Tag Archives: Opposition

Thousands rally to support Polish government right after opposition protest

WARSAW Tens of thousands of folks marched through Warsaw on Sunday to express assistance for the ruling conservatives, as Poland remained locked in a constitutional crisis over the appointment of judges who could assist the government pass its legislative plan.

The march took location a day right after a massive anti-government protest, highlighting the depth of divisions, which have become a lot more prominent given that the eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) won an outright majority in October’s election.

PiS say the center-correct Civic Platform (PO) party, which ruled Poland in between 2007 and 2015, are refusing the accept the result and attempting to stop it from executing its mandate.

The conflict among the two parties has defined Poland’s political stage for nearly a decade, but the temperature rose soon after the new government appointed 5 out of 15 judges to the constitutional court, a move the opposition says was illegal.

PiS says the judges necessary to be replaced to make sure the balance of power, and that it was the previous government that broke the law when they created the original appointments.

Gaining handle of the court is vital for the celebration. It could establish whether or not PiS is in a position to implement its flagship policy plans, such as overhauling the retirement program.

Waving Polish flags and PiS celebration banners, the demonstrators chanted the names of PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and PiS-backed President Andrzej Duda, who also took office this year.

“We won the election, but we have no proper to set laws and remodel Poland,” Kaczynski told the crowds ahead of they marched towards the constitutional court constructing.

“This court is supposed to be the stronghold … defending the system, defending all that has been undesirable and disgraceful in the last 26 years,” Kaczynski then mentioned outdoors the court, referring to the time since Poland’s transition from communism.

The lengthy-planned rally took location on the anniversary of the imposition of the 1981 martial law, the communist crackdown on the pro-democracy Solidarity trade union.

(Writing by Wiktor Szary Editing by Alison Williams)

Agen Sabung Ayam

Syrian opposition seeks to close ranks as army gains on ground

RIYADH Syria’s fragmented opposition and rebel groups sought common ground on Wednesday ahead of planned negotiations to finish a conflict which has devastated the country and drawn forces from Cold War and Middle East rivals into ever deeper combat operations.

The talks in Saudi Arabia mark the most ambitious attempt but to unify President Bashar al-Assad’s enemies around a joint political platform – seen as a essential very first step to locating a peaceful finish to four years of war and battling Islamic State.

The powerful Kurdish YPG is among numerous groups excluded from the talks and those there are deeply divided more than central concerns like how to handle a transition from Assad and the function Islam must play in Syria.

But two delegates identified solace in what they described as a lack of any main rupture so far amongst those present.

“It went properly. Very good. We discussed many things. Tomorrow we will go over a document of basic principles,” said one particular opposition member. The groups hoped to total the talks on Thursday, but they may continue into Friday, he said.

A member of the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition said there had been broad agreement: “We discussed the main problems relating to the dialogue, the transition and all modalities related to the political method. Most of them agreed.”

Much more than 100 delegates have been invited to the Riyadh meeting, such as from the Islamist insurgent group Ahrar al-Sham, founded by militants with al Qaeda hyperlinks, as well as opposition figures who have been primarily based in government-controlled Damascus.

Whilst most agree on a call for Assad to go, despite signs that some Western backers have softened their demands right after recognizing that military force has failed to topple the president, rifts in opposition ranks are still clear.

Prior to the talks opened on Wednesday, Ahrar al-Sham complained that some delegates have been “closer to … the regime” than the opposition. 1 activist in exile declined to attend alongside these who “assistance an Islamic emirate” in Syria.

International efforts to resolve the conflict which has killed 250,000 folks and displaced 12 million have been lent added urgency by a wave of deadly attacks across the planet claimed by the Iraq- and Syria-primarily based Islamic State and by an escalating refugee flow which has caused a crisis in Europe.

Main powers agreed in Vienna last month to revive diplomatic efforts to end the war, calling for peace talks to begin by January 1.

That prompted Saudi Arabia, which projects itself as a leader of the Middle East’s Sunni Muslims, to summon the mainly Sunni opposition and rebel groups. The move angered rival Shi’ite Iran which stated the initiative threatened to harm the Vienna process.

