Archive for March, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Suu Kyi party to boycott election



NLD supporters meet outside party headquarters in Rangoon on 29 March 2010

Burma’s opposition National League for Democracy is meeting to decide whether to participate in military-run elections set for this year.

New laws announced by the junta would require the NLD to expel its detained leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, because she has a criminal record.

The laws also bar all political prisoners from taking part.

Ms Suu Kyi recently said she opposed participation in the polls but that the party should make its own decision.

Members of the youth wing of the NLD have already decided not to take part in the elections, the Irrawaddy magazine reported.

But some senior NLD leaders argue the party risks rendering itself irrelevant if it chooses not to contest the polls, even though that participation would be constrained by the military.

Dilemma

About 100 representatives of NLD branches from around the country were attending Monday’s meeting in Rangoon.

The party has six weeks to register for the election – the date of which has not yet been announced – or risk dissolution.

Aung San Suu Kyi (file image)

If it chooses to take part, that would imply its acceptance of the military’s constitution – something it has so far refused to do.

Ms Suu Kyi’s lawyer, Nyan Win, said she had told him the NLD should "not even think" of taking part in the polls.

"She will never accept registration under unjust laws, but her personal opinion is not to give orders nor instructions to the NLD," he quoted her as saying last week.

But one party spokesman, Khin Maung Swe, said he was "strongly in favour" of registering for what would be the first election in two decades.

Win Tin, a veteran NLD member and one of Burma’s longest serving political prisoners, described the meeting as a "life-or-death issue".

"If we don’t register, we will not have a party and we will be without legs and limbs," he said.

Burma’s new election laws state that parties cannot have any members with criminal convictions.

The laws also ban members of religious orders and civil servants from joining political parties. Buddhist monks were the driving forces behind anti-junta protests in 2007.

The NLD won the last elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take power. Ms Suu Kyi has spent much of the past two decades in some form of detention.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


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PostHeaderIcon Allawi wins most Iraq poll seats



Nouri Maliki

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s bloc has won the most seats in Iraq’s parliamentary elections.

His coalition had two seats more than that of incumbent PM Nouri Maliki, officials said, in what was seen as a surprise result in the 7 March poll.

Earlier, the UN’s envoy to Iraq described the election as "credible" and urged Iraqis to accept the results.

Mr Allawi will need to form a coalition government as he lacks a majority, amid fears the results may spark violence.

Just hours before the results were announced, twin bomb blasts in the town of Khalis, in Diyala province, killed at least 40 and left more than 60 injured.

‘Far from final’

In his first public response to the figures released by the electoral commission, Mr Maliki challenged the result, saying that it was far from being final.

He repeated his call for the electoral commission to recount the vote and added that his bloc would press ahead with plans to form the new government.

The BBC’s Andrew North in Baghdad says this looks like a spectacular victory for Mr Allawi and a big upset for Mr Maliki – but at 91 seats to 89 it was a very tight race.

And with Mr Maliki’s party making allegations of irregularities, there are still concerns over whether the result will be accepted, our correspondent says.

On Thursday the head of Iraq’s election commission ruled out holding a manual recount of all the votes cast.

Graph


This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


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PostHeaderIcon Cook steers England to series win



Second Test, Mirpur, day five:
England 496 & 209-1 beat Bangladesh 419 & 285 by nine wickets
Match scorecard

Alastair Cook

By Oliver Brett

England finally cruised to a 2-0 series win over Bangladesh through the batting of Alastair Cook, who hit a 12th Test century, and Kevin Pietersen.

Cook made 109 and Pietersen 74 in an unbroken stand of 167 as England won by nine wickets, reaching their target of 209 with exactly 10 overs remaining.

But England had not had their own way on the final morning of the match.

Shakib Al Hasan was last out for 96 soon after lunch, Bangladesh doing well to convert an overnight 172-6 into 285.

The Worcestershire-bound Shakib certainly showcased his all-round talents in this match by adding the runs scored on his 23rd birthday to his score of 49 in the first innings and a marathon spell of 66 overs in England’s first innings, yielding 4-144.

But after all that the Bangladesh captain looked a little weary as England set about their chase, which with a required rate of 3.87 on a Mirpur pitch that was playing miles better than a standard fifth day pitch had a right to, did not prove particularly taxing.

606: DEBATE

" In this series Trott has been caught off his helmet, bowled by the ball trickling back onto his stumps and got a dodgy run out decision. Well at least he’s got rid of all his bad luck against Bangladesh…"

Thats Numberwang

The home side had not put quite enough runs on the board, and by only batting for 102 overs in their second innings they had left enough time in the game for England to be confident about taking the win.

There was one setback in the tourists’ chase with the score on 42 when Jonathan Trott, scoring far more freely than he had in his day two rearguard, was given run out by third umpire Nadir Shah.

The kindest thing one could say was that the official’s decision defied obvious logic, since television viewers could not see a frame in which Trott’s bat was short of the line with wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim having dislodged the bails.

But Cook was batting at a nice tempo, and Pietersen pulled, swept and drove the spinners well to put England in good shape at 95-1 from the 25 overs that took England to the tea interval.

A terrific pull through midwicket from Cook soon after tea off Rubel Hossain took him to his half-century and England were just about halfway there.

Pietersen was moving through the gears really well too, soon reaching his own half-century and, with the win almost in the bag, switch-hitting Mahmudullah for four.

Kevin Pietersen

That shot in particular will have pleased fans of IPL franchise Bangalore, who welcome Pietersen into their squad later this week.

Cook reached his century with an effortless cover-drive for four off Mahmudullah and supplied the winning hit by dispatching the same bowler to the midwicket fence.

When Wednesday’s play began, England were made to sweat by Shakib and Shafiul Islam, who quickly stretched an overnight lead of just 95 into something more significant.

Shafiul had already belied his billing as a rank tailender in the first innings when hitting his first half-century in first-class cricket, and now he took on Graeme Swann with positive results, combining old-fashioned slogging over cow-corner with some authentic sweeps.

Stuart Broad took the new ball for England and was mainly wasteful though Shakib, on 54, almost holed out to Trott at deep square-leg – the fielder dropping a diving one-handed chance.

Curiously, Alastair Cook put James Tredwell on at the other end, ahead of either of the other two seamers, but his instincts were justified from the Kent off-spinner’s sixth delivery with the new ball.

With three fielders positioned in the deep on the leg-side, Shafiul launched another big drive but unerringly picked out Trott, who this time completed the catch.

Shakib Al Hasan

Soon afterwards Prior dropped Shakib off Tredwell, but things were beginning to happen for England and Tredwell, who persuaded Naeem Islam to pop up a catch to Pietersen at deepish mid-on.

Shakib, who had cut and pulled the seamers well, was more circumspect now, but Abdur Razzak gave him good company for a while.

It was vital for Bangladesh that they kept two wickets in hand at lunch, but Steven Finn, bowling the last over before lunch prevented that from happening. He beat Razzak for pace with a low full-toss that thudded into his pads in front of the stumps.

Shakib faced Tredwell in the first full over after lunch. The first and fifth balls were struck to the fence but with one more boundary required for his second Test century he gave it away as he advanced down the wicket to the last ball of the over and was well stumped by Prior.

Tredwell, long touted by his county captain Rob Key as one of the finest spinners in county cricket, finished with fine figures of 4-82.

The feeling was that Bangladesh had neither scored quite enough in their second innings, nor taken quite enough time out of the game, and England’s batsmen confirmed that suspicion in the final two sessions of a series that nevertheless proved more competitive than predicted.</p


This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


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