Political News

Kenyan MP arrested ‘for slapping female colleague’ because she wouldn’t give money to his constituency

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Kenyan MP arrested 'for slapping female colleague' because she wouldn't give money to his constituency 2

Kenyan MP arrested 'for slapping female colleague' because she wouldn't give money to his constituency 3

A Kenyan MP has been arrested after a female colleague accused him of slapping her for not giving money to his constituency.

Rashid Kassim allegedly assaulted Fatuma Gedi, who sits on the budget committee, in the parliament car park in Nairobi on Thursday.

The MP for Wajir East, in northeast Kenya, reportedly confronted his colleague about why she had not allocated funds to his constituency.

An image of Ms Gedi in tears with blood in her mouth was circulated on Twitter after the alleged assault.

Video footage of female MPs walking out of parliament in protest was also shared on the social media site, alongside the hashtag #JusticeForFatumaGedi.

MP Sabina Wanjiru Chege told the BBC that male MPs had been mocking their female colleagues and “saying it was slapping day”.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Kenya confirmed Mr Kassim was arrested in the parliament grounds on Thursday evening.

A spokesperson tweeted: “Hon. Rashid Kassim Amin, the Member of Parliament for Wajir East was today evening arrested within the Precincts of Parliament by @DCI_Kenya Detectives in connection with causing actual bodily harm to @Hon_FatumaGedi.

“Further investigations are ongoing.”

Mr Kassim has not commented on the alleged incident.

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Political News

How Green parties are on the march after big wins across Europe

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How Green parties are on the march after big wins across Europe 5

How Green parties are on the march after big wins across Europe 6

It was the surprise story of the European elections: across the continent, Green parties surged. But it hasn’t stopped since then: buoyed by the momentum of their new MEPs, ecologists are making further gains.

In Germany, the latest poll shows the country’s Greens practically neck-and-neck with Angela Merkel’s conservatives, who have dominated the country’s politics for well over a decade. With the governing coalition facing a rough patch, there’s even talk that fresh early elections could put the ecologists in charge at the head of a centre-left alliance.

Other countries are also seeing ecologists get in on power. In Finland, the Greens are a key part of the new governing coalition, formed on Thursday, and have even taken over the country’s foreign ministry. There are gains in places like Ireland, France and Belgium too. In Britain, they are doing as well as they have ever done in the polls for Westminster, fresh from doubling their MEPs last month.

It’s worth a note of caution: public opinion can be fickle, and Green parties have surged before. Back in the 1989 European elections, Greens won 14 per cent of the vote in the UK. They didn’t quite get established as a major political force, but much of their policy and rhetoric was integrated into the big parties’ programmes out of fear they might be displaced.

But there are good reasons to think that their politics will stick around this time, and that climate change might be getting the focus in our politics that it deserves – despite rows about Brexit dominating media coverage over the last few years. 

In a way, the idea that “we don’t pay enough attention to climate change” has become a powerful political idea in itself – it is self evidently true, and a powerful recruiting tool for ecologist movements and green parties, who give the issue the time it deserves.  

The recent Extinction Rebellion protests and associated climate change school strikes, which have sprung up across Europe – and play off this very idea – have massively raised public consciousness of environmental issues to never-before-seen levels. 

A YouGov poll series of UK voters’ unprompted political concerns shows those mentioning the environment as an issue rising slowly and steadily from 2016 onwards, and then spiking after the Extinction Rebellion protests started in 2019 to 27 per cent. The spike surpassed a previous short-lived spike to 24 per cent during serious winter flooding and storms in 2014.

If there are two things we can expect more of, it’s extreme weather and climate protests. If those things drive concern about the environment, that’s fertile soil for ecologist politics. 

Even if Green parties’ appeal does end up being co-opted by the major parties, they will have achieved their goal: changing policy to avert climate disaster. In Britain, Labour has already made a Green New Deal, and similar programmes are being promoted by left-wing Democrats in the US without much interference from third parties. However that change comes about, it looks like concern about the climate is finally getting the kind of attention it needs in the developed world.

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President fires officials over Twitter during first week in office

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President fires officials over Twitter during first week in office 8

President fires officials over Twitter during first week in office 9

The new president of El Salvador has taken an unconventional approach to firing officials – by giving them the axe over Twitter.

In his first week in office, Nayib Bukele’s targets have included relatives of former president Salvador Sanchez Ceren and figures from the outgoing political party, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front.

In one such tweet, the 37-year-old former mayor of San Salvador said: “CEL president William Granadino is ordered to remove Claudia Sanchez Villalta, daughter of former president Sanchez Ceren, from her position. Do not hire a replacement.”

Mr Bukele, an avid social media user with more than 700,000 Twitter followers, has fired several other officials via tweet.

Some of the dismissed responded with tweets such as: “Your order will be executed immediately, president @nayibbukele.”

While some of Mr Bukele’s supporters have cheered the new form of presidential communication, his opponents on the right and the left described the practice as autocratic.

Norman Quijano, the right-wing president of the Salvadoran congress, told reporters: “This is not a monarchy.

“The absolutist monarchies were a thing of the Middle Ages and we are in the 21st century, where institutionality must be respected.”

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A presidential spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Luis Assardo, a journalist and researcher based in Guatemala, said Mr Bukele was embracing Twitter to gain recognition and speak directly to everyday Salvadorans.

He said: “He does not need the press. He does not need any kind of intermediary to deliver the information that interests him.”

It echoes the approach of US president Donald Trump, who communicates to his Republican Party base daily via Twitter and has also fired some officials via tweet.

After Mr Bukele was sworn in on Saturday, Mr Trump tweeted: “The United States stands ready to work with @NayibBukele to advance prosperity in El Salvador and the hemisphere. Congratulations president Bukele on your inauguration.”

Reuters contributed to this report

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