Tag Archives: opposition

Congo opposition leader declares himself president as court upholds election result

Congo opposition leader declares himself president as court upholds election resultCongo's political standoff deepend on Sunday after the top court backed the contested presidential election victory of Felix Tshisekedi, then his main rival rejected the ruling, called for protests and declared himself leader. As Mr Tshisekedi's supporters celebrated the ruling in the streets of Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, runner-up Martin Fayulu said the decision had opened the way to a “constitutional coup d'etat”, raising fears of more violence. Rwandan President Paul Kagame – the chair of the African Union which has said it has “serious concerns” about the vote and called for the results to be delayed – was due to arrive in Kinshasa with an AU delegation to discuss the crisis on Monday. Last month's delayed election was meant to mark the first democratic transfer of power in the vast central African country, where conflicts have regularly destabilised the region. Felix Tshisekedi, leader of Congolese main opposition party, the UDPS Credit:  BAZ RATNER But monitors pointed to major flaws in the poll. Unrest over the vote has already killed 34 people, wounded 59 and led to 241 “arbitrary arrests” in the past week, according to the U.N. human rights office. In the early hours of Sunday, the Constitutional Court ruled that a legal challenge to the result filed by Fayulu was inadmissible. “Felix Tshisekedi will become the fifth president of the republic,” government spokesman Lambert Mende said as he welcomed the judgement. Mr Fayulu issued statements dismissing the ruling. “The constitutional court has just confirmed that it serves a dictatorial regime … by validating false results, (and enabling) a constitutional coup d'etat,” he said in one. “I am now considering myself as the sole legitimate President of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he added in another statement. He called for people to mount peaceful demonstrations – though the streets of the capital were calm on Sunday afternoon. Mr Fayulu says Mr Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila made a deal to cheat him out of a more than 60-percent win – an accusation they both dismiss. The provisional results, announced on Jan. 10, showed Mr Tshisekedi winning with a slim margin over Fayulu. In a speech, Mr Tshisekedi welcomed the victory and said he would seek to mend divisions in the country. “This is the end of one fight and the start of another in which I will enlist all the Congolese people: a fight for well-being, for a Congo that wins,” he said. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), a bloc which includes South Africa and Angola, congratulated Tshisekedi and called for a peaceful transfer of power. “SADC calls upon all Congolese to accept the outcome, and consolidate democracy and maintain a peaceful and stable environment following the landmark elections,” it said. On Thursday, SADC eased pressure on Congolese authorities by backing off earlier calls for a recount. Independent monitors flagged major problems with the election, including faulty voting machines and polling stations where many were unable to vote. The Catholic Church, which had a 40,000-strong team of observers, denounced the provisional result. A tally from the church reviewed by Reuters from about 70 percent of polling stations suggested a victory of 62 percent for Mr Fayulu, a former Exxon Mobil country manager.  MrTshisekedi and Mr Ramazani were virtually neck-and-neck second place with 16.93 percent and 16.88 percent, respectively. Congo – which was ruled by kleptocratic dictator Mobutu Sese Seko for 32 years before tumbling into chaos and war in the late 1990s – is a vital source of copper and other metals, including cobalt.



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Syrian opposition sees window for political solution in Syria

Syrian opposition sees window for political solution in SyriaSyria now has a good opportunity to reach a political solution to its devastating eight-year war as ceasefires have brought calm to many areas of the country, Syria’s chief opposition negotiator said on Saturday. “I think now that we have an opportunity, because nearly in Syria we have a ceasefire now, in the northeast of Syria and the north of Syria, and the efforts of fighting terrorism has achieved good results,” Nasr Hariri told Reuters in an interview in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, where he is based. Hariri, the opposition’s chief negotiator in U.N. peace talks, met with the newly appointed United Nations Special Envoy to Syria Geir Pedersen on Friday.



