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National Assembly elections scheduled for May 22

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:08 am




National Assembly elections scheduled for May 22


QĐND – Friday, January 07, 2011, 21:29 (GMT+7)

The election of the 13th National Assembly and for People’s Councils at all levels for the 2011-16 term will be held on May 22 of this year.


A majority of members of the National Assembly Standing Committee approved the date at a session of the NA Standing Committee in Hanoi on Jan. 6.


As planned, the NA Standing Committee will promulgate a resolution of the date for the national polls on January 21.


The NA Standing Committee also agreed on the establishment of an election council, which will comprise 21 people including the NA chairman who will be the council president. It will also include deputy chairmen from the Office of the President, the Government Office, the National Assembly, committees, organisations and central associations.


NA Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong, who chaired the session, asked relevant offices to implement tasks necessary to ensuring the process runs as scheduled.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Early elections in Italy could hamper recovery: president

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 at 11:22 am

ROME, Aug 13, 2010 (AFP) – Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano said Friday he was against early elections after a rift opened in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government coalition, as they could hamper the economic recovery.


“We have seen recent positive and encouraging signs of a productive recovery and a return to growth in Italy even as the world scenario remains difficult,” Napolitano said in an interview published on left-wing daily L’Unita.


“But I wonder, what could happen to this country if we head towards a political void and towards a brutal electoral clash?” Napolitano asked.


Italy’s economic output grew by 0.4 percent both in the first and second quarter of 2010, and it is expected to grow by 1.1 percent by the end of the year.


Berlusconi, 73, lost his once-comfortable parliamentary majority last month when lower house speaker Gianfranco Fini ended a 16-year alliance with him, leaving the People of Freedom (PDL) party.


Fini’s supporters set up breakaway parliamentary groups of 33 deputies and 10 senators.


Napolitano acknowledged the “serious political conflict within the coalition that won the 2008 elections, within the government coalition” that has fueled speculation about possible early elections in November or in early next year.


Berlusconi has said his government will face a crucial test of strength in September in the form of a confidence vote.


If the vote brings down the government, Napolitano will poll parliamentary group leaders on the possibility of forming a transitional government, failing which he will dissolve parliament and call elections.


“My institutional responsibilities will come into play only when it becomes clear in parliament that the majority has dissolved,” Napolitano said.


The president also invited Berlusconi’s camp to stop calling for Fini’s resignation as lower house speaker.


“It is time to end the institutionally very de-stabilising campaign that aims to take away legitimacy from the president of a branch of parliament,” Napolitano said.


“It is the time to lower tones… and look at the country that needs answers to its problems rather than showdowns and threatening proclamations,” he said.


Il Giornale, a daily owned by the Berlusconi family, has questioned the propriety of the sale of a house in Monaco by Fini’s former party, the National Alliance, which merged with Berlusconi’s Forza Italia into the PDL in 2008.


On Friday, Il Giornale devoted its first seven pages to Fini’s involvment in the sale and said it had collected 50,000 signatures calling for his resignation.


Berlusconi and Fini have been at odds since a public spat in April — largely over legislation that would help Berlusconi avoid prosecution on corruption and tax fraud charges — ahead of their dramatic split late last month.

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Source: SGGP

Latest jobs data is blow to Obama as elections loom

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2010 at 11:21 am

WASHINGTON, Aug 6, 2010 (AFP) – The latest grim data on unemployment has dealt a new blow to President Barack Obama as he struggles to maintain his party’s majority in Congress in November elections.


Obama, who has been hurt by the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, has been scrambling to highlight his economic management in helping lift the US economy out of its worst slump in decades.


But the latest data released Friday showed the recovery is sputtering: A Labor Department report showed 131,000 jobs were lost in July and the unemployment rate remained stuck at 9.5 percent, which is better than the worst levels this year but still painfully high.

(AFP file) A man uses a computer to fill out paperwork at an employment centre in Oakland, California.

The private sector created a modest 71,000 jobs for the month, which was not enough to offset the massive government layoff of 143,000 census-takers.


Overall economic growth slowed to a pace of 2.4 percent in the second quarter of 2010, and other economic indicators are soft, even though Obama points to four quarters of economic growth.


The White House has dismissed the likelihood of a double-dip recession but some economists warm of a Japanese-style economic stagnation.


Obama tried to put the best face on the most recent employment figures.


“Climbing out of any recession, much less a hole as deep as this one takes some time. The road to recovery doesn’t follow a straight line. Some sectors bounce back faster than others,” Obama said.


Obama said the data showed jobs growing in the private sector for seven consecutive months.


“That’s a good sign. Meanwhile our manufacturing sector that’s been hit hard for as long as folks can remember has added 183,000 jobs this year. That’s the most robust seven months of manufacturing growth in over a decade,” he said.


“But for America’s workers, families, and small businesses, progress needs to come faster. Our job is to make sure that happens.”


Obama said the latest figures underscored the need for final passage of a bill aimed at saving 160,000 teaching jobs, which has cleared the Senate, and for other measures favoring small business.


“We need to decide whether we’re willing to do what it takes to keep this economy moving in the right direction… but also to secure a clean energy future and accelerate our recovery and rebuild our economy around three simple words, ‘made in America.'”


But Republicans are waging their own campaign and blaming Obama for wasting a large part of the big 787 billion dollars in stimulus funding approved a year ago. It remains unclear whether the opposition party will be able to block any new stimulus efforts sought by the White House.


With the recovery appearing to falter, two key members of the Obama economic team are on their way out. Budget director Peter Orszag announced his departure in June and top economic aide Christina Romer said on Thursday she would return to teaching.


Obama continues to press his case, hitting the road to tout the rebound in the US auto sector, the finance reform and the huge health care reform measures approved this year.

