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Archive for Monday, October 7, 2002

Briefly

October 7, 2002

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Brazil: Leftist leads election; runoff appears likely

Former union boss Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva held a commanding lead in Brazil's presidential race Sunday, but appeared headed for a runoff vote, according to preliminary official results in Sao Paulo.

Silva, the leftist Workers Party candidate, had 47 percent of the vote, just shy of the absolute majority needed for outright victory, according to preliminary figures from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

The tribunal said the tally was based on 24.4 million registered votes counted, or 21.2 percent of the total.

Government-backed candidate Jose Serra was in second with 24.7 percent support, followed by former Rio state Gov. Anthony Gartinho with 15.3 percent, according to the results. Former finance minister Ciro Gomes, a center-left candidate, was in fourth with 12.4 percent.

Northern Ireland: Sinn Fein aide faces terror-related charge

A Sinn Fein party aide was arraigned Sunday on charges of possessing stolen British government documents a bombshell that politicians said gravely threatened Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant government.

Denis Donaldson, 52, the head of administration for the Irish Republican Army-linked party in the Northern Ireland legislature, pleaded not guilty as prosecutors accused him of possessing documents "likely to be of use to terrorists."

Detective Inspector Paul McClatchey testified that when officers raided Donaldson's home Friday, they found a document-filled bag containing the home addresses and other details of potential targets for IRA assassination, including the lieutenant general who commands British army forces in Northern Ireland, a police officer, and anti-Catholic extremists.

Donaldson was ordered held without bail for a week.

Ivory Coast: Peace efforts collapse; soldiers go after rebels

Heavy gunfire erupted Sunday around the second city of Yamoussoukro, heralding the start of a government offensive to reclaim the rebel-held north after cease-fire efforts collapsed.

Government troops riding pickup trucks raced north toward rebels who have seized half this once-stable West African nation since launching a bloody failed coup attempt Sept. 19.

Presidential spokesman Toussaint Alain said Ivorian troops had launched operations "aimed at liberating urban sites occupied by illegal fighters."

"They will continue until law is re-established over the entire national territory," he said in a statement from Paris. "At stake is the defense of the young Ivorian democracy and its institutions, imperfect as they are."

Bosnia: Hard-liners gain in landmark election

Nationalists made strong gains in Bosnia's first elections organized without Western help since the end of the 1992-95 war, according to partial preliminary results late Sunday.

A Serb nationalist, Mirko Sarovic, was poised to win the Serb spot on Bosnia's three-member multiethnic presidency. With 77 percent of the vote in that race tallied, he had won 38 percent. A reformist candidate had 25 percent of the vote.

Dragan Covic of the nationalist Croat Democratic Union was in a clear lead for the Croat presidency position with 65 percent of the vote.

The race for the Muslim position was uncertain. With 69 percent of ballots counted, Sulejman Tihic was ahead with 28 percent, while the more reformist candidate Haris Silajdzic had 26 percent.

Bosnia is made up of two mini-states, the Muslim-Croat federation and the Serb republic. Federation voters elect 28 representatives to the national parliament's 42-member lower house, with Serb voters choosing the rest.

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