The outspoken Nationals leader found himself in hot water in September when he threatened to blow up the coalition government if concessions weren’t made on its koala protection policy.
Under pressure to quit and copping criticism from all sides, Barilaro realised he’d been running on empty for a while and announced he would take four weeks mental health leave.
But the hits kept coming, with reports Barilaro would lose his licence over speeding fines keeping him in the news.
Back from his break, Barilaro said taking time off was the right call.
“It is never easy to admit that you have got a mental health issue and you are struggling and suffering,” he told reporters on Oct 21.
“I remember being at home struggling to get out of bed.”
But it wasn’t smooth sailing for the coalition in his absence, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian weathering her own political storm over revelations she had a long-term secret relationship with former MP Daryl Maguire, who’s at the centre of a corruption probe.
Barilaro now says he’s really concerned about her mental health.
“It’s tough on the premier. I worry about her now,” he told reporters.
“I support her 100 per cent. I feel for what she’s going through.”
He told Sydney’s 2GB radio no one in parliament knew what Maguire was up to.
“No one, not in a million years, would have guessed what played out last week, he said.
“Someone will write a book about itRead More – Source
Queen Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh receive Covid-19 vaccine
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh have received their Covid-19 vaccinations, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Saturday.
Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in Niger
Dozens of people were killed in an attack in Niger on Saturday, in a suspected jihadist attack.
The attack took place around 12:00 CET in the Tchomo-Bangou village in Tillabéri, a western region bordering Mali.
“The assailants surrounded the village and killed up to 50 people,” a local radio journalist said anonymously. “The wounded have been evacuated to the hospital in Ouallam.”
It came on the day provisional results for the first round of the presidential election, held on December 27, were released.
Mohamed Bazoum, the candidate for the ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) and a former interior minister, is in the lead with 39.3 per cent of the votes. Bazoum has vowed to strengthen the country’s fight against Islamist groups.
The second round of the election is to be held on February 21.
Niger has been a target for jihadist attacks for years, particularly in the western and southeastern parts of the country.
On December 21, six days before the presidential poll, seven soldiers were killed in Tillabéri. In May 2020, twenty people, including children, were also killed in two of the region’s villages.
Niger votes in presidential and legislative elections
People in Niger began voting in the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Mohamed Bazoum, the right-hand man of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou is the favourite to win.
The sixty-year-old former interior minister is aiming for outright victory in the first round — something that no candidate has done before.
He’s focussing on security and education.
Over 7 million people are eligible to vote. But some voters, like Gambina Moumouni, simply want a president they can trust.
“We pray to Allah to choose us the president who has the most mercy for the people, a president who will not betray the country and who will not betray the trust of the people, that is our wish. It is also our wish that Allah may help to make the poor, the peasants, the (cattle) breeders happy.
Thirty candidates are standing including two former presidents and two former prime ministers, but according to seasoned observers in the region, the poll is arousing little enthusiasm among the population.
Niger is the world’s poorest according to the UN’s Human Development Index and also one of those hardest hit by climate change.
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