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Spain’s Ciudadanos says he would be in the opposition after party lost

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Source: Reuters

The leader of the Ciudadanos party, Spain’s third-biggest after Sunday’s national election, said on Tuesday he would not block major international or terrorism-related legislation in parliament.

Albert Rivera, whose party won 57 seats in the 350-seat parliament, a substantial jump from the 32 it had in the previous legislature, is jockeying with the conservative People’s Party leader Pablo Casado, whose party lost more than half its seats to 66, over who will be leader of the opposition.

Immediately after the election results, Rivera ruled out forming a coalition with the Socialists, a deal many in the business and financial would welcome. He repeated on Tuesday he would be in the opposition.

“On issues of terrorism, on issues of Europe and international politics, on state issues, I am going to play for Spain,” Rivera told Telecinco television.

The opposition will play a responsible role, he added.

The Socialists of incumbent Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez won most seats without securing a majority and are now pondering options on how to form a government. That will take time and not much is likely to be known before EU, local and regional elections on May 26.

On paper, the Socialists and Ciudadanos would together have enough seats to rule together but they have both, for now, rejected it. Relations between Rivera and Sanchez were particularly tense during the campaign.

Jose Luis Abalos, a high-ranking Socialist, said on Monday that Rivera had not phoned Sanchez to congratulate him on his victory. Ciudadanos later said that Rivera had congratulated Sanchez publicly in a Sunday evening speech and had sent him a message on Monday.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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24 Hours Across Africa

Zimbawe’s doctor goes missing after masterminding strike

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Fearless Zimbabwe’s minister of health has called on the government to address insecurity lapses that has lead to the disappearance Peter Magombeyi, the head of a doctor’s union, who disappeared on Saturday.

Fears are rising over the fate of Zimbabwe medical doctor Dr Peter Magombeyi after he sent a message to say he had been abducted in that country by unknown persons – apparently for demanding a “living wage”.

An AFP report earlier on Sunday quoted the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctor’s Association (ZHDA) as saying Magombeyi had not been heard from since he sent a WhatsApp message on Saturday night saying he had been “kidnapped by three men”.

Zimbabwe doctors, who earn a miserly equivalent of about R3 000 are on strike to press for better wages, equipment and medicines in state hospitals.

The ZHDA has reportedly accused state security forces of abducting the doctor because of his role in organising work stoppages.

This week some doctors said the death of deposed Robert Mugabe, 95, in a Singapore hospital on 6 September was an indication of how bad health services in Zimbabwe

“Dr Magombeyi’s crime is only to ask for a living wage for his profession. This is a reflection of the troubles born out of refusal to implement Political Reforms.”

The Zimbabwe government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa has not publicly commented on the doctor’s disappearance

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