- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Liberia speaker quits in scandal
MONROVIA, Liberia Liberia's speaker of parliament, Nyundueh Morkonoma, the third-highest official in the country, resigned yesterday after being investigated for corruption and lying.
Mr. Morkonoma said he was quitting because members of parliament were not focusing on important national issues.
"There is an urgent need for the house to refocus their attention and resume legislative deliberations," he said. "I am relinquishing my position in the interest of you, the [ruling] National Patriotic Party and the people of Liberia."

Congolese leader meets Obasanjo
ABUJA, Nigeria Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo met President Joseph Kabila of the Congo yesterday for talks on the war in the central African country.
Two rebel leaders had also been expected at the talks but Nigerian officials declined to say yesterday whether they had joined the closed-door session.
Mr. Kabila is struggling to maintain a slow-moving peace process in a country where 2.5 million people have died since 1998, according to a U.S.-based relief organization.

Irish to set up abortion referendum
DUBLIN Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said yesterday he planned to hold the country's third referendum in two decades on the divisive issue of abortion.
Critics said they feared the referendum, which would deal with issues left dangling since a Supreme Court ruling in 1992, may make Ireland's restrictive abortion laws even more ironclad.
The vote on amending Ireland's abortion laws would be held before a general election early next summer, Mr. Ahern said.

Kosovo begins election campaign
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia The election campaign for the Nov. 17 legislative vote in Kosovo officially began yesterday, though it was still uncertain whether the province's minority Serbian population would take part.
The administrator of the U.N.-run province called for democratic and tolerant campaigns as candidates run for 120 seats.
The province's first postwar municipal elections, organized by the United Nations in October 2000, were marred by violence.

Bangladesh votes to switch leaders
DHAKA, Bangladesh Khaleda Zia, leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was yesterday celebrating a landslide election victory, but her bitter rival and outgoing Prime Minister Sheik Hasina Wajed declared the vote was rigged.

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