- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Ugandans to vote on nonparty politics

KAMPALA, Uganda Ugandans voting tomorrow in a referendum on their political future are likely to stick with the "no-party" system that has prevailed for the past 14 years in this East African nation. Strong memories of Uganda's bloody past and a long list of recent successes are in its favor.
But because proponents of a multiparty system are boycotting the referendum, its real significance lies in how many of the country's 10.5 million registered voters take part at all.
The poll is viewed as a litmus test of the popularity of President Yoweri Museveni, the former guerrilla leader under whom Ugandans have enjoyed the longest period of peace since independence in 1963.
"Museveni is using the referendum to confirm his dictatorship," said Nassir Ssebagala, an outspoken Democratic Party activist and the former mayor of Kampala. "We can't win because the rules are in his favor, so we are calling for a boycott."

Vote results final, Haitian leader declares

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Haiti's president said the disputed results of the Caribbean nation's recent parliamentary elections were final, and tentatively set a runoff for July 9, Radio Metropole reported yesterday.
President Rene Preval made the announcement Monday to a group of ambassadors, international election observers and private-sector representatives, who have all pressed the Haitian government to respect electoral law and recalculate the first-round election results.
The May 21 election, Haiti's first national vote in more than three years, was considered a critical step in the impoverished country's struggle to build a stable democracy after decades of dictatorship and military rule.

Rebels in Fiji get 24-hour deadline

SUVA, Fiji Fiji's military rulers have given rebels holding the deposed prime minister and 26 other hostages 24 hours to lay down their arms and sign a peace accord.
The rebels, led by George Speight and by Ilisoni Ligairi, a Fijian army colonel and former member of Britain's Special Air Service (SAS), rejected the offer out of hand.
Their spokesman said the ultimatum was "unacceptable pressure." He said the rebels would, instead, present a fourth draft of an agreement that should have been signed last Saturday.

Nazarbayev becomes Kazakh chief for life

ASTANA, Kazakhstan Kazakhstan's parliament voted overwhelmingly yesterday to hand President Nursultan Nazarbayev lifetime powers and privileges, further strengthening his domination of the political arena.
The law gives Mr. Nazarbayev access to future presidents, government, parliament and the Kazakh people even after he steps down, and allows him to offer advice on key policy issues concerning domestic and foreign affairs.
For his opponents, the new powers confirm suspicions that Mr. Nazarbayev, who has led the vast, oil-rich state since before independence from Moscow in 1991, intends to run Kazakhstan for life.

Crowded prisons spark rampage in Italy

ROME Protesting against prison overcrowding, inmates across Italy set sheets on fires, pounded on cell bars and waved signs demanding amnesty for their crimes.
Few injuries were reported during the fourth day of protests, which stretched from the southern city of Palermo in Sicily to Trieste in the northeast.

The secret's out on new 'Potter' title

LONDON The British publisher of the wildly successful "Harry Potter" series let the wizard out of the bag yesterday by revealing the title of the latest book.
The fourth installment of the boy wizard's adventures, created by Edinburgh, Scotland-based writer Joanne Rowling, goes on sale in bookshops across Britain July 8 and has already conjured up feverish demand.
But the title was a closely guarded secret until Bloomsbury Publishing waved its publicity wand.
"Bloomsbury Publishing is delighted to announce, after months of speculation, that the title of the fourth "Harry Potter" is 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,' " the publisher said in a statement.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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