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Source: SGGP

Thai PM says no plan for elections this year

In Uncategorized on July 2, 2010 at 2:21 pm

BANGKOK, July 2, 2010 (AFP) – Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Friday he had no plans to hold elections this year because more time was needed for reconciliation following the deadliest political unrest in decades.


“The government is not ruling out dissolution (of the lower house of parliament) or early elections but the atmosphere must be more reconciliatory,” he said live on television.


“I am not intending to dissolve the House before the end of the year because at the moment my government has stability to pursue policies which benefit people,” he said, adding that it would be better to hold the vote in 2011.


Abhisit had proposed November polls in a bid to end two months of crippling protests in Bangkok by the “Red Shirts” movement, but he shelved the plan because demonstrators refused to disperse until the army quashed the rally.


The British-born, Oxford-educated head of the establishment Democrat Party does not have to go to the polls until the end of next year.


His Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said last month on a trip to Brussels that elections could be held in early 2011.


The mass protests by the Reds, who were campaigning for immediate elections, sparked outbreaks of violence that left 90 people dead, mostly civilians, and nearly 1,900 injured, ending with a deadly army crackdown on May 19.


Abhisit launched a hotline on Thursday for people to ring in with their suggestions for national reconciliation after the kingdom’s political crisis.

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Source: SGGP

Maliki ‘hijacking’ Iraq elections: top Saudi prince

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal on Saturday accused Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of trying to “hijack” the results of the general election held in Iraq in March.


“Adding to the brutal mayhem taking place there, we are watching a deliberate effort on the part of the incumbent prime minister, Mr al-Maliki, to hijack the results of the election and deny the Iraqi people their legitimately elected government,” he said.


“The consequences of that are more bloodshed and potential civil war,” Prince Turki, also a former Saudi ambassador to the United States and Britain, told an audience of diplomats, journalists and businessmen in a speech.


Source: AFP
 

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Source: SGGP

Iraq clears way for parliamentary elections

In World on December 7, 2009 at 3:51 am

 Iraqi lawmakers approved plans Sunday to hold parliament elections early next year that are seen as an important step toward political reconciliation and easing the withdrawal of U.S. troops.


The vote — during an emergency session convened just before a midnight deadline — followed marathon talks by political leaders to break an impasse over balloting provisions that would satisfy the nation’s rival groups.


“I would like to congratulate the Iraqi people for this historical victory,” said Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who had held up the elections for weeks with a veto. He also hailed political leaders for compromises that “got Iraq out from the bottleneck and out of a problem.”








Journalists watch a television showing Deputy Parliament Speaker Khalid al-Atiya during a press conference, in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009.

A failure to pass new elections rules on Sunday would have forced Iraqi to revert to those used in its last parliament election in 2005 and likely throw the political process into a tailspin.


Plans for the election had been mired for weeks over al-Hashemi’s demands for a greater political voice for minority Sunnis and the distribution of seats in Iraq’s expanded 325-seat parliament.


The election is scheduled for Jan. 16, but a delay of a month or more now appears likely. A longer postponement could have complicated the withdrawal timetable for U.S. forces, which are scheduled to end combat missions in August.


The full details of the pact were not immediately clear. But it appeared to resolve objections from al-Hashemi, who vetoed the election law to demand equal voting rights for Iraqis living abroad — mostly fellow Sunnis whose votes could increase Sunni clout in the next parliament.


Kurds also had objected to the distribution of seats among the country’s 18 provinces, claiming they were being under-represented at the expense of Sunnis and majority Shiites, who suffered widespread repression under Saddam Hussein but took command of Iraqi’s political leadership and security forces after his fall.


The next election will also be a critical test for the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, which has staked its future on a broad pro-Western political coalition with Sunnis and other factions. His main challenge comes from within the Shiite ranks: an alliance of religious-oriented Shiite parties that include the biggest Shiite political group and anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.


The new parliament will be expanded from the current 275 seats to 325, said Deputy Parliament Speaker Khalid al-Attiyah. At least 15 seats are set aside for religious and ethnic minorities such as Christians and Turkomen.


In an apparent concession to the Kurds, some seats that had been shifted to Sunni areas were returned, said al-Attiyah. Kurds, who are overwhelmingly Muslim, also received two of the special minority seats for Christian Kurds.


Another important change also was agreed for the coming election: voting lists will be “open” and have all the names of the candidates. In past elections, voters had a so-called “closed list” with only the parties — which then announced their parliament members after the ballots were counted.


“It will be an open list election,” said al-Attiyah.


There was tremendous pressure to reach an accord. Al-Hashemi’s veto expired Sunday and he had threatened to reinstate it if his demands were not met.


Up until the last moment, al-Hashemi had warned he would again use his veto power. During the showdown talks, however, al-Maliki and U.S. diplomats appealed strongly for concessions on all sides, said officials close to the talks. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were no authorized to brief media.


Earlier Sunday, gunmen killed four Iraqi policemen at a checkpoint west of Baghdad, police officials said.


The attack came as security officials warned of a possible rise in insurgent attacks before next year’s election and the U.S. withdrawal of combat troops due by the end of August. It also follows an attack last month that left 13 dead in the same area.


Gunmen stormed the checkpoint in Abu Ghraib, on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital, at about 7 a.m. and killed one policeman on duty and three others on a break, according to two police officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to give information to the media.

Last month, 13 villagers in the Abu Ghraib area were killed in an attack possibly linked to tribal rivalries.

Witnesses said gunmen in Iraqi army uniforms abducted and killed the 13, whose bodies were later found with gunshot wounds to the head. They included a local leader of Iraq’s largest Sunni party, which once helped fight al-Qaida.


 


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share