The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, whose country is also a key supporter of the Syrian rebels, mentioned the Riyadh meeting represented a “golden opportunity (for the Syrian opposition) to unify their ranks and coordinate their steps beyond setting up a negotiating group”.


Intensified diplomacy has been accompanied by higher military intervention by foreign powers.

Russia has carried out 10 weeks of air strikes, halting rebel gains, and Iran has also offered Assad military support and said ousting Assad would be a “red line” for Tehran.

Western powers have stepped up attacks on Islamic State although Saudi Arabia, which backs the rebels, says an expanded military selection remains open.

Last month NATO member Turkey shot down a Russian plane it said flew into its air space, highlighting the danger that Syria’s multi-faceted war could spark yet wider conflict.

Russia’s air campaign has helped the Syrian army, backed by Hezbollah fighters and the Iranian military, to halt a rebel advance more than the summer which had threatened Assad’s manage more than the main population centers in western Syria.

Russian air strikes, even though containing rebel advances, have not decisively tipped the war in Assad’s favor.

On Wednesday, scores of people left the final region held by insurgents in the city of Homs, a center of the uprising against Assad which broke out in March 2011. About 750 men and women are anticipated to leave the Waer district below a regional truce among the government and rebels.

Further north, Syrian government troops backed by Iranian forces have edged closer to a significant rebel-controlled highway near Aleppo. They appeared to be attempting to cut the principal Aleppo-Damascus highway that fighters use to transport supplies from rebel-held Idlib province to the north.

For Saudi Arabia, which has been fighting considering that March in neighboring Yemen, Syria has been a secondary battlefield in its regional struggle for influence with Iran. But the kingdom nonetheless views the Syrian civil war as central to that rivalry.

Ahrar al-Sham mentioned the Riyadh meeting, which opened at a luxury hotel amid high safety, must stand by demands like “the complete cleansing of the Russian-Iranian occupation of Syrian land, and the sectarian militias which support it”.


It known as for the “overthrow of the Assad regime with all its pillars and symbols” and placing its members on trial.

Syrian security and military institutions should also be dissolved it stated, putting it at odds with globe powers which agreed in Vienna final month that state institutions be kept intact in any transition of power.

Other rebel factions at the Saudi talks contain the strong Islamist force Islam Army, and a dozen groups which describe themselves as elements of the Cost-free Syrian Army (FSA).

The head of one particular FSA armed group mentioned the 1st day of talks was focused on discussing opposition demands and drafting a concluding statement. 

“The principles are the unity of Syrian land, the civilian nature of the state, and the unity of the Syrian people,” he said. Ahrar al-Sham stated Syria’s “Islamic identity” must be maintained.

Hadi al-Bahra, a senior member of the opposition National Coalition, mentioned there was a optimistic atmosphere and “no differences amongst the delegates” so far. “Everyone senses the value and sensitivity of this stage”, he tweeted.

Despite the fact that scores of men and women have been asked to attend, the Kurdish administration that runs swathes of north Syria was not invited.

Rebels in western Syria do not trust the principal Kurdish militia, the YPG, due to the fact they say it cooperates with Damascus rather than fighting it.

Delegates stated there was some Kurdish representation, but a Western diplomat who follows Syria stated this week the meeting had not brought together as several Syrian factions as hoped.

“It is not all-encompassing. It is not the consolidated, general opposition platform,” the diplomat stated.

(Further reporting by Tom Perry and Sylvia Westall in Beirut Writing by Dominic Evans, editing by Sami Aboudi, Peter Millership and Philippa Fletcher)

Agen Sabung Ayam

Syria’s fractured opposition seeks elusive unity against Assad

RIYADH Syria’s divided rebel and opposition groups are trying to forge a common stance to oust President Bashar al-Assad but the absence of prominent activists and a principal Kurdish force from their talks in Riyadh shows that unity remains elusive.

Saudi Arabia, a robust supporter of rebels fighting for 4 years to topple Assad, is hosting the opposition this week in the most ambitious try but to find an agreed platform ahead of talks with the government to finish Syria’s conflict.

