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Pedro Sanchez, stubborn survivor of Spain’s political gridlock

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And Sunday’s general election provided yet another twist, with the Socialist leader emerging a winner but weakened from Spain’s fourth vote in as many years.

Although his Socialists topped the ballot, they ended up losing three seats in an election Sanchez had called to strengthen his hand.

But it backfired, with the far-right Vox becoming the parliament’s third-largest faction in a difficult blow for this Madrid-born economic who emerged from obscurity in 2014 to seize the reins of Spain’s oldest political party.

“He is a player, ready to take risks and sometimes reckless,” said Jose Ignacio Torreblanca, of the European Council on Foreign relations.

Always immaculately suited and booted, this telegenic 47-year-old who likes to go running and looms over his rivals at 1.90 metres (6 foot, 2 inches) tall, has made a name for himself as stubbornly tenacious.

Three years ago, he was written off as politically dead, ousted as party chief after leading the Socialists to their worst-ever defeats in 2015 and 2016.

Just over six months later, however, he unexpectedly won his old job back in a party primary election after a cross-country tour in his old car to rally support.

And by June 2018, he had taken over as premier after an ambitious play that toppled conservative PP leader Mariano Rajoy in a no-confidence vote.

But the fragile alliance that catapulted him to power cracked in February, with the Catalan separatist lawmakers who had supported him rejecting the budget and triggering fresh elections in April, Sanchez’s first as prime minister.

Although his Socialists won, they fell short of an absolute majority, prompting Sanchez to call yet another vote, which analysts say is likely to deepen the deadlock.

‘Resistance Manual’

A leap year baby who was born in Madrid on February 29, 1972, Sanchez grew up in a well-off family, the son of an entrepreneur father and a mother who worked as a civil servant.

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He studied economics in the Spanish capital before getting a Master’s degree in political economy at the Free University of Brussels and a doctorate from a private Spanish university.

Married with two adolescent daughters, Sanchez has been quick to cultivate his public image as a family man, describing himself on his Twitter handle as “Spanish prime minister and father”.

Politics, though, was always his passion.

He joined the Socialist party in his early twenties, then served as an opposition councillor in Madrid from 2004 to 2009, after which he entered parliament as a lawmaker during the Zapatero administration.

Earlier this year, Sanchez detailed his triumphs in an autobiography called “Resistance Manual”, the first to be published in Spain by a sitting premier.

He pledged to donate all profits from its sale to the homeless.

– Franco and the separatists –

After taking over as premier, Sanchez implemented a series of eye-catching measures, appointing a cabinet with a majority of women, taking in migrants from the Aquarius rescue ship, and raising the minimum wage by 22 percent after years of austerity.

And last month, he finally made good on a pledge to exhume the body of late dictator Francisco Franco from a grandiose state mausoleum, reburying it in a more discreet grave in a country still conflicted over the dictator’s decades-long regime.

But his premiership has been overshadowed by the Catalan separatist crisis, which in October erupted into mass protests that turned violent after Spain’s top court jailed nine regional leaders over a failed 2017 independence bid.

Images of Barcelona in flames ultimately weakened Sanchez and played into the hands of Vox, whose hardline stance on Catalan separatism prompted the biggest surge in support for the far-right since Franco’s death in 1975.

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Uhuru Cuts Ruto Down to Size in New Executive Order

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday moved to cement his authority as the leader of government by abolishing the Presidency in a new executive order that domiciles Deputy President William Ruto’s office under the Office of the President (OP).

This effectively renders DP Ruto powerless as he will be unable to hire and fire staff as the privilege will now be a preserve of Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.

The major political ramifications of the executive order are that the Office of the Deputy President will no longer have an independent budget, or be autonomous and will from now on take orders from (OP)

Executive Order No 1 of 2020 also places Ruto’s Chief of Staff Ken Nyaucho Osinde under the OP which means that he will now be reporting to State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita. Nyaucho will now work hand in hand with Waita and Kinyua.

