defending champion Rafael Nadal began his pursuit of a 12th French Open title with a comfortable 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 win over German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann on Monday.

Second seed Nadal goes on to face either Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium or another German qualifier Yannick Maden for a place in the last 32.

AFP

Tiger Woods Climbs To World Number 6 After Sunday’s Victory

Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates after making his putt on the 18th green to win the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

 

Tiger Woods continued his stunning rise up the world rankings on Monday by officially returning to the top 10 for the first time since 2014 after his dramatic fifth Masters’ win.

The 43-year-old climbed six spots to sixth after a one-shot victory at Augusta National which crowned one of the greatest comeback stories in sport with a first major title since the 2008 US Open.

Woods’ next target may be a return to the top of the rankings, where he spent a record 683 weeks between 1997 and 2014, including 281 consecutively.

He was ranked outside the top 1,000 in November 2017 when he embarked on his comeback from fourth back surgery, but now has the top five of Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas in his sights.

READ ALSO: Tiger Woods Tees Off As Dramatic Masters Final Round Begins

Johnson reclaimed the world number one ranking from Rose just a week after losing it to the Englishman, thanks to his tied-second finish behind Woods as Rose missed the Masters cut for the first time in his career.

Koepka jumped back above McIlroy to third despite narrowly missing out on a fourth major title in just seven attempts.

Xander Schauffele, the other runner-up in Georgia, moved up one place to ninth.

World top 20

1. Dustin Johnson (USA)    10.01 average pts (+1)

2. Justin Rose (ENG)        9.20 (-1)

3. Brooks Koepka (USA)      8.96 (+1)

4. Rory McIlroy (NIR)       8.32 (-1)

5. Justin Thomas (USA)      8.04

6. Tiger Woods (USA)        7.74 (+6)

7. Francesco Molinari (ITA) 7.43

8. Bryson DeChambeau (USA)  7.24 (-2)

9. Xander Schauffele (USA)  6.56 (+1)

10. Rickie Fowler (USA)     6.00 (-1)

11. Jon Rahm (ESP)          5.98 (-3)

12. Paul Casey (ENG)        5.40 (-1)

13. Jason Day (AUS)         5.23 (+1)

14. Tony Finau (USA)        5.15 (+1)

15. Tommy Fleetwood (ENG)   5.02 (-2)

16. Matt Kuchar (USA)       4.87

17. Bubba Watson (USA)      4.60

18. Patrick Cantlay (USA)   4.36 (+3)

19. Patrick Reed (USA)      4.35 (-1)

20. Webb Simpson (USA)      4.22 (+3)

AFP

Tsitsipas Eyes Up Federer After Rollicking Victory

Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates his victory against Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili during their men’s singles match on day five of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. Greg Wood / AFP

 

Fiery Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas was looking forward to a last-16 clash with Roger Federer after overcoming a mini-meltdown to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 at the Australian Open Friday.

“It will be amazing playing Roger on Rod Laver,” said Tsitsipas of the Swiss great.

The 14th seed, touted among the new generation of young stars as a future champion, came through the third round after being docked his first serve for exceeding the shot clock at a crucial moment while facing a break point in the third set.

The powerful Georgian Basilashvili seeded 19, took advantage on the second delivery to break back causing Tsitsipas to unload a verbal tirade in the direction of his coaching team in his player box.

French umpire Alexandre Robein clearly understood enough of Greek and English vernacular to slap the 20-year-old with a code violation for an audible obscenity.

But backed by a raucous Greek contingent in a rowdy atmosphere on Margaret Court Arena, he recovered his composure to win the set in a tense tiebreak.

He cruised through the fourth set to become the first Greek man to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam twice, after reaching the same stage at Wimbledon last year.

“It’s good to have such support and exciting to have an atmosphere like this,” said Tsitsipas.

“I feel like I’m playing at home, I never had so many Greek — and Aussie — people support me.”

AFP

Pepe Gives Second-Placed Lille Victory At Nimes

Lille’s Ivorian forward Nicolas Pepe (R) scores a penalty kick during the French L1 football match between Lille and Reims on December 9, 2018 at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve-d’Ascq.
FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP

 

In-form striker Nicolas Pepe scored what proved to be the winner as 10-man Lille claimed a 3-2 win at Nimes on Sunday to consolidate second place in Ligue 1.

Later on Sunday, Lyon won 3-0 at home against struggling Monaco to move into third.

Lyon are three points behind Lille with a match in hand, while Montpellier, who did not play for a second consecutive week, are another two points back but have played two games fewer than Lille.

The French title race is all but over with reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain 10 points clear, but a young Lille side are eyeing a return to the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2012.

“What a match, I’m really proud of my players,” said Lille coach Christophe Galtier. “We must not forget that we played for more than an hour and 20 minutes with 10 men.

“With the added time, it was a very long and hard match physically.”