Bringing the fragmented opposition together is observed by its backers as a critical step to end a civil war which started with protests against Assad in 2011 and rapidly drew in rival Sunni and Shi’ite Muslim powers across the Middle East.

Shi’ite Iran, Assad’s primary regional supporter, has criticized the meeting in the Sunni Muslim kingdom, saying it is designed to harm efforts to attain a peaceful resolution to a war which has killed 250,000 men and women and displaced 12 million.

At a Riyadh hotel exactly where the talks will start on Wednesday, security was stepped up and journalists were ejected as fighters and opposition leaders gathered. Particular forces soldiers with physique armor and assault rifles manned checkpoints.

An initial list of 65 invitees to the Riyadh talks has grown substantially, but critics say it nonetheless falls short of a completely inclusive meeting.

The Kurdish administration that runs swathes of north Syria was not invited. Rebels in western Syria do not trust the primary Kurdish militia, the YPG, due to the fact they say it cooperates with Damascus rather than fighting it.


“It is not all-encompassing. It is not the consolidated, general opposition platform,” a Western diplomat following Syria said of the Saudi meeting. “I do not count on Riyadh to be a constructive step … The complete point has been extremely acrimonious, and it appears like a Saudi-Turkish want-list.”

Alongside Saudi Arabia, Turkey is one of the major foreign backers of the rebellion against Assad.

Syrian Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen groups held their own opposition conference in the Kurdish-controlled town of al-Malikiya at the Syrian-Iraqi border on Tuesday.

Haytham Manna, an activist in exile, stated he would not attend the Riyadh meeting because it integrated “individuals who help an Islamic emirate”.

With Iran decrying the meeting as damaging to peace prospects and Western countries concerned by the function that Islamists will play, Saudi Arabia might struggle to unite the enemies of Assad.

For Saudi Arabia, Syria has been secondary to Yemen this year as the primary cockpit in an overarching struggle for regional influence with Iran, but the ruling Al Saud continue to regard the Syrian civil war as a pivotal battlefield in the rivalry.

Fighting has escalated in Syria in current weeks and Russian warplanes have intervened to help Damascus even though a U.S.-led coalition has stepped up strikes against Islamic State targets from the crowded skies over the nation.


Enhanced bloodshed, an influx of Syrian refugees into Europe, and a wave of international attacks claimed by Islamic State revived international efforts to include the violence.

“This is the initial meeting exactly where we have all the opposition, the politicians and the armed groups,” stated Hadi al-Bahra, a member of the Turkey-based SNC opposition coalition.

These talks ought to begin by Jan. 1, under the terms of an agreement reached by globe powers and regional states at a meeting in Vienna a month ago.

Participants invited to the Riyadh meeting contain Islamist factions Islam Army and Ahrar al-Sham, a group whose founders had links to al Qaeda. Ahrar al-Sham fights alongside the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s Syrian wing, whilst espousing a nationalist agenda.

A dozen rebel groups who fight beneath the banner of the Free Syrian Army are also due to attend, which includes groups vetted by the United States that have received foreign military help.

Of the two most powerful armed groups in Syria, Islamic State has not been invited and the al Qaeda offshoot Nusra Front is also not anticipated.

National Coalition member Nagham al-Ghadri said the two-day meeting aimed to agree on a document to take to any talks with the Damascus government, as properly as an agreed negotiating group.

She said the opposition would not back down from its demand that Assad step down as quickly as a transitional ruling physique – which an international meeting on Syria named for 3 years ago – is established.

“The minute the transitional period must commence, he ought to leave. We do not agree that he could stay in the course of the transitional period,” Ghadri stated.

The Syrian government has dismissed any talk of a transitional physique getting imposed in Syria, saying any adjust in energy in Damascus must be decided by the Syrian individuals.

Some Western nations which known as for Assad to step aside in 2011 have softened their demands, suggesting he could at least remain for an interim period.

Ghadri said the outside globe was sending mixed messages over Syria, showing that international divisions ran even deeper than any splits in the Syrian opposition.

“It is not just us. We know what we want,” she stated. “Some countries never know what they want from Syria.”

