- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 1, 2006

NETHERLANDS

National elections set for November

AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands will hold national elections in November after the collapse of Jan Peter Balkenende’s center-right government, the General Affairs Ministry said yesterday.

Mr. Balkenende tendered his coalition government’s resignation on Friday after a small party quit the administration over the handling of a Somali-born legislator’s citizenship by the immigration minister.

The ministry said in a statement a caretaker government would be formed with advice from former Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers, who would also have to set the date for the elections in November.

FRANCE

20 nations remember Battle of the Somme

ALBERT — Church bells tolled across northern France, officers wept, and families traced the steps of fallen relatives yesterday as Europe marked the 90th anniversary of one of history’s bloodiest episodes, the Battle of the Somme.

The soldiers of 20 nationalities fought in the Somme, but Britain, which lost some 72,000 soldiers in the World War I battle, was most deeply scarred.

“Standing on this hallowed ground, it is impossible not to be overwhelmed by a mix of deep emotion, humiliation and awe, sadness and pride,” Prince Charles said beneath the soaring brick monument at Thiepval, recalling the “unutterable hell” of the deadliest day the British army ever saw.

UKRAINE

Pro-Russia party threatens protests

KIEV — Opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych called yesterday for mass protests nationwide if Ukraine’s recently formed governing coalition doesn’t give his party a greater role in parliament.

Lawmakers from Mr. Yanukovych’s Party of Regions prevented members of the coalition from taking their seats in parliament last week, stopping a vote on giving ousted Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko her former job.

Three pro-Western parties that led the 2004 Orange Revolution agreed June 21 to form a coalition government that would return Mrs. Tymoshenko to the post. But the deal shut out lawmakers from the pro-Russia Party of Regions, which got the most votes in March parliamentary elections.

RUSSIA

Ruling party suggests future role for Putin

MOSCOW — The ruling party suggested yesterday that President Vladimir Putin become its leader, a move that might allow him to retain control of the nation after stepping down from the presidency in 2008.

The president, however, made no immediate comment on a proposal reminiscent of party control in the old Soviet Union.

Mr. Putin, popular in Russia for the stability he has brought but accused in the West of blunting democracy, has repeatedly said he would not try to change the constitution to stand for a third term. But he has indicated publicly he would retain some position of influence and seek to determine his successor.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide