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Posts Tagged ‘opposition’

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar suspended from parliament

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:42 am

AFP file – Anwar Ibrahim puts on his jacket as he arrives at the court in Kuala Lumpur on August 16, 2010 to attend his ongoing sodomy trial.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16, 2010 (AFP) – Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and three of his allies were suspended from parliament for six months on Thursday in votes that triggered pandemonium and an opposition walkout.

Anwar, who is also facing trial on sodomy charges that he says are a political conspiracy, was this week found guilty of misleading members in a row over a national unity slogan.

He had criticised the government’s “One Malaysia” slogan aimed at uniting the multiracial nation, which he said had been copied from the “One Israel” political alliance of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak in 1999.

The charge is highly sensitive in Muslim-majority Malaysia, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel and is a supporter of a Palestinian state.

The government on Wednesday cited three senior opposition MPs for contempt for criticising the parliamentary disciplinary probe against Anwar, and demanded that they also serve six-month suspensions.

“It’s so clear, it’s blatantly biased,” Anwar said after the suspension votes against the four were carried in parliament, where the ruling coalition has a clear majority. “It’s a mockery of the entire proceedings.”

The votes were held after chaotic scenes in the house where debate was drowned out by a half-hour shouting match, and opposition lawmakers unfurled placards reading “Save the Parliament”.

They later staged a walkout, chanting “Shame on you”.

Anwar was once a deputy prime minister in the ruling coalition but was sacked and jailed a decade ago on separate sex and corruption charges widely seen as politically motivated.

He spent six years in jail before the original sex conviction was overturned, and returned to parliament at the helm of a reinvigorated opposition which made huge strides in 2008 elections.

New polls are expected to be held early next year, but although the suspension will bar Anwar from attending parliamentary debates, his party says it will not sideline him or affect its election preparations.

Source: SGGP

Opposition cries foul as Azerbaijan votes

In Uncategorized on November 7, 2010 at 8:51 am

British opposition leaders in talks to end deadlock

In Uncategorized on May 9, 2010 at 4:47 am

LONDON (AFP) – Britain’s opposition leaders Saturday held their first face-to-face talks on thrashing out a pact to enter government and end the political deadlock left by the general election.

Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat chief Nick Clegg met alone for 70 minutes to discuss options for joining forces to oust Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party from office after 13 years.

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg (L), Conservative party Leader David Cameron (C) and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown (R) attend a Victory in Europe Day memorial service at the Cenotaph in central London. AFP photo

Spokespersons for the two sides described the talks as “constructive and amicable”, with both parties tight-lipped about the private negotiations.

Brown later called Clegg for what was again described as an “amicable” conversation.

The three leaders stood side by side in silence Saturday at a service marking the 65th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.

But despite the show of unity, Britain remained in political limbo with Cameron holding the most seats in parliament, Brown still in nominal power and Clegg the so-called kingmaker following Thursday’s vote.

Clegg gained his party’s endorsement Saturday to enter talks with Cameron, whose “big, open and comprehensive offer” to the Liberals had opened the door to talks.

At a London venue, three separate meetings of senior party figures, Lib Dem lawmakers and the party’s federal executive each gave their “full and complete” backing to Clegg’s approach.

But some 1,000 protesters gathered outside to urge Clegg not to compromise on the party’s key commitment to replace Britain’s first-past-the-post voting system with proportional representation, which would boost smaller parties like the Lib Dems, the perennial third-place finisher in British elections.

The Conservatives won the most seats in the Thursday’s vote but ended up 20 short of an overall majority in the 650-seat House of Commons, leaving Britain with its first hung parliament for 36 years.

The Conservatives now have 306 lawmakers, compared to 258 for Labour. The Liberal Democrats dropped back to 57 seats. Northern Irish parties make up the bulk of the rest.

Cameron emailed supporters to say Britain expected the Conservatives and Liberals to “work out how we can deliver strong and stable government to tackle Britain’s big and urgent problems.”

Drawing red lines, he said: “I do not believe any future government should give more powers to Brussels, be weak on immigration or put the country’s defences at risk. So we will stand firm on these issues.”

But he also said there were areas where the Tories could “give ground… in the interests of forging an open and trusting partnership.

“Inevitably, these negotiations will involve compromise. But that’s what working together in the national interest means.

“I hope we can sort things out as quickly as possible, for the good of the country. But we won’t rush into any agreement.”

Four-strong teams of Conservative and Lib Dem negotiators held a first meeting on Friday and are due to meet again Sunday morning.

Few expect them to finalise a power-sharing deal before the financial markets open on Monday.

The parties are not natural bedfellows, with the Lib Dems closer to Labour in many areas.

If a deal cannot be done, Cameron is prepared to try to rule as a minority Conservative government, relying on ad hoc support from smaller parties.

Clegg said the Lib Dems were negotiating in a “constructive spirit” and making the case for their four key priorities: tax reform, education, the economy and the existing political system.

Electoral reform is likely to be the biggest sticking point. The Conservatives are in no mood for changing the voting system.

Meanwhile Brown is still in the prime minister’s 10 Downing Street residence, with his government still in place.

Queen Elizabeth II cannot appoint a new premier before Brown tells her he can no longer command the confidence of the House of Commons.

Brown is open to discussions with the Lib Dems if they and the Conservatives cannot strike a deal, and has dangled “immediate legislation” on electoral reform before them.

Brown telephoned Clegg for talks late Saturday, the Lib Dems revealed.

“At the request of the prime minister, Nick Clegg took a call from Gordon Brown this evening. The conversation was amicable,” a party spokesman said.

“The Liberal Democrats will continue with the approach which Nick Clegg has set out and which was endorsed today by the parliamentary party and the party’s federal executive.”

The pound slumped to a 13-month low against the dollar on fears the deadlock would hamper Britain’s ability to tackle its giant public debt.

Source: SGGP

Kyrgyz opposition leaders arrested: prosecutor

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 9:41 am

Three leaders of the Kyrgyz opposition were arrested on charges of perpetrating “serious crimes”, Kyrgyzstan‘s prosecutor general Nurlan Tursunkulov said Wednesday, amid mass protests in the capital.

Source: SGGP