(Further reporting by Tom Perry and Sylvia Westall in Beirut, and Suleiman al-Khalid in Amman Writing by Dominic Evans, editing by Sami Aboudi and Peter Millership)

Agen Sabung Ayam

UPDATE 3-Venezuelan dollar bonds rise after opposition beats Socialists

(Updates prices, adds investor quotes)

By Sujata Rao

LONDON Dec 7 Venezuelan dollar bonds rose strongly on Monday soon after the opposition beat the ruling Socialists in a parliamentary election at the weekend, raising hope of at least some financial reform in the crisis-ridden nation.

Bonds from the sovereign as nicely as state oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) rose as significantly as 4.2 cents on the dollar, moves expected to extend further if the opposition fulfils its expectations of a two-thirds majority.

Opposition Democratic Unity leaders said on Monday they had reached the crucial bar of two-thirds of seats – but there was no confirmation of that from the national election board.

The opposition coalition has so far won 99 seats, against the Socialists’ tally of 46 seats, with some districts nevertheless to be counted. President Nicolas Maduro has called on his supporters to accept defeat.

Sovereign bonds retreated from the highs reached earlier on the day. Troubles maturing in 2022 had been final up 3.05 cents after reaching a 10-day high of 52.800 earlier in the day. The 2028 rose 2.six cents, while the 2038 troubles firmed up two.six cents. The 2027 issue, considered the benchmark for Venezuela, had been final up 2.59 cents , according to Thomson Reuters data.

PDVSA’s 2024 concern rose as significantly as 1.9 cents , while the 2027 bond had been final up 1.9 cents .

“Bonds have been up four or 5 points at the open and financial adjustment to currency regime, cost controls, fuel subsidies could also be forthcoming,” said Anthony Simond, emerging market place debt study analyst at Aberdeen Asset Management. Aberdeen added to its Venezuelan bond holdings two weeks ago on the expectation the opposition would win the election.

The outcome makes Venezuela the most recent Latin American country to swing away from the left, soon after the opposition’s election win in Argentina and the diminishing recognition of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff.

Venezuelan bonds have outperformed in recent months on hopes the opposition would trounce Maduro’s increasingly unpopular government. But they trade around 35 to 43 cents in the dollar, levels that price tag in a sturdy probability of default as the OPEC state’s economy has bucked under the oil value collapse.

Socialists have lost help soon after presiding more than a declining economy, the highest inflation in the Americas, chronic shortages of fundamental goods and sky-higher crime rates. The economy is expected to contract far more than 5 percent this year whilst inflation is more than 80 %.

The average premium of Venezuelan bonds over U.S. Treasuries contracted 18 basis points to 2,680 bps on the EMBI Worldwide index on Monday.

Although nevertheless the highest yielding emerging industry credit with much more than double the premium paid by Mozambique or Iraq, spreads have contracted much more than 600 basis points since August.

Investors expect more price gains if the opposition scores a two-third majority.

“The opposition weighing in Congress does not change oil rates, but it does give them energy to modify foreign exchange policies and allocation of resources that could enhance the economy and the country’s potential to spend its debt,” mentioned Jim Carlen, a Minneapolis-primarily based senior portfolio manager for the emerging markets fixed-revenue group at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

But a lot of remain pessimistic provided the scale of the challenge, with Jan Dehn, head of research at emerging markets asset manager Ashmore, saying Venezuela would not be “a sudden turnaround story”. Crude rates around $ 42 per barrel are a severe dilemma, given oil tends to make up 95 % of exports.

“It is clear the opposition won, even without having the distinct number but, but we do not know the specifics of what will come about going forward,” said Yong Zhu, senior portfolio manager of the DuPont Capital Emerging Markets Debt Fund. The fund is keeping its overweight position in Venezuela.

“Can they move forward in a constructive way and take Venezuela away from the brink?” Dehn stated. (Further reporting by Claire Milhench and Tariro Mzezewa Editing by Janet Lawrence and Alistair Bell)

Venezuela opposition says wins legislature, no official confirmation

CARACAS Venezuelan opposition leaders said their coalition won control of the legislature from the ruling Socialists for the first time in 16 years on Sunday, though there was no confirmation from the national electoral board.

