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Voice of America, 00-04-13

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>





    INTRO: A variety of issues are drawing comment from editorial writers in Thursday's U-S newspapers. Peru's presidential election and U-S anti- globalization demonstrations are among some of the most popular topics. There is also discussion on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and his path toward a Mideast peace settlement. Now here is ______________ with a closer look and some excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori will face a run-off election against opposition candidate Alejandro Toledo. Mr. Fujimori, who is seeking an unprecedented third term in office, fell short of a simple majority he needed to win outright in Sunday's ballot. The official results were announced late Wednesday, ending days of suspicion and accusations of fraud due in part to a slow vote count. U-S editorial writers are using the election to comment on Peru's democratic process. The Chicago Tribune is critical of President Fujimori's record and warns against taking any further action that would harm Peru's still wobbly democracy.

    VOICE: (Mr.) Fujimori's manipulations - including a presidential coup in 1992 that disbanded Congress and led to a rewriting of the constitution - have seriously atrophied Peru's democratic development. When he announced his candidacy last year for a legally questionable third term, (Mr.) Fujimori said he wanted to consolidate and expand the reforms he had made. He ought to realize now that his most significant legacy to Peru would be to ... allow a clean run-off election that would help cement a democratic tradition in that troubled country.

    TEXT: The Los Angeles Times is urging the second round of voting be closely supervised to avoid the taint evident in the first round.

    VOICE: If the runoff isn't corrupt, Peru may be on track to follow its neighbors Argentina, Chile and Uruguay in a South American trend toward full democracy. The alternative is to slip further into the Cuban model, under which a leader remains in power as long as the army and security forces can maintain him there. When the nation's voters choose their president in about six weeks, the eyes of democratic countries will be on Peru.

    TEXT: Here in Washington, the semi-annual World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings are facing protestors opposed to globalization. The Sacramento Bee in California says although some of the demonstrators' grievances with the world bodies are justified, they may be misguided in some other criticisms.

    VOICE: In the wake of the raucous protests that disrupted the December meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle, those in positions of power understand that they can no longer ignore popular concerns.... But the most extreme demands of critics would, if implemented, be counterproductive. ... Critics are right to continue prodding governments, global agencies and corporations to become less secretive and more responsive to the needs of ordinary people. But to ascribe all the pain and dislocation that inevitably come with globalization to an evil cabal that must be destroyed to make things right, as some have advocated, is to distort what must remain a reasoned debate into an unreasoned exercise in rabble-rousing.

    TEXT: And lastly, Israel's prime minister, Ehud Barak, after meeting with President Clinton this week, has agreed to accept a greater U-S role in Israeli- Palestinian peace talks going in Washington. Yet at the same time Israel is testing its relationship with the United States by planning to sell advanced radar planes to China. The New York Times says if Israel is serious about a comprehensive peace with the Palestinians, Lebanon and Syria, it will need U-S aid and should not risk angering Washington.

    VOICE: Direct American participation will make it easier to bridge some of the gaps between the two sides. But the hard decisions must come from Mr. Barak and [Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat to press for direct talks between the two leaders next month. ...As the Palestinian talks quicken and the withdrawal date for Lebanon approaches, Israel will be counting on strong support from the United States. If a peace agreement is eventually signed with Syria, considerable new American financial aid will be required to carry out its provisions. Yet Israel is now needlessly complicating its relations with the White House and Congress by persisting in its pans to sell an advanced airborne radar system to China. ... Mr. Barak needs to concentrate his energies on negotiating peace, not courting unnecessary conflicts with Washington.

    TEXT: With that opinion from the New York Times, we conclude this sampling of comment from Thursday's U-S editorial pages.
    NEB/ENE/JO 13-Apr-2000 14:37 PM EDT (13-Apr-2000 1837 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

    Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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