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International | National: Kwasi Kwarteng out as UK Chancellor

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Kwasi Kwarteng

Kwasi Kwarteng is no longer chancellor, the BBC has reported.

This comes after speculation that the British Prime Minister, Liz Truss will on Friday announce a U-turn on parts of the mini-budget.

With his sacking, it means Kwarteng is the second shortest-serving UK chancellor on record.

The shortest serving chancellor, Iain Macleod, died of a heart attack 30 days after taking the job in 1970.

Since 2019, the UK has had four chancellors, including Nadhim Zahawi who served the third shortest tenure with 63 days during a short-lived reshuffle under Boris Johnson, and Sajid Javid who served 204 days – the fourth shortest tenure since the Second World War.

Here’s a quick recap of his political career:

Like Truss, a member of the “class of 2010”, elected into Spelthorne, Surrey, when the Conservatives gained power in the general election that year
Co-authored a controversial 2012 book, Britannia Unchained, with Truss and others, which suggested British workers were “idlers” – a view from which he later distanced himself
Backed Leave in the 2016 EU referendum
Became business secretary in the government of Boris Johnson, which was seen as a reward for backing Johnson’s leadership bid
Also backed Liz Truss in her own 2022 leadership campaign and was described as the PM’s political soulmate before being made her finance minister
Presented a mini-budget on 23 September which pledged £45bn of tax cuts, funded by borrowing, which was followed by market turbulence and an intervention from Bank of England
Analysis: PM will want to appoint new chancellor before facing questions

Superlatives get overused in political reporting, but this is genuinely astonishing.

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng are old friends, and from the same wing of the Conservative Party.

What they have attempted in policy terms is at the core of their outlook on politics.

And yet their entire political programme rests above the shredder, and now the chancellor is out.

Out after less than 40 days.

And a news conference in Downing Street beckons, at a time of financial instability, and the UK does not have a chancellor of the exchequer.

The prime minister will not want to face questions until she can answer the one about who runs the Treasury.

Some in the party are arguing that the key thing she should be looking for in a new chancellor is instant credibility, to steady the markets.

There are two people who are former chancellors on the Conservative backbenches.

But one is called Rishi Sunak, so we can rule him out of wanting to come back, and the other is Sajid Javid.

But Truss may go for a close ally – what about the Deputy Prime Minister Therese Coffey, or Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke?

Anticipating Kwasi Kwarteng’s sacking last night, one senior figure cautioned against it.

“If as prime minister you remove a lightning rod, don’t be surprised if rather more flashes of it end up striking you instead.”

Let’s see what happens next.

Pound falls sharply on Kwarteng news
Peter Ruddick

Money & Work reporter

The value of the pound has fallen sharply in the past half an hour after reports emerged that Kwasi Kwarteng is no longer chancellor.

Sterling is now back below $1.12, trading 1.3% lower than it was.

The pound rallied strongly yesterday after rumours of a planned U-turn on elements of Kwarteng’s so-called mini-budget.

Kwarteng: ‘We’ve been colleagues and friends for many years’
More details now from the letter published by Kwasi Kwarteng, who’s been sacked as the chancellor.

He wishes Prime Minister Liz Truss well with her plans for the economy, noting that “we’ve been colleagues and friends for many years”.

He promises his support for Truss from the backbenches.

Kwarteng also acknowledges market turbulence following his mini-budget on 23 September.

He writes that “the economic environment has changed rapidly” since he unveiled his plans, which comprised £45bn of tax cuts funded by government borrowing.

Kwarteng says he took on the job “in full knowledge that the situation we faced was incredibly difficult”.

He appears to stand by the measures that were announced – saying “following the status quo” to address issues such as rising interest rates and energy prices “was simply not an option”.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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National: 2023 Budget: TUC to reject government’s salary projection of ₵44.9m

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Deputy-General-Secretary-of-the-Trades-Union-Congress-TUC-Joshua-Ansah

After several attempts to reach an agreement with government over an increment in their base pay, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is expected to meet government on Wednesday to finalise a deal.

But before that meeting gets underway, the Trades Union Congress is warning that it will not accept government’s projections in the 2023 Budget.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reading the 2023 Budget in Parliament projected compensation of employees at GH¢44,990 million (5.6% of GDP).

Earlier, government also proposed a 12% salary increment during the last negotiation with Organised Labour but it was turned down.