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles, prominent rights activist Lilian Tintori and another opposition leader who asked not to be identified said the Democratic Unity coalition had gained a majority in the 167-member National Assembly.

“The results are as we hoped. Venezuela has won. It’s irreversible,” tweeted Capriles, a former presidential candidate and one of the leading figures inside the coalition.

The National Electoral Council was yet to give official results, however, and there was no word from the headquarters of President Nicolas Maduro’s Socialist Party.

Several opposition sources told Reuters they believed the coalition had won around 100 seats in the legislature.

Should that be confirmed, it would be a severe setback for Venezuela’s ruling “Chavista” movement, named for Maduro’s popular predecessor Hugo Chavez who died in 2013.

It would also be a further blow to Latin America’s left following last month’s swing to the center-right in Argentina’s presidential election.

The Democratic Unity coalition appeared to have to capitalized on a wave of discontent with spiraling inflation and product shortage that many Venezuelans blame on Maduro.


“I used to be a proud Chavista,” said Rodrigo Duran, a 28-year-old security guard who switched allegiance in his vote on Sunday. “But how can I carry on when my salary doesn’t allow me to feed my children? They deceived us.”

If its victory is confirmed, Venezuela’s opposition will have the chance to break the ruling party’s control over the budget and seek amnesty for dozens of jailed activists including hardline leader Leopoldo Lopez, the husband of Tintori.

But without a two-thirds majority – or 112 seats – they would be unable to shake up other institutions such as the courts and electoral council, widely viewed as pro-government.

Maduro’s term is due to end in 2019, but Sunday’s election could build momentum within the opposition to push for a recall referendum next year.

“We know we’ve won, we don’t know what the government is going to do,” Tintori said in a video. “More than 100 legislators, I’m so happy.”

Opposition supporters congregated at a campaign headquarters in a hotel of affluent east Caracas hugged and high-fived, though many cautioned they were still awaiting official confirmation.

Since Chavez died in 2013, Venezuela’s economy, which relies heavily on crude oil exports, has descended into crisis.

With inflation thought to be in triple digits, vast lines outside supermarkets owing to shortages of basic goods and an 80 per cent collapse of the currency on the black market, it is the economy that turned many away from the government.

“I voted because we want a change in this country. We’re bored of so many queues, food shortages, a minimum wage that doesn’t get us anywhere,” said Cristobal Jesus Medina Chacon, a 27-year-old engineer who arrived at his voting station in the western city of San Cristobal at 4 a.m.

Experts say both dysfunctional state controls and the plunge in oil prices are behind Venezuela’s economic demise.

(Additional reporting by Reuters Venezuela; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Kieran Murray)

Agen Sabung Ayam

Iran says Riyadh meeting of Syrian opposition could harm peace talks: Fars

ANKARA Iran said a meeting of Syrian opposition figures in Riyadh will lead to failure of Syrian peace talks among significant Western and Middle Eastern countries, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted a senior official as saying on Thursday.

“The peace talks are an chance to find a political solution to finish the war in Syria … such meetings in Riyadh … are aimed at harming the Vienna talks,” deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian told Fars.

“The meeting in Riyadh … will lead to the failure of Vienna peace talks on Syria and it is not element of Vienna agreement.”

Iran’s Sunni regional rival, Saudi Arabia, has invited 65 Syrian opposition figures to gather in Riyadh to try to bring with each other rival groups ahead of subsequent round of Syrian peace talks.

The first two rounds of the Syria peace talks were held in Vienna. In a November meeting on Syria in Vienna, participants agreed on a political procedure top to elections in Syria inside two years, but variations remained on essential concerns such as President Bashar al-Assad’s fate.

The United States, its Gulf allies and Turkey say Assad, whose crackdown on initially peaceful protests in 2011 triggered the war, have to step down as component of any eventual peace deal.

Iran and Russia back the Syrian president, saying that worldwide powers should not impose their political will on Syria.

“Only Syrian people need to choose about their country’s fate,” stated Amirabdollahian, echoing Iran’s official stance.