The Executive Order also places the Nairobi Metropolitan Services Authority (NMS) under the OP giving President Uhuru Kenyatta the proximity to oversight the body created to “restore” Nairobi’s glory.

Uhuru’s latest move is eerily similar to one he made last year that gave Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i sweeping powers on the oversight of Government programmes at a time DP Ruto had perfected the art of traverssing the country under the guise that he was supervising government projects at the behest of President Kenyatta.

On Tuesday, President Kenyatta took his crackdown on DP Ruto’s allies to the National Assembly at a Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting held at State House just weeks after kicking out Ruto stalwarts from powerful senate positions.

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In the changes, National Assembly Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali and his Deputy Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire were kicked out in favour of Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe and Igembe North MP Maoka Maore respectively.

During the PG, meeting President Kenyatta once more dressed down Ruto’s allies and faulted them for disrespecting him. The president also intimated that he knew that Ruto’s allies refer to him as “a drunk”.

In the eventful PG meeting, the President fell short of saying that he will not be supporting Ruto as he promised in campaign rallies in the build-up to the 2013 general elections.

I will be happy to know that the person I will be passing the baton to is part of my agenda,” Uhuru told the 212 MPs. 

The President’s remarks came after he enjoyed a night out with Opposition chief Raila Odinga after the Madaraka Day celebrations at State House during the day.

The duo arrived at the Nairobi CBD in the middle of the night and was seen inspecting the re-carpeting of roads by the NMS.

See Also>>> Uhuru Pumps Sh2 Billion to Save Ailing Tourism Sector

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An Executive Order by President Uhuru Kenyatta

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An Executive Order by President Uhuru Kenyatta has abolished the Presidency and instead put the office of the Deputy President under the office of the president.

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THE PRESIDENT
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 1 OF 2020
THE ORGANIZATION OF GOVERNMENT

IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred by Article 132 (3) (b) of the Constitution, as read with all other enabling Laws, I, UHURU KENYATTA, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence  Forces, order and direct:

(i) THAT the Government shall be organized as set out in this Order;
(ii) THAT this Order contains portfolio responsibilities and changes made in the structure of Government;
(iii) THAT this Order assigns functions and institutions among Ministries and State Departments; and
(iv) THAT this Order supersedes Executive Order No. 1 of 2018 (Revised) issued in July 2018.

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Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

ISSUED under the HAND AND SEAL of the President of the Republic of
Kenya at State House, Nairobi this 11th day of May, 2020.

UHURU KENYATTA,
PRESIDENT.

Click here–> Executive Order No. 1 of 2020 formatted final Updated

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Pinnto, fast-rising Kenyan musician who is destined for greatness

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I love good music and whenever I come across an artist who makes dope jams, I always feel the need to inform other people about them because as they say, sharing is caring.

Also read: Gengetone is still alive, kind of

The talented musician I want to tell you about today is none other than Bernard Oduor Nyariro, popularly known as Pinnto.

His dad was a DJ and coupled with the fact that he knew that he had a special gift, this inspired him to start writing his own songs. As he was growing up, Pinnto looked up to the likes of Jua Cali, E-Sir and Nonini.

Pinnto has been doing music professionally for the last 8 years but it’s only a few years back when people started to notice how talented he is.

Asked why it took him so long to get his name out there, the fast-rising dancehall singer explained that it takes long to penetrate the Kenyan music industry because one must have good quality and show that they are serious.

Pinnto

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He is a very versatile artist which means that today you will find him spitting bars today and doing a dance hall jam the next day and Gengetone the day after that. However, he says if he does a Gengetone jam he will be careful.

Pinnto dreams of working with Khaligraph Jones, Masauti, Sauti Sol, Timmy Tdat so if they are reading this, please reach out to this guy.

He recently released a new song titled Under Curfew and it has been getting a lot of love. Interestingly, he wrote the wrote the some time back and decided to release it now that we are under a nationwide curfew.

Watch his latest jam titled Under Curfew below and tell us what you think.


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