The Social Democratic Party wins a plurality in a legislative election in the Czech Republic, but its leader Jiří Paroubek resigns citing a poorer-than-expected result.
The election saw a loss of support for the Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), although they still received the highest number of votes. The conservative Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and TOP 09 followed in second and third, while the Communist Party finished fourth.
Social Democrat leader Jiří Paroubek resigned after the election, conceding that a conservative coalition government appeared likely, with the rise of two new right-wing parties—TOP 09 and Public Affairs.
The US Supreme Court has denied Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s request to delay his corruption trial after receiving a statement from the federal government in opposition.
The trial is set to begin on June 3, and many of the charges Blagojevich faces are based on a federal honest-services fraud law. He challenged the constitutionality of this law and argued that the trial should be delayed until the high court decides the issue. The request had already been denied by judges in the lower courts.
The Obama administration argued that there was no need to delay the trial pending the Supreme Court’s decision. Shortly afterwards, Justice John Paul Stevens rejected the motion.
Omar al-Bashir, the president of Sudan, has been sworn in to another term after winning the country’s recent polls, which were largely boycotted by the opposition.
The inauguration ceremony, attended by multiple African leaders and two diplomats from the United Nations, was held earlier today. A reporter for the Al Jazeera news agency described the event as being primarily “a gathering of African leaders”.
In his inauguration speech, al-Bashir said that there would be “no return to war” with southern Sudan, and said a referendum on southern independence would be held on time. Southern Sudan is to hold a ballot in January of next year on whether to secede from the rest of the country. The referendum is a key part of the 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan’s north-south civil war. Read More…
Iran, Turkey, and Brazil emerged with an agreement yesterday from talks regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
The eighteen-hour discussion in Tehran yesterday included Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who acted as a neutral broker in the deal.
Lula da Silva also visited Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, although only Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was actively involved in the talks.
Prior to the meeting, many had thought the chance of an agreement slim. Iran, however, seemed to be open to new ideas. Iranian atomic director Ali Akbar Salehi said Saturday that “things are moving along positively” in regard to such proposals. Iran had originally refused to trade its uranium, but seemed to indicate last week that it had changed its mind. Read More…
Hong Kong’s by-elections, triggered by the resignation of five legislators, Wong Yuk-man, Tanya Chan, Leung Kwok-hung, Albert Chan and Alan Leong, will take place today.
The five legislators left the Legislative Council earlier this year in protest of the government’s indifference towards universal suffrage and the abolishment of functional constituencies.
The elections started at 07.30 (23.30) local time today, and are due to end at ten o’clock tonight. Results are expected to be released tomorrow morning.
Chief Executive Donald Tsang has decided not to vote. Financial Secretary John Tsang, who was in Shanghai, stated that “Donald Tsang will expound on his opinions”. Read More…
Newly-elected UK Prime Minister David Cameron today travelled north to Scotland to meet with the country’s First Minster, Alex Salmond, for the first time since the general election.
According to The Scotsman, around 200 noisy protesters greeted the new PM, forcing security staff to take him into the devolved parliament via a back door.
Cameron’s Conservative Party have traditionally been unpopular in Scotland. They won just one out of 59 Scottish seats in the election, gaining around seventeen per cent of the vote. Read More…
Andry Rajoelina, the leader of Madagascar has announced that he will not run in elections due to be held later this year.
He stated his reasons as an attempt to end the country’s political crisis. Rajoelina has been pressured to find a solution to the crisis.
At the same time of his announcement not to run as a candidate he announced the planned dates for both the parliamentary and presidential election. The parliamentary elections have been announced for September, with the presidential election following in November. Read More…