The disunity among the Syrian opposition has been a hurdle in searching for a peaceful answer to the Syrian war that has killed more than 250,000 men and women and displaced millions.

(Writing by Parisa Hafezi Editing by Sandra Maler)

Agen Sabung Ayam

Turkish opposition says police bullet might have killed Kurdish lawyer

ISTANBUL A prominent Kurdish lawyer gunned down in southeastern Turkey appeared to have been shot by a policeman who was firing on suspects fleeing the scene of an attack on fellow officers, a deputy from Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition said on Monday.

Diyarbakir city chief prosecutor Ramazan Solmaz stated prosecutors and police forensic teams operating at the site of Elci’s killing were forced to flee on Monday when militants opened fire and threw explosives at an armored police automobile.

Saturday’s killing of Tahir Elci, a lawyer and human rights activist, and Monday’s short incident underlined tensions in the mostly Kurdish region that have grown since a ceasefire with Kurdistan Workers Celebration (PKK) militants collapsed in July.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said Elci might have been caught in the crossfire between police and the militants.

Meral Danis Bestas, a deputy for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), sent an e-mail to the interior minister soon after viewing a video of the incident which took spot in a narrow street throughout a shootout in between police and militants.

In the video, plain-clothing police standing close to Elci are noticed firing automatic pistols at gunmen fleeing the scene of the attack in Diyarbakir, the region’s biggest city.


“The footage shows a figure operating in the direction of Tahir Elci and the police opening fire in the path of that individual,” Bestas wrote. “A plain-clothes policeman dressed in brown is shown opening fire in the path of Tahir Elci and then he appears as if to see whether or not the cameras are filming him.”

“The autopsy report and the camera footage point to Elci dying as a outcome of a police bullet,” Bestas mentioned.

Shortly before Elci’s killing, two police officers had been shot dead after they stopped a “suspicious automobile” in a nearby street in what Solmaz, the chief prosecutor, stated was an attack by PKK militants.

President Tayyip Erdogan, who founded the governing AK Celebration, has vowed to destroy Kurdish militant fighters since a ceasefire collapsed in July, reigniting a conflict in which some 40,000 men and women have died because it began in 1984.

The HDP, which is represented in parliament and has called for an end to the violence, said Elci had complained of death threats.

“Tahir Elci…was the target of some deep structures which are recognized to have carried out unsolved killings and which these days give open help to the AKP government,” it said.

Unsolved political killings have been frequent at the height of the conflict amongst the state and the PKK in the 1990s.

Elci was facing trial for saying the banned PKK was not a terrorist organization, as it is described by Turkey, the European Union and United States. But he had also condemned PKK violence.

The autopsy showed one bullet had penetrated the back of Elci’s neck. The driver of the taxi in which the suspects arrived at the scene was detained and an arrest warrant was issued for one identified suspect, the prosecutor said.

(Editing by Nick Tattersall)

Agen Sabung Ayam

Thai junta detains opposition leaders ahead of anti-graft inspection

BANGKOK Thailand’s army detained two leaders of an opposition group on Monday who were preparing to check out a public park devoted to the monarchy that has been at the center of a corruption scandal involving the military government.

The allegations relating to the financing of the Rachabhakti Park, built on army house in the seaside town of Hua Hin, are threatening to harm an anti-graft drive by the junta, which seized power last year.

Nattawut Saikua and Jatuporn Prompan, leaders of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), also known as the “red shirt” group, were taken away by the army ahead of they could set off for the park.

Thanawut Wichaidit, a spokesman for the UDD, said the two guys were taken away following giving media interviews.

“They wanted to see how the park was operating and to see the location where the military allegedly abused funds, but also to spend respects to past kings,” he mentioned.

“This is a violation of our right to spend respects.”

The accusations of kickbacks, leveled by some Thai media and opposition groups, have transfixed a country anxious more than the declining wellness of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 87.

Nattawut and Jatuporn were taken to a military camp in Kanchanaburi, 111 km (69 miles) west of Bangkok.

4 military cars and plainclothes military officers went to his home on Sunday, Nattawut wrote on his Facebook web page.

“Let it be known that looking for truth is harmful,” Nattawut wrote on Facebook.