 

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Tuesday, Deputy General Secretary of TUC, Joshua Ansah stated that they would not agree to the projected figure.

According to Mr Ansah, government must expect a fight if they turn up at the meeting with the same proposal.

JoyNews/AdomNews · TUC to reject government’s salary projection in 2023 Budget
“There is no way Organised Labour is also going to accept what has been put in the budget. Well, if the government has made up its mind that it is the way it thinks that he can actually force down the throat of workers, then we are in for a big fight, because there is no way government can pay anything below what we are expecting,” he said.

He noted that Organised Labour will not compromise on their demand for 60% increment in their base pay.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Justice Yankson says government has created a problem by not reaching an agreement with the labour unions earlier.

JoyNews/AdomNews · Dr Yankson on organised labour and government’s negotiations
He believes the current mess could have been prevented.

“These are some of the problems that sometimes we create for ourselves. We had a whole period in which we could have sorted these things, we waited to the last end. Now we can see that we are on a collition course, it is clear,” he said.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Politics: Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory

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A Wenchi High Court has thrown out a petition against New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislator in the Techiman South 2020 election.

The petitioner was seeking the nullification of the poll which saw the NPP candidate, Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah, emerge victorious.

But at the hearing Wednesday, the court explained that the NDC 2020 Parliamentary candidate, Christopher Bayere, who was pursuing the matter, failed to prove the burden of petitioning.

The court was attended by some leaders of the NDC including General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
He was sighted leaving the court premises a few minutes before the judgement.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate had contested the EC’s verdict which gave the NPP’s candidate victory with 49,682 votes representing 50.2 percent of the total valid votes cast, whilst the NDC’s candidate had 49,205 votes representing 49.8 percent of the total valid votes cast.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate insisted that the figures were not a true reflection of the election.

According to him, per the pink sheets of the NDC agents at each of the 267 polling stations, he garnered 50,306 votes in the Parliamentary election whilst the 1st Respondent polled 50,013 votes.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
Electoral Commission fined in 2021

In August 2021, the Electoral Commission of Ghana was fined GH¢4,000 by the court after the Court refused to grant the EC’s request for a stay of proceedings in the dispute on July 30, 2021.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
The EC’s application for a stay of proceedings was to enable it to file a motion to challenge the ruling of the Court at its previous sitting, when it granted the petitioner a motion to amend the title of the writ.

TCounsel for the EC, Emmanuel Addae said the stay of proceedings was to enable him to file supplementary statements in support of the application filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti.

However, reacting to the EC’s stay of proceedings, the Counsel for the petitioner, Justin Teriwajah argued that the motion was frivolous and unnecessarily geared towards delaying the adjudication of the case.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Football: Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style

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It was the much-needed win for Ghanaians who were largely sitting on tenterhooks for the final quarter of the game.

And from the reactions, after the South Koreans netted a quickfire double between the 58th and 61st minutes, something had to definitely happen.

Kudus rose to the occasion, found himself at the end of a Gideon Mensah cross and curled the ball past the goalkeeper to restore Ghana’s lead and eventually sealed the game for Black Stars.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
The 68th-minute winner triggered a thunderous celebration across the country and on social media.

Despite late attempts from the Koreans, the game ended 3-2 with Ghana earning a vital win in Group H.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
Alban Bagbin

The jubilation started right from Ghana’s legislative arm where the Speaker, Alban Bagbin was caught on camera dancing to one of the goals on the day from his office.

The ecstatic Speaker punched the air while clad in his Black Star jersey in the company of other officials of the House.

Asamoah Gyan runs

Former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan was on punditry duty at SuperSports TV.

However, the ethics of being on a live set could not suppress his excitement when the deciding goal was scored.

Filled with elation, the former skipper run out of the set in jubilation shouting atop his voice.

His iconic goal celebration was his response when asked about his reaction to some moments of the game.

Fans in clean-up mode

Now, supporters of Japan’s national team have been earning praise in Qatar for their zeal toward cleanliness after each game.

This win seems to have presented Ghanaian fans with the opportunity to emulate this off-pitch tradition.

While many celebrated the win at full-time, other fans were seen moving boxes around to collect the waste left by their colleagues.

South Korea’s Son not in selfie mood

Another interesting sight came from an official from the Ghana dressing room posing for a selfie.

The subject Son Heung-min was almost in tears after his team lost at full-time.

Otto Addo’s side will now face Uruguay in their last game looking to secure qualification to the next stage of the competition.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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