- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 9, 2005

EGYPT

Muslim Brotherhood joins opposition

CAIRO — Leading Egyptian opposition parties and the banned Muslim Brotherhood formed yesterday a national front in a bid to create a strong platform ahead of November parliamentary elections, party officials said.

“The Wafd, Tagammu and Nasserists and the Muslim Brotherhood in addition to some eight other opposition groups have formed a National Front for Change,” Wafd Secretary General Rifaat al-Said said.

He said that a common platform would be drafted but that the front would not field candidates in its name to the elections next month.

A spokesman for the Brotherhood said that the group, which is officially illegal, would contest the November polls where its candidates would run as independents.

POLAND

Former communists expected to lose

WARSAW — Political parties erected stages for campaign celebrations and polling stations hung out Poland’s red and white flag yesterday as the country prepared for a presidential election likely to exclude former communists from power.

Two former activists in the Solidarity movement, Donald Tusk and Lech Kaczynski, and a handful of other hopefuls wrapped up their campaigns Friday after promising to cleanse Poland of corruption.

Today’s vote seems bound to echo the stinging defeat of the governing former communists in Sept. 25 parliamentary elections. The parties of the two leading presidential contenders won the parliamentary ballot and are in talks on forming a conservative, pro-market coalition government.

RUSSIA

Spacecraft disappears in eastern wilderness

MOSCOW — Russian and European teams searched for an experimental mini-spacecraft on the eastern Kamchatka Peninsula yesterday, a day after the prototype was test-launched from a nuclear submarine thousands of miles away, press reports said.

The Demonstrator spacecraft — designed to carry cargo and passengers from the International Space Station to Earth — was launched from the submarine Borisoglebsk in the Barents Sea on Friday and was reported to have descended toward its target on time.

Russian news agencies and television, however, later reported that engineers had no communication with the craft and had to call off the search at nightfall.

ISRAEL

Egypt criticized for lax security

JERUSALEM — Israel said yesterday that Egypt was not doing enough to stop the flow of weapons into the Gaza Strip and urged Cairo to make a bigger effort.

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, said anti-tank rockets and shoulder-held missiles have reached Gaza through the Gaza-Egypt border since the Israeli pullout from the coastal territory last month.

In the first few days after the withdrawal, thousands of Palestinians and Egyptians crossed the border without checks, but border guards eventually established control.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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