But the ruling junta stated it will not allow the opposition to play politics over the park which functions giant statutes of former Thai kings.

“If they hope to go there to start off a political situation, the army is not going to play that game,” Defense Minister Basic Prawit Wongsuwan told reporters on Monday.

“Honestly, they ought to not go.”

(Additional reporting by Panarat Themgumpanat and Amy Sawitta Lefevre Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Sanjeev Miglani)

Agen Sabung Ayam

Niger’s primary opposition names Oumarou as election candidate

NIAMEY Niger’s principal opposition celebration chose Seyni Oumarou on Sunday as its candidate to contest an election in February against President Mahamadou Issoufou who is in search of a second five-year term, celebration officials said.

Oumarou, 65, is a former prime minister who came second at the final election. He will once more represent the National Movement for Development and Society (MNSD) celebration of ex-President Tandja Mamadou, who was ousted in a coup in 2010.

Issoufou is a important Western ally in the fight against Islamist militants in West Africa like Boko Haram and the ruling Niger Celebration for Democracy and Socialism expects him to win re-election in the first round.

A third candidate, opposition leader Hama Amadou, flew back to the nation on Nov. 14 and was arrested on charges of suspected involvement in a child trafficking scheme.

Niger has failed to secure the southeastern Diffa area exactly where Boko Haram have staged quite a few cross-border attacks from Nigeria in current months, prompting the authorities to declare a state of emergency.

(Reporting by Abdoulaye Massalaki Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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Greek PM fails to get opposition backing on pension reform

ATHENS Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to safe the backing of Greek opposition parties on Saturday for hard pension reforms the nation has promised to submit by December under its international bailout.

The leftist government has already raised the retirement age and wellness care contributions and scrapped most early retirement rewards to get component of the monetary help promised by its European lenders.

But Athens wants to introduce deeper reforms by the end of the year to make its ailing pension technique viable, such as merging numerous pension funds into 1 and cutting back supplementary pensions.

Tsipras referred to as a meeting with center-left, center-appropriate and centrist opposition leaders to seek a broader consensus when the reforms come ahead of parliament after his government’s majority shrank to just three seats this month.

But they rejected his call to produce a joint committee to prepare proposals on pension reforms, a senior Greek government official told reporters soon after a six-hour meeting.

“At this critical turning point, the country wants far more than ever national unity, popular unity and political stability,” Tsipras said in a televised speech soon after the meeting.

“The strategic plan to pull the nation out of the crisis and regain our sovereignty from the lenders will succeed.”

He said the government would table a proposal on the pension reform.

A joint statement said only that there should be substantial debate when the bill comes to parliament to guarantee a viable pension method and steer clear of further cuts in positive aspects.

“The opposition did not reside up to expectations. They rejected the program presented by the prime minister on the pension reforms,” the official said.

“The nation has committed to taking (further) pension reform measures worth 1 percent of GDP. The government has already discovered measures equal to .six % of GDP and named on the political leaders to agree on the remaining .four %,” the official said.

The primary center-right opposition celebration, New Democracy, is in disarray after having to postpone a leadership ballot after it lost a common election to Tsipras’ Syriza celebration in September. The other parties who attended the meeting were the moderate Socialist PASOK, the centrist To Potami, the Union of Centrists, and the rightist government coalition Independent Greeks.

The challenging left KKE communists did not attend the talks at the president’s residence and the intense-correct Golden Dawn was not invited. Both have seats in parliament.

Greece and its international lenders agreed this week on a new set of reforms the country need to approve in December to qualify for an additional 1 billion euros in aid.

Pension reforms are not portion of this list but stay a essential concern to complete the initial evaluation of progress under its bailout system and open the way for negotiations on debt relief.

Greeks are strongly resisting the reforms, weary following years of crisis which has hurt their incomes, jobs and living requirements. Thousands of pensioners demonstrated in central Athens on Thursday against cuts, whilst the greatest public and private sector unions called a 24-hour strike against the reform on Dec. 3.

(Writing by Angeliki Koutantou Editing by Paul Taylor Editing by Clelia Oziel)

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