Portuguese teenager Rafael Leao headed Lille into a fourth-minute lead, but Galtier’s men suffered a setback when former Southampton centre-back Jose Fonte was sent off in the 16th minute.

Jonathan Bamba’s deflected effort doubled the advantage shortly before the interval, though, and Pepe appeared to have made the points safe midway through the second half with his 12th goal of the campaign.

The 10 men finally started to tire late on, but Lille held on for victory despite Nimes goals from Rachid Alioui and Clement Depres.

In the late game, Lyon dominated Thierry Henry’s Monaco from beginning to end. They took the lead in only the sixth minute with a goal by Houssem Aouar, his sixth of the season.

Nabil Fekir added the second in the 34th minute, attacking Kenny Tete’s low cross as Monaco’s Jemerson hesitated.

Monaco managed only one shot all game. They played almost the whole second half with 10 men after Aleksandr Golovin raked his studs down the back of Fekir’s calf in the 47th minute and was sent off.

Ferland Mendy added a deserved third for Lyon just before the hour mark.

AFP

APC Sweeps To Victory In Nasarawa Council Polls

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has swept to victory in the 13 local government areas of Nasarawa State in the just concluded local government elections.

Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr Henry Omaku, made the declaration on Sunday in Lafia, the state capital.

He declared that the party also won the councillorship election in the entire 147 Wards of the state.

The state’s electoral body had fixed Saturday, May 26 (yesterday), for the conduct of the council polls.

State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura had vowed not to tamper with the independence of the electoral body.

The governor made the pledge while inaugurating the chairman and members of the state electoral body.

The inauguration, which held at the Council Chambers of the Government House in Lafia, the state capital, is in line with the preparation for the local government elections slated for May in the state.

Addressing the newly NASIEC officials, Governor Al-Makura noted that adequate provision has been made to ensure the polls are conducted successfully.

He also called on other political parties to participate fully in the elections without any fear of partisanship and assured them of responsiveness on the part of the state government.

Buhari Congratulates German Chancellor, Merkel On Election Victory

File Photo: President Muhammadu Buhari and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

President Muhammadu Buhari has joined other world leaders in congratulating German Chancellor, Angela Merkel on her victory at the elections.

President Buhari using his Twitter handle felicitated with the German Chancellor’s party and wished her a successful tenure ahead.

He said, “I congratulate Chancellor Merkel on her electoral victory, and wish her a successful tenure ahead.

READ ALSO: Germany’s Merkel Wins Fourth Term

Buhari described Merkel’s victory as well deserving lauding her interest in domestic and international matters.

“She has won a well-deserved opportunity to continue the strong leadership she has shown in domestic and International matters.”

 

 

Court Reinstates Senator Representing Abia Central

The Supreme Court today waived the Court of Appeal’s decision that ordered the removal of the Chairman Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Nkechi Nwogu, as the duly elected Senator representing Abia Central Senatorial District.

Presiding Justice Francis Adebiyi while setting aside the lower court’s decision of December 13th, 2011, said the sole ground for removing Senator Nwogu from office was not on election irregularities and non-compliance but a question of whether Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area is part of the senatorial district.

The court held that “The 1st respondent, Hon. Emeka Atuma sought to explore victory by relying on an issue that is purely on delineation on Federal constituency. The lower court was wrong to have determined that Osisioma Ngwa was not part of the Abia Central Senatorial District”.

Osisioma Ngwa, according to the counsel to Senator Nwogu, Mr Lawan Rabbana, Osisioma Ngwa has always been part of Abia Central Senatorial District since the return to democratic rule in 1999 and wondered where Honourable Atuma obtained a purported letter which delineated Osisioma Ngwa out of the senatorial district in the 2011 general elections.

Neymar inspires Brazil’s victory against Japan

Brazil’s new football sensation Neymar was on call twice for his home country as Brazil showed what it has always been known for against Japan to ensure Mano Meneze’s side ended their brief European tour with two wins from two encounters.

Last week, it was a serious demolishing for Iraq as Brazil pounded the Arabian side 6-0 in Sweden thanks the young lad Neymar. And today, he proved unstoppable as he became a threat in the defence of the Japanese side while Real Madrid star Kaka also got his name on the score sheet.

Going into statistics of Brazil’s opponents Japan was a better side as they proved to be another tough side but the Samba boys happen to be tougher and this can be deduced from Japan’s impressive win over France even Brazil became a very hard nut for the Japanese side to crack.

Paulinho gave the Brazilians the lead in the 12th minute with a strike from outside the area before Neymar, who also scored against Iraq, doubled the advantage from the penalty spot.

Neymar was fortunate to record his second goal of the afternoon after the ball deflected in off Atsuto Uchida, but the 20-year-old Santos star was credited with his 16th strike in 25 Brazil appearances.

Kaka, who had not scored for Brazil since 2010, added his second goal in five days to complete the scoring with 14 minutes left, but Neymar took the headlines once again.