- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 3, 2008

VENEZUELA

Chavez brother wins party primary

CARACAS | A television talk show host, a former mayor of Caracas and President Hugo Chavez’s elder brother are among the winners of the ruling party’s primary.

More than 1 million members of Mr. Chavez’s party cast ballots in the Sunday vote, nominating candidates for 23 state governorships and 337 municipal offices up for grabs in November. Most are already held by Chavez allies.

Mr. Chavez’s brother Adan will be the party’s gubernatorial candidate in their home state of Barinas, where their father is now governor.

MEXICO

Government seen losing drug war

MEXICO CITY | A majority of Mexicans think the government is losing its escalating battle against drug gangs, according to a poll published Sunday.

About 53 percent of Mexicans surveyed by the Mexico City newspaper Reforma said cartels are defeating security forces engaged in a nationwide crackdown. Only 24 percent said the government is winning, and 23 percent had no opinion.

Reforma interviewed 1,515 people across Mexico from May 23 to May 25. The poll had margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

Mexican violence has soared despite the deployment of more than 25,000 troops to drug trafficking hot spots since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006.

CANADA

Conservatives widen lead in poll

TORONTO | Canada’s ruling Conservatives widened their lead against the opposition Liberals in an opinion poll published Monday as voters shrugged off the resignation of the foreign minister after he left confidential documents at the home of an ex-girlfriend.

The IPSOS Reid poll, published in the Canwest group of newspapers, found that 36 percent of voters supported the Conservatives, up from 35 percent a month earlier. Support for the Liberals fell from 32 percent to 29 percent.

If those support levels were translated into votes at a federal election, the Conservatives probably would end up with another minority government and would need the support of at least one other party to stay in power.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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