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Maduro accuses opposition of staging arrest of parliament president

Maduro accuses opposition of staging arrest of parliament presidentVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused his opponents Monday of staging the arrest of parliament president Juan Guaido by intelligence service agents. Guaido was detained for around an hour after SEBIN agents stopped his car on a highway outside the capital Caracas, picking him up as he traveled to a political rally in a nearby town. “Ah, what a coincidence! A camera perfectly placed… professional, which caught the moment the deputy… was detained in a strange event,” said Maduro, speaking to the Constituent Assembly of loyalists he created last year to replace the National Assembly he lost control of in 2016.



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Syria opposition urges Arab states not to mend ties with Assad

Syria opposition urges Arab states not to mend ties with AssadSyria’s opposition chief on Sunday urged Arab leaders not to rebuild relations with President Bashar al-Assad’s government, voicing frustration amid apparent efforts to bring the Damascus regime back into the Arab fold. After years of frosty ties, the United Arab Emirates last month reopened its embassy in the Syrian capital, and fellow Gulf state Bahrain has followed suit. “We hope that our brothers, the leaders of Arab nations, will not abandon the Syrian people,” he added, urging them to reconsider their decisions.



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Bangladesh opposition calls for fresh election as Sheikh Hasina wins amid violence and vote-rigging claims

Bangladesh opposition calls for fresh election as Sheikh Hasina wins amid violence and vote-rigging claimsBangladesh's main opposition called for a fresh vote on Sunday as the country's prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and her ruling Awami League were declared the winners of an election tainted by violence and vote-rigging allegations. At least 17 people were said to have been killed in election day clashes, while reports flowed in of alleged vote manipulation and people being blocked from entering polling stations by ruling party supporters. As Mrs Hasina's alliance sailed past the 151 seats needed to form a government and headed for a landslide third consecutive term, the country's main opposition leader called for the "farcical" election to be declared void.  Kamal Hossain, head of the Jatiya Oikya Front (JOF), the largest opposition alliance, told a press conference in Dhaka that votes had been "rigged on a massive scale across the country".  He urged Bangladesh's election commission to dismiss the result and call "fresh elections under a non-partisan caretaker government as soon as possible".  Salahuddin Ahmed, a candidate for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the largest single party in the opposition alliance, was stabbed in Dhaka as the election unfolded Credit: Reuters With 293 of 300 parliamentary seats declared, the Awami League and its allies had won 259, while the JOF had taken six.    The poll followed a campaign that had been marred by violence and a crackdown on freedom of speech. Human Rights Watch and other international groups had decried repressive measures which they said had created a climate of fear. Some 600,000 security personnel had been deployed for the election, while authorities ordered the shutdown of high speed internet to prevent the spread of "rumours" that might spark unrest. Vehicles in Dhaka burn after an opposition rally which ended with police using tear gas and batons after the election was announced Credit: AFP On Sunday, polling agents alleged that they had stayed away out of fear. Others claimed they had been beaten up and forced out of voting centres. Rumana Mahmood, a JOF candidate in Sirajganj, 68 miles northwest of Dhaka, claimed that 90 percent of her supporters had been prevented from voting for her. "In most cases they were not allowed to enter the voting centres. Police and the ruling Awami League party cadres blocked them,” she alleged to the Telegraph, claiming that supporters of the ruling party had stuffed ballot boxes in favour of the government. Supporters of Bangladesh Awami League march along a street as they take part in a rally ahead of December 30 general election vote Credit:  MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP One 65-year-old woman in Ms Mahmood’s constituency claimed that the police had not allowed her to vote freely. "We were around 20 or 25 women from the same locality. The policemen at the gate of the centre said that he would allow us inside if we voted for the boat (symbol of the Awami League),” she said."In my locality there are hundreds of people who have not been allowed in any voting centre today."  Bangladesh has become increasingly authoritarian under Mrs Hasina’s rule, moving closer towards a de-facto one-party state while Begum Khaleda Zia, her arch-rival, and leader of the largest opposition party, the Bangladesh National Party, serves a lengthy prison sentence on corruption charges.        



