- - Sunday, September 18, 2011

LIECHTENSTEIN

Voters reject legalizing abortion

GENEVA — Voters in the tiny principality of Liechtenstein have rejected a proposal to legalize abortion after the country’s prince threatened to veto any change in the law.

Opponents won the referendum with a majority of just more than 500 votes.

The official count Sunday put no-votes at 52.3 percent, ahead of 47.7 percent who favored the plan to decriminalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy or if the child is severely disabled.

Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein said in a speech last month that he would use his veto power to block decriminalization because he feared it could lead to late-term abortions of disabled children.

Backers of the change accused him of discouraging people from voting.

IRELAND

Ex-IRA commander seeks presidency

DUBLIN — A former Irish Republican Army commander, Martin McGuinness, announced Sunday he is running for president of Ireland — and faced immediate questions about his murky IRA past.

Mr. McGuinness, deputy leader of the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein party, said he planned to quit Monday as the senior Catholic in Northern Ireland’s unity government and launch his election campaign in the neighboring Republic of Ireland.

The 61-year-old Mr. McGuinness expressed confidence that his decision would not destabilize power-sharing, the central accomplishment of Northern Ireland peace process.

The Oct. 27 Irish election will decide who will succeed President Mary McAleese as Ireland’s symbolic head of state, a post she has held since 1997.

Sinn Fein, long a fringe player in southern Irish politics, is seeking to become the major opposition party. Mr. McGuinness is easily the most high-profile name in a field of a half-dozen candidates.

GERMANY

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