Hayatou ousted as CAF president

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  • Philippine lawmaker seeks to impeach Duterte over drug fight

Issa Hayatou’s 29-year reign as head of the Confederation of African Football is over after Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad beat him in a presidential election on Thursday.

Ahmad, 57-year-old, who goes by just a single name, won the CAF presidency by 34 votes to 20 in the poll, bringing to a surprise end the 29-year tenure of the 70-year-old Hayatou, who is from Cameroon.

The result was greeted by cheers at the CAF  congress as Ahmad was carried on the shoulders of jubilant supporters to the podium after the result was announced.

Ahmad, previously minister of sport and minister of fisheries in his home country, had been given little chance just a month ago when he announced his candidacy.

But he offered voters a fresh face to a younger generation of soccer association presidents that have emerged.

Hayatou’s long career in soccer is now at an end, although he is still an International Olympic Committee member.

“It is not that bad,” Hayatou, who was first elected in 1988, told reporters as he departed the hall.

“I’m not a candidate who will serve his personal interests.

“African football cannot be managed by bandits,” Ahmad Ahmad said in a statement before the voting at a congress in Ethiopia took place.

He said: “I will reorganise CAF’s financial sector to make it accessible to all sectors and areas.

“Five million dollars, or 50 per cent of earnings from FIFA, will go to African federations.”

In the meantime, a Philippine lawmaker filed an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday because of the thousands of deaths in his anti-drug crackdown and alleged corruption, although the bid faces an uphill battle with Duterte’s allies holding an overwhelming majority in Congress.

Rep. Gary Alejano’s complaint filed at the House of Representatives alleged Duterte violated the constitution, committed bribery and corruption and betrayed the public trust with his actions, including the crackdown that has sparked extrajudicial killings and his failure to declare huge bank deposits as required by law.

“We are of the firm belief that President Duterte is unfit to hold the highest office of the land and that impeachment is the legal and constitutional remedy to this situation,” said Alejano.

Although opposition lawmakers lack the numbers to impeach Duterte, Alejano said there was a need to stop his “excesses and crimes.” A vote of a third of the House’s more than 290 members is needed to send the complaint to the Senate for trial. More than 260 of House members belong to a pro-Duterte bloc.

“We understand that in terms of numbers we face an uphill battle,” he said. “But precisely, the battle for impeachment must be fought both inside and outside the halls of Congress,” adding public pressure should sway lawmakers to vote rightfully.

“Our role … is merely to be the gate-openers for those who want to be a part of this historic and moral crusade,” Alejano said.

Alejano cited the more than 8,000 deaths of drug suspects under the crackdown in underscoring the urgency of the first impeachment attempt in Duterte’s presidency. Other opposition politicians have backed calls for such a move.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, a Duterte ally, called the impeachment bid “stupid,” saying it was based on fabricated allegations. “They are not even in the league of Don Quixote so this impeachment won’t fly. It will crash like a rudderless plane flown by witless pilots,” government Solicitor-General Jose Calida said.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella suggested the impeachment bid and opposition criticism were possible efforts to destabilize the Duterte administration.

Punch with additional report from ABC