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Bangladesh opposition calls for fresh election as Sheikh Hasina wins amid violence and vote-rigging claims

Bangladesh opposition calls for fresh election as Sheikh Hasina wins amid violence and vote-rigging claimsBangladesh's main opposition called for a fresh vote on Sunday as the country's prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and her ruling Awami League were declared the winners of an election tainted by violence and vote-rigging allegations. At least 17 people were said to have been killed in election day clashes, while reports flowed in of alleged vote manipulation and people being blocked from entering polling stations by ruling party supporters. As Mrs Hasina's alliance sailed past the 151 seats needed to form a government and headed for a landslide third consecutive term, the country's main opposition leader called for the "farcical" election to be declared void.  Kamal Hossain, head of the Jatiya Oikya Front (JOF), the largest opposition alliance, told a press conference in Dhaka that votes had been "rigged on a massive scale across the country".  He urged Bangladesh's election commission to dismiss the result and call "fresh elections under a non-partisan caretaker government as soon as possible".  Salahuddin Ahmed, a candidate for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the largest single party in the opposition alliance, was stabbed in Dhaka as the election unfolded Credit: Reuters With 293 of 300 parliamentary seats declared, the Awami League and its allies had won 259, while the JOF had taken six.    The poll followed a campaign that had been marred by violence and a crackdown on freedom of speech. Human Rights Watch and other international groups had decried repressive measures which they said had created a climate of fear. Some 600,000 security personnel had been deployed for the election, while authorities ordered the shutdown of high speed internet to prevent the spread of "rumours" that might spark unrest. Vehicles in Dhaka burn after an opposition rally which ended with police using tear gas and batons after the election was announced Credit: AFP On Sunday, polling agents alleged that they had stayed away out of fear. Others claimed they had been beaten up and forced out of voting centres. Rumana Mahmood, a JOF candidate in Sirajganj, 68 miles northwest of Dhaka, claimed that 90 percent of her supporters had been prevented from voting for her. "In most cases they were not allowed to enter the voting centres. Police and the ruling Awami League party cadres blocked them,” she alleged to the Telegraph, claiming that supporters of the ruling party had stuffed ballot boxes in favour of the government. Supporters of Bangladesh Awami League march along a street as they take part in a rally ahead of December 30 general election vote Credit:  MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP One 65-year-old woman in Ms Mahmood’s constituency claimed that the police had not allowed her to vote freely. "We were around 20 or 25 women from the same locality. The policemen at the gate of the centre said that he would allow us inside if we voted for the boat (symbol of the Awami League),” she said."In my locality there are hundreds of people who have not been allowed in any voting centre today."  Bangladesh has become increasingly authoritarian under Mrs Hasina’s rule, moving closer towards a de-facto one-party state while Begum Khaleda Zia, her arch-rival, and leader of the largest opposition party, the Bangladesh National Party, serves a lengthy prison sentence on corruption charges.        



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Bangladesh's Hasina set for landslide win as opposition demands new vote

Bangladesh's Hasina set for landslide win as opposition demands new voteBangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was heading for a landslide win in a general election Sunday that was marred by opposition claims of vote-rigging and violence between rival supporters that killed at least 17 people. Hasina’s ruling Awami League party easily crossed the 151 seats required to form a majority government, according to local TV station Channel 24, which is compiling results from around the country. As midnight approached, the Awami League and its allies had won 191 seats — some by tens of thousands of votes — while the opposition coalition had only five, the channel said.



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Bangladesh opposition leader expects victory if vote is fair

Bangladesh opposition leader expects victory if vote is fairDHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — When the founding leader of Bangladesh, father of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was assassinated in 1975 after helping achieve independence from Pakistan, then-Foreign Minister Kamal Hossain abandoned a state visit in Europe to rush to her side.



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Bangladesh opposition leader expects victory if vote is fair

Bangladesh opposition leader expects victory if vote is fairDHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — When the founding leader of Bangladesh, father of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was assassinated in 1975 after helping achieve independence from Pakistan, then-Foreign Minister Kamal Hossain abandoned a state visit in Europe to rush to her side.



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Trump will continue troop withdrawal from Syria, despite military opposition, acting chief of staff says

Trump will continue troop withdrawal from Syria, despite military opposition, acting chief of staff saysPresident Donald Trump campaigned to withdraw troops from Syria and will continue, despite military opposition, acting chief of staff Mulvaney said.



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