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Posts Tagged ‘Rival’

China unveils jet to rival Boeing and Airbus

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2010 at 7:30 am

Sarkozy rival to launch new French political party

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2010 at 8:41 am

Former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin was set to launch a new political party on Saturday, setting his sights on challenging long-time rival Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency in 2012.


Organisers expected some 3,000 supporters to turn up for the founding congress in Paris of the new centre-right party called “Republique solidaire” (United Republic).


The 56-year-old ex-prime minister, who also served as foreign and interior minister under ex-president Jacques Chirac, has emerged as Sarkozy’s fiercest critic within his right-wing camp.


In an interview to Le Monde published Friday, Villepin again took aim at Sarkozy, saying his government’s “dominant trait was that it was developing policies with pollsters who every day look at the surveys and ask what publicity stunt they can score.”

Former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin (C) was set to launch a new political party on Saturday, setting his sights on challenging long-time rival Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency in 2012.

Polls show Villepin would pick up no more than 7 or 8 percent of the vote in 2012, but his approval ratings stand at 49 percent — higher than those registered by Sarkozy, which have hit rock-bottom over the past months.


The latest polls put Sarkozy’s approval rating at around 33 percent.


Villepin is a member of Sarkozy’s UMP party and while they both served under Chirac, they fell out spectacularly over who should succeed him.


Chirac openly campaigned for Villepin but Sarkozy turned out to be the more skillful politician by winning the UMP nomination.


A showdown took place last year when Villepin went on trial for allegedly taking part in a smear campaign to ruin Sarkozy’s presidential bid, but the ex-prime minister was cleared of all charges.


Prosecutors however have appealed the verdict and he is expected to be back in court again next year, just as the campaign for the Elysee gets into full swing.


A career diplomat who speaks flawless English, Villepin won global fame for leading the charge against the US invasion of Iraq at the United Nations in 2003.


His smooth, patrician some would say arrogant style contrasts sharply with Sarkozy’s more brash approach. A published poet, novelist and essayist, he cuts a very different figure to the more populist Sarkozy.


His candidacy however could divide the right at a time when Sarkozy’s party is facing a challenge from the far-right.


Marine Le Pen, vice president of the far-right National Front, said she was “very happy” about the prospect of Villepin running in 2012 and suggested it could weaken Sarkozy.


“He will be Sarkozy’s Chevenement,” she said.


Former interior minister Jean-Paul Chevenement is seen as having drained away left-wing votes in the 2002 election that allowed far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine’s father, to make it into the run-off against Chirac.

Source: SGGP

Rival Thai ‘Yellows’ discuss moves as ‘Reds’ rally on

In Uncategorized on April 18, 2010 at 7:29 pm

BANGKOK, April 18, 2010 (AFP) – Thailand’s pro-establishment “Yellow Shirt” movement gathered in their thousands on Sunday to discuss their response to month-long anti-government protests that left 23 dead in clashes last weekend.


The country is split between “Red Shirts”, who largely support ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, and their yellow-clad rivals who hit the streets ahead of a 2006 coup that ousted Thaksin and again to see off his allies in 2008.

Red Shirt anti-government protesters rest during an on going rally in the main shopping district in Bangkok on April 18, 2010. AFP photo

The yellow protest group, backed by the country’s elite, has kept a low profile since the Reds’ mass rallies began in mid-March but began a meeting early Sunday to discuss the kingdom’s troubles.


“We are having a meeting today because we know that now the country is in crisis,” said Parnthep Pourpongpan, a spokesman for the group formally known as the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD).


“We have the PAD representatives from different provinces coming to analyse the situation and lay out the structure for long-term solutions. There are 3,000 to 5,000 people joining the meeting today,” he said.


The Yellows’ protests in 2008 culminated with a damaging blockade of the capital’s main airports that stranded thousands of travellers.


As they met at a Bangkok university Sunday, the Reds were also meeting to discuss their next move, eights days on from deadly clashes with security forces that left 23 people dead and more than 800 injured.


The Reds, who are demanding snap elections, have since abandoned their rally spot close to where the violence took place to instead reinforce numbers in a Bangkok district which is home to luxury hotels and shopping malls.


Leaders of the Reds have said they would hand themselves in to police next month as they brace themselves for a new army push to disperse them from the key district.


They have so far ignored repeated calls by authorities to disperse from the commercial heartland, despite arrest warrants outstanding against core leaders.


“On May 15, 24 of us will surrender. All of the leaders,” said one of the top Reds, Nattawut Saikuar, on Saturday. “For now the 24 of us will keep rallying to show sincerely that we won’t run away,” he said.


“I’m sure the order to suppress us will come out soon.”


He said the plan was designed to avoid another attempt by security forces to forcibly arrest them, but added they would seek bail.


The mostly poor Reds accuse the government of elitism and being illegitimate as it came to power after a parliamentary vote that followed a controversial court verdict ousting Thaksin’s allies.


The military has said it will make a renewed attempt to disperse the protesters but has given no further details of its plans.


Late Friday embattled Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva handed broader powers to his army chief Anupong Paojinda, after a bungled operation to arrest some protest leaders at a hotel in Bangkok’s northern outskirts.


Earlier Friday commandos stormed a hotel where several Red Shirt leaders were hiding, but the mission ended in dramatic failure after the suspects fled, with one climbing down an electric cable from a third floor balcony.


The setback to the authorities came almost a week after the army tried in vain to clear an area of the capital of anti-government demonstrators, triggering the country’s deadliest civil unrest in 18 years.


The government has asked the police’s special investigation unit to probe the bloodshed, blaming “terrorists” for inciting violence and accusing Thaksin, who lives abroad to avoid a jail term for graft, of stoking the unrest.

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Source: SGGP