- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Wade’s re-election brings cries of fraud

DAKAR — Opposition parties prepared yesterday to contest preliminary poll results showing President Abdoulaye Wade had secured an easy re-election, while some voters wondered at his apparent first-round walkover.

Electoral authorities had not yet declared official results of Sunday’s balloting, but government sources said the octogenarian president gained a convincing victory with about 55 percent after nearly all votes had been counted.

Mr. Wade, in power since 2000, made winning in the first round a rallying cry of his election campaign, which stressed the importance of continuity in one of Africa’s most stable democracies. Leading opposition challengers, who insisted it was impossible for him to obtain a second five-year mandate in the first round, denounced what they called a fraudulent vote.


Iran’s president endorses Bashir

KHARTOUM — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, on his first visit to Sudan yesterday, extended full support to his host, President Omar Bashir, blaming Washington and its allies for the region’s woes.

On a two-day visit aimed at bolstering ties between the oil-producing Islamic states — both considered state sponsors of terrorism by the Bush administration — the Iranian leader held talks with Mr. Bashir and other senior Sudanese officials.

Mr. Ahmadinejad did not explicitly comment on a decision Tuesday by the International Criminal Court in Geneva to request summonses for two Sudanese officials suspected of war crimes in the western region of Darfur, where the United Nations says about 200,000 people have died.


Lebanese worker seized at oil port

PORT HARCOURT — Gunmen abducted a Lebanese construction worker near this oil city in the Niger Delta, police said yesterday. The kidnapping at Mbiama in Rivers state brought to nine the number of foreigners held by armed groups in the lawless delta that accounts for all of Nigeria’s oil output.

“The man works for a road construction company,” Rivers state Police Commissioner Felix Ogbuadu told Reuters by telephone. He gave no further details.

Kidnappings for ransom are common in the delta, a vast wetlands where poor communities play host to a multibillion-dollar oil industry. Growing violence against foreigners there has caused thousands of oil workers to leave the delta in the past year.

Weekly notes …

Moammar Gadhafi defended his 30-year rule

yesterday as based on grass-roots government, saying Western-style democracy is not appropriate for Africa. “All people must manage their country according to the cultural and social environment,” he said in Sebha, 375 miles south of Tripoli. “The peoples of Africa live in tribes, and every tribe has a leader, so the system of elections and political parties suits Europe and America more than it does Africa,” he said. … An international trade union network said yesterday it is setting up a legal-aid fund to help cleaning and security workers in Africa challenge multinationals to comply with national labor laws. UNI Property Services Global Union said its action responded to a report it commissioned saying Group 4 Securicor was denying overtime pay to thousands of security workers in Malawi.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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